Complaints procedure

Complaints, compliments and feedback

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is committed to providing a high quality consular service. To do this we welcome any comments you have about our service, to tell us when we get things wrong and when we get things right. We use this feedback to assess and improve our services.

If you want to make a complaint about a consular service you have received from the FCO or one of our embassies, high commissions or consulates abroad, we want to help you resolve it as quickly as possible.

If you would like to compliment us on our services, or if you have other comments about our services, we want to hear from you too.

Visas and passports

We are not able to respond to any queries or complaints about UK visas or British passports. You should contact UK Visas and Immigration if your complaint is about UK visas or contact HM Passport Office if your complaint is about British passports.

Making a complaint about a consular service

We will investigate your complaint fully and do our best to give you a full reply within 20 working days. If we cannot give you a full reply within this time, we will tell you when we expect to do so. We will acknowledge your complaint and let you know when you should expect to receive our response

If you are making a complaint on behalf of another person, we are required to have written signed consent of that person to share their personal information with you before we can reply. Please email us providing a signed authority if this applies to you.

There are 3 stages to our complaints procedure:

Stage 1

Please send details of your complaint either by email to feedback.consular.services@fco.gov.uk, or in writing to:

Customer Interaction Team
Consular Directorate
Room WH4.36
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Alternatively, you can telephone us: 020 7008 1500. We may ask you to confirm your complaint in writing to us, if possible. We can only reply to complaints by either email or letter.

We will record and examine your complaint, and use the information you provide to help make sure that we offer the best possible help and support to our customers. The FCO or the relevant embassy, high commission or consulate will reply to you.

Stage 2

If you are not happy with our initial response, you can escalate your complaint to the director of consular services by email to feedback.consular.services@fco.gov.uk, or in writing to:

Consular director
Room WH4.36
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

The director will see all complaints and will ask for an investigation to be carried out by a member of staff who is not directly connected to your case or to your complaint. This person will usually be senior to any officer against whom a complaint has been made.

Stage 3

If you are not satisfied with the response from the consular director, then you can write directly to your Member of Parliament (MP), asking them to raise your complaint with us.

The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman

Alternatively you can contact the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will normally only consider cases that have previously followed our three stage process and relates to “maladministration” (a service failure including poor administration or applying the rules incorrectly). There are more details about this in the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s website

Complimenting a consular service

Understanding what we have done well is just as important as understanding those things we may have done not so well. Your positive feedback helps us to ensure that we are able provide the best possible, most consistent and appropriate consular service to all our customers.

If you have received a consular service that was helpful, supportive or professional from one of our consulates overseas or from the consular office in London, please send details either by email to: feedback.consular.services@fco.gov.uk, or in writing to:

Customer Interaction Team
Consular Directorate
Room WH4.36
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Our research

We work with partner research agencies to formally collect feedback about our services. If you have been a consular customer and have provided your contact details as part of that service, you may be approached by one of our research partners to provide feedback about your experience.

We offer opportunities online to opt out of the research process. We may also approach you in writing to offer you the opportunity to take part in feedback programmes and to highlight how to opt out should you not wish to be involved.

If you do not wish for your contact details to be passed to our research partner, email consular.research@fco.gov.uk, providing your name, email address and the name of the service you received.

If you wish to provide any other feedback about consular services please email consular.research@fco.gov.uk