Exempt Vignette Clearance

United Kingdom

This visa is for overseas citizens who wish to arrive into the UK for job associated actions, but are exempted from the Immigration Control, signifies that they do not require a visa to enter in the UK. As an alternative to a permit, they should have an exempt vignette clearance prior to the travelling to the UK to evade any disruption at the UK airport. Exempt Vignette is stamped in the passport and does not provide the Right to settle in the UK.

Courtesy Endorsement

Two types of Courtesy Endorsement “diplomatic” or “official” can be noticeable below or at the head of an exempt vignette. Still, they do not provide the individual with any advantage or protection regardless of those given by the exempt Vignette. The initial to apply for an exempt vignette is three months prior to the scheduled travel.

Documents required to appeal for an exempt vignette:

  • A legal passport or other travel documents
  • A passport size photograph
  • Documents to certify the motive for coming to the UK
  • Certified letter from the office
  • Certified invitation letter
  • Work agreement

Who does not require a visa to arrive or stay in the UK are:

British citizens

European Union (EU) nationals

EEA and Switzerland nationals

UK Foreign Nations & Territories (OCT) citizens


Nationals of these states do not require a permit or exempt Vignette for arriving into the UK for remaining for up to six months:



Hong Kong SAR



New Zealand


South Africa

South Korea




United Arab Emirates



The following individuals are exempted from the UK Immigration Control:

  • Overseas royals, heads of nation or leaders of ex-reigning houses, who are welcomed to the UK travelling officially, or privately, along with:
    • Their family associates (spouses, legal partners, children younger than 18 years old)
    • Their private employers
    • Persons travelling officially to visit the UK head of nation (not journalists or entrepreneurs). Former leaders of the country and their family associates are not exempted.
  • Overseas ambassadorial, managerial, technical and service staff associates, and career consular officials of the nations recognized (attributed to the UK) along with
    • Their family associates
    • Children aged 18-25
  • Old parents solitary if they were dependent on the ambassador (who is exempted of this group). To obtain an exempted as dependent old parents, they should offer:
    • Papers to certify possession of properties and assets in the home nation
    • Documents to certify medical condition
    • Info about other children
    • Info about the period being dependent on the diplomat.
  • Staff associates of an ambassadorial mission to the UK who took the job outside the UK. Their family associates, such as spouses, legal partners, children younger than 18 years old, are also exempted. Exempt Vignette is provided for six months for them and their family associates.
  • Ambassadors are travelling in transit through the UK to or from a nation where they are accredited. Their family associates, such as spouses, legal partners, children younger than 18 years old, are also exempted. Exempt Vignette is provided for six months for them and their family associates.
  • Overseas government ministers (or equal, such as governor generals) of states (acknowledged in the UK) travelling to the UK officially. Exempted from a visa are also their family associates. Exempt Vignette is given for two years for them and family associates.
  • Overseas workers of multinationals organizations situated in the UK (hired out of the UK), representatives and officials of the Multinational Organizations travelling officially. Exempt Vignette is also their family
  • Children aged 18-25 (overage dependents) can be given an exempt vignette as dependent only if they are enrolled full-time in studies in the UK in a licensed Tier 4 sponsor in the Points Based System (PBS) in the UK.

Exempt Vignette for those in short certified visits is agreed for the period of the stay:

  • Overseas short-term workers (interns) with multinational organizations, people are expecting to obtain a short job (internship) at the European Financial Institute for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Exempt Vignette for this group is agreed for the period of the internship contract.
  • Outsiders are travelling officially as part of the certified party, the delegation of government ministers, or similar and overseas workforces of the global organizations (civil servants, administrators, interpreters). Exempt Vignette for this group is agreed for the period of the visit.

Journalists, entrepreneurs or other individuals not working for the visiting state are not exempt:

  • Nationals of Commonwealth or UK Foreign Territories who wish to register in training in the UK Armed Services. Family associates or other dependents of the armed forces are not exempted.
  • Associates of the Commonwealth and NATO armed forces sent for service in the UK or registering in training courses at an army institute or a UK firm. Exempt Vignette for this group is provided for the period of training or appointment. Family associates or other dependents not exempted.
  • Foreigners working or directed for service as an employee of a global head office or defence organization
  • Foreigners working in arms control under the Vienna Document 1992 and the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty 199. Exempt Vignette for this group is provided for two years.

Who are not Exempted

The resulting are not exempt:

  • Overseas workforces of the embassy missions that are not situated in the UK, travelling officially in the UK
  • Overseas ambassadorial messengers (agents)
  • Domestic employers of exempted proprietors
  • Unmarried associates of exempted ambassadors
  • Dependents of Armed Forces associates. Not counting dependents of those entering to register in training as armed force associates.

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