Crew members, diplomats and other exempt persons
Produced in partnership with Gillian McCall of Richmond Chambers
Crew members, diplomats and other exempt persons

The following Immigration practice note Produced in partnership with Gillian McCall of Richmond Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Crew members, diplomats and other exempt persons
  • Overview of exemption from immigration control
  • Full exemption
  • Partial exemption
  • Exemption from control and diplomatic immunity
  • Home Office policy guidance
  • Full exemption
  • Members of diplomatic missions
  • Consular officers and employees
  • Sovereigns and heads of state
  • More...

Crew members of aircraft, ships and Channel Tunnel trains, diplomats and members of foreign armed forces are generally:

  1. wholly exempt from UK immigration control

  2. partially exempt from UK immigration control, or

  3. exempt from requiring entry clearance and leave to enter the UK

Overview of exemption from immigration control

Full exemption

Full exemption from immigration control means individuals are free to enter and remain in the UK and cannot be deported from the UK during the period of exemption. People who are exempt include:

  1. members of diplomatic missions

  2. certain consular employees, and

  3. senior officials of specified international organisations

Partial exemption

Partially exempt persons are not subject to immigration control in the UK but can be deported. People covered by partial exemption include:

  1. consular employees

  2. members of governments

  3. employees of specified international organisations

  4. members of the armed forces, and

  5. the spouse or child aged under 21 of United States(US) visiting forces

Individuals who are exempt from control are not required to obtain entry clearance before travelling to the UK nor to provide their biometric data. However, it is advisable for visa nationals to obtain an exempt vignette from their local British consulate before travelling.

Exemption from control and diplomatic immunity

Exemption from immigration control and diplomatic immunity are linked but should not be confused. The law gives, to varying degrees, immunity from civil and criminal proceedings to members of diplomatic missions.

Home Office policy

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