Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office honours nomination form

Use this honours form to nominate someone who lives or works abroad.



You can use this form to nominate someone for an honour if they live or work abroad and they’ve made achievements in either:

  • another country
  • the UK, and their achievement has a significant international element to it

About nominating someone for an honour

Use the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) honours nomination form to nominate candidates for an honour on the Overseas and International Honours List which recognises exceptional service performed overseas, or service in the UK with a substantial international component.

You should never tell a nominee that you are considering nominating them for an honour.

The list is made up of substantive awards for United Kingdom citizens and citizens of a Commonwealth country of which His Majesty The King is Head of State. Dual nationals are also eligible for substantive awards where one of the nationalities qualifies for a substantive award.

There are 2 lists a year: New Year Honours and the reigning monarch’s Birthday Honours. Nominations may be submitted at any time, but the final deadline is usually mid-May for the next New Year’s Honours and mid-November for the next Birthday Honours Lists.

Honorary awards can be made to citizens of other countries where there is clear evidence of direct and intentional service to the United Kingdom. They do not appear on the Overseas and International Honours list. Instead, they are published on GOV.UK as honorary British awards to foreign nationals, as and when they have been formally approved by the Sovereign. They are considered at the same time as nominations for the Overseas and International Honours List and are therefore subject to the deadlines set out above.

If the Honorary award recipient lives outside the UK, you should use the FCDO nomination form. If they live in the UK you should use the Cabinet Office nomination form and submit this to the Cabinet Office.

The Honours Secretariat in the FCDO will acknowledge receipt of a completed form within 2 weeks of receipt. We are unable to notify nominators of the outcome, or to give progress reports.

You should complete all the boxes on the nomination form. If you do not know the answer to a question, or cannot get the answer without great difficulty or alerting the nominee, insert N/K. Type your answers and submit your form and accompanying letters of support by e-mail to the address given on the form.

If you have any trouble with the form or submitting it, contact:

Guidance on completing the form

If your candidate is a State servant in a foreign government or currently working for an international organisation, they will not be eligible for a UK honour.

Include all the nominee’s current citizenships or nationalities. If the nominee holds more than 1 nationality or citizenship, say which countries and, if possible, the date (or year) of acquiring each nationality.

Include the nominee’s date and place of birth, if possible. This helps for identification and record-keeping purposes.

Describe the services for which recommended, for example “improving education for disadvantaged children in …”.

For the nominator’s suggested award level, there are different levels and types of awards. A general guide on level is:

Award Description
K-level international or major national achievement/impact requiring commitment over a long period
C-level international or prominent national achievement or impact
OBE Officer of the Order of the British Empire: national or prominent regional achievement or impact
MBE Member of the Order of the British Empire: regional or local significant and long-term achievement/impact including service to the community
BEM British Empire Medal: local achievement/impact service to the community, sometimes of shorter duration (eg 4 years)

If you are aware of any previous nominations for the candidate, or any other award, indicate the year and the list. Any further nomination must include evidence of further exceptional work, service or achievement since the previous nomination to stand any chance of success.

Give the details of any British or foreign honours already held by the candidate with the year of award (if known). Check GOV.UK, Who’s Who, or The London Gazette if necessary.

Include the nominee’s home address, telephone number and e-mail address. We need to contact successful candidates within a very tight timeframe, so this information can be crucial.

Remember that an honour will not be automatically recommended if you nominate someone. You should give a full description with detailed examples setting out precisely what the candidate has done that is truly exceptional. Also, when nominating a non-UK national, describe how the contribution directly and intentionally benefits the UK or specific British or Overseas Territory interests.

Include for how long they have been, or were, performing these services, whether paid or unpaid, and what specifically makes them worthy of recognition by means of a national honour. The examples must be recent (there must be evidence of recent sustained service and/or achievements) and relevant to the case for an honour.

You should bring out the exceptional and excellent nature of the achievement and/or service the candidate has performed and how their work has benefitted the UK or Overseas Territory, reflected credit on the UK or contributed to furthering Britain’s interests overseas or to the FCDO’s international priorities.

Describe the impact and the difference that the candidate’s contribution has made in a particular field, locality or community. Also describe the challenges and difficulties faced and how overcome, including any difficult or dangerous environments. Explain why the candidate is special, what makes them stand out from others doing similar work and the regard in which they are held by peers.

For all nominees, we recommend giving details of previous career highlights to describe service and achievement over a sustained period. Include information of any particular considerations about the timing of an award.

The honours committees like to see comments or support from a wide range of relevant sources such as experts in the field or professional bodies. Letters of support from relevant organisations or individuals can strengthen the nomination. The committees like to know why someone supports a nomination, so do ask them to include this but keep the letters to 1 or 2 pages maximum. Send any letters of support (ideally 2). If there are more than 2 letters of support, the Honours Secretariat will select the 2 which seem to best support the nomination.

Sending the completed form and supporting documents

Send the completed form, together with any supporting documents, by email to the Honours Secretariat in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

We will acknowledge receipt of a completed form within 2 weeks of receipt.

Published 3 April 2013
Last updated 17 April 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect the name change from Royal, Ceremonial and Honours Unit to Honours Secretariat.

  2. nomination forms updated

  3. Update to Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office honours nomination form.

  4. Honours nomination form updated

  5. Updated Foreign and Commonwealth Office honours nomination form added

  6. First published.