washingtonian
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Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:14 am

Do foreign leaders flying commercial into the United State have to go through FIS or are they escorted off the plane by Secret Service/State Department escorts?
 
BMI727
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:46 am

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):

I know that they are protected by the Secret Service when they are on US soil, but I don't know how that figures into customs. It might be that they do not have to clear customs like the rest of us at all.
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gigneil
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:55 am

If they are flying commercial, they come into the same FIS as we do. There are generally lanes for Diplomatic passports. Consular employees also likely have their items pre-cleared by the US Embassy in their country.

I wouldn't imagine any foreign "leader" would arrive this way, although I am sure many foreign diplomats and civil servants do. I'd imagine that if they are of high enough standing, they might be escorted to the FIS and handled off to the side or in a private room.

Everyone entering the US is subject to immigration control, but diplomatic privilege may apply to some small degree from them having documents and other such items searched at customs.

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BreninTW
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:57 am

At TPE one of the gates is equipped with a VIP reception lounge. Aircraft of arriving and departing dignitaries use that gate and the dignitary is welcomed using the lounge.

They don't go through the customs like the rest of us plebs do.
 
BMI727
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:01 am

Quoting gigneil (Reply 2):
I wouldn't imagine any foreign "leader" would arrive this way,

I bet that a few from smaller countries do.
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legacyins
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:09 am

Quoting gigneil (Reply 2):
If they are flying commercial, they come into the same FIS as we do.



Not all the time. I have seen them cleared at plane side. The consular Officer would bring up the delegation's passports to the Immigration area for processing.

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flyingalex
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:21 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
I bet that a few from smaller countries do.

Yes, they do. For some countries it is just not a justifiable expense to maintain a state aircraft (or to charter longhaul aircraft as necessary).

My father once flew to PEK on LH and the Prime Minister of Slovenia was aboard the aircraft (both he and the PM were in First).
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PlaneInsomniac
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:16 pm

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):
Do foreign leaders flying commercial into the United State have to go through FIS or are they escorted off the plane by Secret Service/State Department escorts?

Just for the record, the thread title does not make any sense whatsoever in an international aviation forum. Any US official is "foreign" as well, virtually everywhere on earth, and from the point of view from abroad remains "foreign" even when returning to the US.
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AirNZ
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:30 pm

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):
Do foreign leaders flying commercial into the United State have to go through FIS or are they escorted off the plane by Secret Service/State Department escorts?

I think you might need to clarify exactly what do you mean by 'foreign leader'. For example, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the leader of the UK government, but is most certainly not Head of State. Thus, are you asking if a Head of State would be flying a commercial flight into the US??? With respect to Customs.......such a person would have automatic Diplomatic Immunity!

Quoting brenintw (Reply 3):
They don't go through the customs like the rest of us plebs do.

They correctly aren't required to.
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beeweel15
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:08 pm

Quoting gigneil (Reply 2):
If they are flying commercial, they come into the same FIS as we do. There are generally lanes for Diplomatic passports. Consular employees also likely have their items pre-cleared by the US Embassy in their country.

When ever the UN has the General Assembly when the leaders of foreign countries come in to JFK from what I have seen those who come in on regular schedule flights are met at the gate and are escorted down to the ramp to their waiting limo motorcade.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:18 pm

This is clearly a matter of protocol, based on what is manifested in international law. The embassies of the countries will have made arrangements with the State Department, should the US of A be the destination or the Foreign offices of other countries, whatever the destinations are. Regardless if a high ranking politician or a monarch arrives by commercial jet or VIP jet, she or he will not have to wait and stand in line at passport control. not even at the diplomat channel. He or she will not have to clear customs and even regular diplomats are not subject to customs searches.


The protocol defines between state visits where the aircraft is parked at a special stand, with full military ceremony, national anthems, reception by the equivalent official of the state visited and the whole show down to normal travel of diplomatic officials and everything in between.
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washingtonian
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:33 pm

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 8):
I think you might need to clarify exactly what do you mean by 'foreign leader'. For example, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the leader of the UK government, but is most certainly not Head of State. Thus, are you asking if a Head of State would be flying a commercial flight into the US??? With respect to Customs.......such a person would have automatic Diplomatic Immunity!

Sorry, I think my question is pretty clear to American posters but I will clarify. I meant non-American heads of state flying into the United States. But the question can apply to other countries as well: Do leaders of other countries go through customs when they land in your country?

Quoting beeweel15 (Reply 9):
When ever the UN has the General Assembly when the leaders of foreign countries come in to JFK from what I have seen those who come in on regular schedule flights are met at the gate and are escorted down to the ramp to their waiting limo motorcade.

Interesting. The motorcades park on the ramp, or outside the terminal?
 
AirNZ
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:28 pm

Quoting washingtonian (Reply 11):
Sorry, I think my question is pretty clear to American posters but I will clarify. I meant non-American heads of state flying into the United States. But the question can apply to other countries as well: Do leaders of other countries go through customs when they land in your country?

Not, not being funny, but why should it be (made) clear to only American posters and which is why I thought you needed to clarify it? I can't accurately answer your question directly to me as, to do so, I need you to clarify what you mean by 'leader', and which is what I asked. Do you mean a leader, as in the Head of Government, or do you mean a Head of State.......they are not the same thing at all, and consequently have completely different protocols.
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RE: Do Foreign Leaders Flying Commercial Use FIS?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:51 pm

Quoting legacyins (Reply 5):
Not all the time. I have seen them cleared at plane side. The consular Officer would bring up the delegation's passports to the Immigration area for processing.

  
Seen plenty of current and former heads of state cleared either plane side at the gate if flying commercial, or if on their own aircraft out on the ramp. Often CBP will send out a person or two to meet the aircraft, the same manner they clear freighters sometimes.
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