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British High Commission sets record straight on diplomatic visas

 The British High Commission provides an excellent visa issuing service. It maintains a high standard of customer service, measured regularly against customer service targets, and helps to prevents immigration abuse. Every applicant for a UK visa, worldwide, is assessed by trained Entry Clearance Officers against the UK’s Immigration Rules. The way that diplomatic visas are issued is no exception.
In September 2006, the British High Commission met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss applications for UK visas by service passport holders and diplomatic passport holders. Every application by a service or diplomatic passport holder must have a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (a Note Verbal) to verify that applicant’s job and status, and the purpose of their visit. The British High Commission and Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed a system for verifying  that Notes Verbal were genuine, and continue to cooperate fully to implement this system. Service passport holders must meet the same criteria of UK Immigration Law as ordinary passport holders, they also need to provide their biometric data in the same way as ordinary passport holders.
Diplomats who are travelling on a Posting are entitled to a “diplomatic exempt” visa under UK Immigration Law, in line with diplomats from any country taking up a Posting in the UK. Their dependants are also entitled to “diplomatic exempt” visas as long as they are dependent children under the age of 18, dependant parents over the age of 65, or domestic staff. Diplomats and their dependent must also present a genuine Note Verbal before their visa is issued.
The British High Commission Entry Clearance Section works with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including seeking confirmation of  authenticity of visa-related Notes Verbale. . If any application is found to have any supporting forged or fraudulent documentation, including Notes Verbale or official letters, the application will be refused.  This includes holders of service and diplomatic passports. The Entry Clearance Staff at the British High Commission regularly carry out document checks.

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