Immunities Accorded to Foreign Diplomats, Consular Officers, and Employees of International Organizations Under U.S. Law [Updated January 28, 2008] [open pdf - 153KB]
From the Summary: "To conduct foreign relations and promote the interests of their nationals located abroad, diplomatic and consular officers must be free to represent their respective States (i.e., countries) without hindrance by their hosts. Recognizing this, States receiving foreign diplomats and consular officers have long accorded such persons with certain privileges and immunities on the basis of comity, reciprocity, and international agreement. As international organizations have become increasingly important for multilateral relations and cooperation, representatives to and employees of such organizations have occasionally been granted privileges and immunities similar to those traditionally accorded to diplomats or consular officials. This report describes the privileges and immunities generally owed by the U.S. to foreign diplomatic, consular, and international organization personnel under treaties and statutes. It does not discuss certain exceptions to these immunities that may apply to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who are employed by international organizations or foreign embassies or consulates. Among the pertinent legal authorities are the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the International Organizations Immunities Act, the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, and the Agreement Regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations. Included are charts that detail the specific types of jurisdiction and obligations from which various categories of diplomatic and consular personnel are immune under each of these authorities."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33147