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 of aircraft, ships and Channel Tunnel trains, diplomats and members of foreign armed forces are generally:
wholly exempt from UK immigration control
partially exempt from UK immigration control, or
exempt from requiring entry clearance and leave to enter the UK
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:
members of diplomatic missions
certain consular employees, and
senior officials of specified international organisations
Partially exempt persons are not subject to immigration control in the UK but can be deported. People covered by partial exemption include:
members of governments
employees of specified international organisations
members of the armed forces, and
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 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.
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