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Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Section 6: Members of missions other than diplomatic agents

49.This section is designed to prevent foreign nationals already in the United Kingdom from evading immigration control by taking a job in a diplomatic mission, thus closing a loophole which exists under current legislation. Under section 8(3) of the 1971 Act, a person is exempt from immigration control for so long as he is a member of a diplomatic mission. Section 8(3A) of the 1971 Act (inserted by the Immigration Act 1988) has the effect that foreign nationals already in the United Kingdom who are offered a job in a diplomatic mission remain subject to control as long as they remain in this country. However, if they travel abroad the current wording of section 8(3A) has the result that they become exempt upon their return simply because they have entered as a member of a diplomatic mission. The section is intended to close this loophole by replacing the existing section 8(3A) with a new one which provides an exemption only if the person was resident outside the United Kingdom and was not present in the United Kingdom when offered a post as a member of the mission; and if he has not ceased to be a member of the mission after taking up the post. The former condition is designed to ensure that locally engaged staff cannot benefit from the exemption. The latter condition is designed to ensure that the conditions for exemption are again met in the event of subsequent re-employment as a member of a mission.

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