Embassy Staff
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Photo of Mr Andrew MacKinlay

Mr Andrew MacKinlay (Thurrock, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether non-EU nationals employed in residences of UK ambassadors and high commissioners throughout the world are required (a) to be entitled to work permits in the UK and (b) to have work permits in relation to the country in which the ambassadors, and high commissioners, residences are located; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Douglas Alexander

Mr Douglas Alexander (Minister of State (Trade), Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Paisley South, Labour)

holding answer 16 December 2004

Non-EU nationals employed in residences of UK Ambassadors and High Commissions do not have to be entitled to work permits in the UK.

The position of residence staff who are not nationals of the country in which they are appointed reflect that country's immigration rules and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Domestic staff of a head of mission who are employed by the sending state and who are notified to the receiving state's Foreign Ministry may, under Article 37(3) of the Vienna Convention, enjoy the same privileges and immunity as service staff of the Mission. In the UK, for example, individuals in this category would be granted 'exempt' from entry clearance. Domestic staff who are the private employees of a Head of Mission would have to apply and pay for a 'domestic' entry clearance, but would not require a work permit.

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