Visa check with diplomatic passport

Old Dec 10, 2018, 6:34 am
  #1  
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Visa check with diplomatic passport

Does anyone have any experience of flying BA with a diplomatic passport, specifically to China? I'm reliably informed (both through my official contacts and by Wikipedia) that you can enter the country and remain for 30 days without a visa, but I'm not sure how familiar the check-in agents in Heathrow are with the rules on unusual passports. Is there any way I can confirm beforehand that BA won't have a problem with it? Or should I just get to the airport early on the day and try to persuade the check-in agent that it will all be ok? Or will they see a diplomatic passport and think no problem at all?
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 6:56 am
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AFAIK BA, like most carriers, use Traveldoc (www.traveldoc.aero) to check visa requirements. So, if that source says you don't need a visa, then you should have no problem. That system is regarded as the authoritative source by most airline staff. If you're really worried, perhaps carry a printout from the Chinese Embassy or similar to prove the point.
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 7:14 am
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The IATA database for travel documents is made available without charge through a number of channels. If you enter the data for your specific travel situation, you will see a display showing exactly what an agent, or more precisely in some situations, a Help Center staff person, will see. As you can see, one of the variables is the type of travel document, as well as citizenship and residency.

You are correct that few front line agents are familiar with document requirements other than for perhaps the most common. But, the purpose of TIMATIC is to eliminate the need to train on all manner of permutations.

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...aspx?i=TIMATIC
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 7:16 am
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The agents at T5 see Diplomatic and Official passports daily given that there are probably more diplomats in London than anywhere else, I don't think you'll have a problem. I'd bring a Timatic (or equivalent) print out just so they can find the relevant section, Timatic can go wrong if agents select the wrong bit of data at the start of the Q and A process, and will be more easily persuaded to try again if you have a print out of your specific circumstances to hand.
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 7:40 am
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The authoritative database on this is Timatic, as has been mentioned, and one can specify the doc type, as has also been mentioned. Various airlines have search engines which you can use (regardless of whether you're flying them), off-hand I know of KLM and Emirates, e.g. search Google for "Emirates visa requirements" and you'll be able to enter all variables
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 8:02 am
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FWIW, having a quick look at Timatic now via EF:-
Code:
Visa, Health & Passport:

Visa Information

Information as of  10DEC18 / 1359 UTC
China (People's Rep.) (CN)

Visa required.

Visa Exemptions:
...
- Passengers with a British diplomatic passport.
- Passengers with a British official passport containing a
"Visa Exempted" label issued by China (People's Rep.).
- Nationals of Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam , Cape Verde, Chile,
Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus,
Equatorial Guinea, Georgia, Guyana, Hungary, Indonesia,
Iran, Ireland (Rep.), Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Dem. Rep., Lithuania, Malaysia,
Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Moldova (Rep.), Montenegro,
Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russian
Fed., Samoa, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sudan,
Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan,
Ukraine, Venezuela and Viet Nam with a diplomatic passport.
- Nationals of Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Macedonia
(FYROM), Mali, San Marino, Switzerland and Uruguay with a
diplomatic passport for a maximum stay of 90 days.
- Nationals of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Rep.,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland,
Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway,
Portugal, Spain and Sweden with a diplomatic passport for a
maximum stay of 90 days. (SEE NOTE 70951)
NOTE 70951: The maximum stay is granted within 180 days.
- Nationals of Eritrea and Morocco with a diplomatic passport
for a maximum stay of 60 days.
- Nationals of Angola, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo,
Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon,
Gambia, Guinea, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Korea (Dem. People's
Rep.), Korea (Rep.), Kuwait, Lesotho, Liberia, Mauritania,
Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines,
Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa,
South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Togo,
Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates,
Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe with a diplomatic passport for a
maximum stay of 30 days.
- Nationals of Panama with a consular passport for a maximum
stay of 30 days.
- Nationals of Ireland (Rep.) with an official passport if
accompanying a Minister of the Irish government on an
official visit.
- Nationals of Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia,
Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Equatorial
Guinea, Guyana, Jamaica, Lao People's Dem. Rep., Malaysia,
Maldives, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Samoa, Serbia,
Slovenia, Sudan, Thailand and Viet Nam with an official
passport.
- Nationals of Macedonia (FYROM) and Uruguay with an official
passport for a maximum stay of 90 days.
- Nationals of Cambodia, Dominica, Korea (Dem. People's Rep.),
Korea (Rep.), Lesotho, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama,
Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka,
Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Zimbabwe with
an official passport for a maximum stay of 30 days.
...
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 8:04 am
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Thanks all - slightly worryingly the Traveldoc website says I would need additional documentation (even when I've specified a diplomatic passport), but Timatic says it's all good. Good suggestion to bring a print-out, just in case...
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 12:27 pm
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It seems that no maximum stay is specified for holders of a British Diplomatic passport, while some others are limited to various periods in the 30-180 day range.
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 2:21 pm
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oops!
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Deltus
Thanks all - slightly worryingly the Traveldoc website says I would need additional documentation (even when I've specified a diplomatic passport), but Timatic says it's all good. Good suggestion to bring a print-out, just in case...
The FCO travel centre will give you all the information you require regarding entry requirements to China using a dip ppt. I assume you already know the use of UK diplomatic passports is prohibited for personal travel.

Last edited by lcyguy; Dec 10, 2018 at 4:12 pm
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Old Dec 10, 2018, 8:53 pm
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Originally Posted by lcyguy


The FCO travel centre will give you all the information you require regarding entry requirements to China using a dip ppt. I assume you already know the use of UK diplomatic passports is prohibited for personal travel.
Especially, unless on official business (and maybe not even then), should never be used in countries like China, Russia etc... can warrant some unwanted attention!
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Old Dec 11, 2018, 2:10 am
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Originally Posted by lcyguy


The FCO travel centre will give you all the information you require regarding entry requirements to China using a dip ppt. I assume you already know the use of UK diplomatic passports is prohibited for personal travel.
Indeed, yes the trip is for a diplomatic purpose and I trust the FCO people telling me I don't need a visa, but I was concerned about the practicalities of convincing the check-in agent of the same thing...
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