Scope of Immunities and Summary of Law Enforcement Measures - Multilateral Postings

This chart is intended as a guide for law enforcement, border and other authorities who require information to establish the level of immunity granted to officials of international organizations in Canada, as well as accredited representatives of member states to international organizations headquartered in Canada, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal. The status of such persons, and hence the level of immunities, is determined by the entry under "designation" and category of Acceptance/Identity Card, not by the colour or the serial letter on such documents.

Law enforcement officers seeking advice on the immunities of accredited foreign representatives can consult the Diplomatic Security Liaison Unit.

This interpretation chart is not the law; the law is contained in the Acts themselves, such as the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act and related Orders in Council. However, this chart can generally be relied upon as reflecting DFAIT's interpretation of the law to be applied on a consistent basis by its staff.

DFAIT's interpretation of the law to be applied on a consistent basis by its staff
DesignationState Member Reps (ICAO)Admin Staff (ICAO)Senior Officials (All Intl Orgs)Officials (All Intl Orgs)State Member Reps of and Officials of Intl Orgs who are CDN citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada
1 However, a person enjoying personal inviolability such as an accredited state member representative to an international organization or a senior official of such organization, may be temporarily taken into protective custody in order to prevent the repitition or continuation of an offence, and until such time as a responsible member of the mission or post arrives to relieve the police of this responsibility.
2 Canada expects all accredited foreign representatives to comply with normal security measures instituted at Canadian airports. This includes submitting their carry-on luggage through x-ray.
3 The search of baggages of any official associated with an international organization must take into account that the person may be carrying "archives", i.e. files or correspondence, and these documents must not be manually searched. If a person claims to be carrying "archives", these must be excluded from manual search. With respect to diplomatic bags, please consult the following link Circular Note NO. XDC-0144 of January 28, 2011.
4 In addition, accredited officials of international organizations in Canada, and member state representatives to such organizations, are exempt from the work permit.
Documentation issued: Category of Acceptance and Identity CardIJIJNone
National Service: Immune from national service obligationsYesYesYesYesYes
Legal Process & Criminal/Civil Proceedings: Can be arrested and detainedNo (see note 1)1No (see note 1)No (see note 1)YesYes
Immune from legal process, whether criminal or civilYesYes, subject to limitations under Art. 37(2) of the VCDRYesYes, in respect of words spoken or written and all acts performed in an official capacityYes, in respect of words spoken or written and all acts performed in an official capacity
Can be compelled to give evidence as witnessNoNoNoYes, unless the matter involves official dutiesYes, unless the matter involves official duties
Immune from jury dutyYesYesYesYesNo
Searches, including at Canadian Airports: Subject to personal search (everywhere except at airports)NoNoNoYesYes
Subject to pre-boarding screening at airportsYesYesYesYesYes
Subject to office entry and searchNoNoNoNoNo
Subject to residential entry and searchNoNoNoYesYes
Subject to private motor vehicle searchNoNoNoYesYes
Subject to personal baggage searchNo (see note 2)2No (see note 2)No (see note 2)Yes (see note 3)3Yes (see note 3)
Immigration: Immune from immigration and aliens restrictions, and secondary screening at Canadian points of entry (see note 4)4YesYesYesYesYes