Complaints procedure

If you are dissatisfied with the service you receive from us, you can contact the Home Office.

What is a complaint?

The Home Office defines a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction with the services provided by the Home Office. This is not the same as general correspondence from members of Parliament, the public expressing disagreement with a policy, or requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

How to make a complaint

You can email us at:

Or write to us at:

Home Office
Direct communications unit
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

The Home Office fax number is: 020 7035 4745

You can also telephone the government switchboard on 020 7035 4848. The switchboard handles calls for many departments and will try to put you through to the appropriate member of staff. Sometimes it takes a while and they may need to ask for more information. This is to help you.

When you contact us, please give us full details and include information (if you have it) about the part of the department you felt provided a dissatisfactory service. Please also provide us with the following details:

  • the area of the Home Office to which your complaint refers and a contact name (if you have one)
  • information on whether it is an original complaint or a follow-up to a reply you were not satisfied with
  • a clear description of the complaint and what you would like us to do to sort things out
  • your full postal address, phone number and e-mail address (if you have one)

We aim to respond to you within 20 working days.

Other areas of the Home Office have their own complaints procedures:

What happens next

If you complain in writing, we aim to respond within 20 working days. If it is not possible to give you a full reply within this time (for example, if your complaint requires more detailed investigation), we will tell you what is being done and when you can expect a full response.

We will acknowledge where things could have been done better, and tell you what will be done to avoid the same thing happening again. Equally, if we do not uphold your complaint, we will let you know why.

Our response to you will include details of what to do if you believe your complaint has not been dealt with properly. You should start by contacting us again and asking for your complaint to be passed on to a more senior member of staff.

If you remain unsatisfied, you can also ask your member of Parliament to refer your case to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.