Consular immunity privileges are described in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 (VCCR). Consular immunity offers protections similar to diplomatic immunity, but these protections are not as extensive, given the functional differences between consular and diplomatic officers. For example, consular officers are not accorded absolute immunity from a host country’s criminal jurisdiction, they may be tried for certain local crimes upon action by a local court, and are immune from local jurisdiction only in cases directly relating to consular functions.
Consular and diplomatic immunity in the US
|Category||May be arrested or detained||Residence may be entered subject to ordinary procedures||May be issued traffic ticket||May be subpoenaed as witness||May be prosecuted for unofficial acts||Official family member|
|Diplomatic||Diplomatic agent||No[a]||No||Yes||No||No||Same as sponsor|
|Member of administrative and technical staff||No[a]||No||Yes||No||No||Same as sponsor|
|Consular||Career consular officers||Yes, if for a felony and pursuant to a warrant.[b]||Yes[c]||Yes||No, for official acts. Testimony may not be compelled in any case.||Yes[d]||No[b]|
|Honorary consular officers||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, for official acts. Yes, in all other cases||Yes||No|
|Consular employees||Yes[b]||Yes||Yes||No, for official acts. Yes, in all other cases||Yes[b]||No[b]|
|International organization||Diplomatic - level staff of missions to international organizations||No[a]||No||Yes||No||No||Same as sponsor|
|International organization staff[d]||Yes[d]||Yes[d]||Yes||No, for official acts. Yes, in all other cases||Yes[d]||No[b]|
|Support staff of missions to international organizations||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, for official acts. Yes, in all other cases||Yes||No|
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-13. Retrieved 2011-02-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Bureau of Diplomatic Security (July 2011). "Diplomatic and Consular Immunity: Guidance for Law Enforcement and Judicial Authorities" (PDF). US Department of State. p. 6. Retrieved 2013-12-30.