British Ambassador to the USA
We develop and sustain the important and longstanding relationship between the UK and the United States.
We deal with a wide range of political, commercial, security and economic questions of interest to the UK and the US. Our consular team in Washington provides consular assistance to British nationals in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
The ambassador is responsible for the direction and work of the embassy and its consulates. His tasks are to present UK policies to the American government and to Americans, to report and explain American policies and views to his own government in London, and to support UK interests. He is also responsible for press and cultural relations, and for consular services. He is based at the British Embassy in Washington but travels regularly throughout the United States.
British consulates champion trade and investment between the UK and US. They also keep the ambassador aware of political, economic and other developments in their consular districts. The consuls are also responsible for providing consular services to British nationals in their consular districts.
We are currently unable to process applications for White House Tours. Find out more.
Services for British nationals
If you’re in our area of coverage and you urgently need help (eg if you’ve been attacked, arrested or lost your passport), call +1 202 588 6500. If you’re in the UK and concerned about a British national in our area of coverage, call 020 7008 1500.
Get or renew a passport
The British Embassy can’t help with passport enquiries. Contact Her Majesty’s Passport Office if you need help.
Get an emergency travel document
If you are due to travel in the next 24 hours, contact us as soon as possible.
- are over 16 years old and
- are a British citizen and
- have previously owned a British passport
- over 16 years old but have not owned a British passport before or
- not a British citizen or
- applying for a child under 16 years old
Once you have contacted us, you will be advised to book an appointment for an emergency travel document in Washington DC
Travel advice: for information and advice on travelling to the USA, see travel advice for the USA.
Get a visa
The British Embassy can’t help with visa enquiries.
If you’re not a British national, you may need a visa to travel to the UK. Check if you need a UK visa.
If you’re a British national travelling abroad and need to apply for a visa to visit a particular country or check if you need a visa, see the entry requirements on our foreign travel advice for the country you want to visit.
For more information on visas, see UK visas and immigration.
Marriage and civil partnerships
We don’t issue certificates of no impediment, affirmations or affidavits of marital status. We also don’t perform marriages or civil partnerships for British nationals. For further information on getting married in the USA, see getting married abroad.
Register a birth or death
If the death occurred in the USA and you’re still in the country, contact us. If you’re in the UK and hear of the death of a relative from a third party, you should contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500.
Support if you’ve been arrested
We’ll do all we can to contact you within 24 hours of being told that you’ve been detained or arrested, and will give you a prisoner pack with information for British prisoners in the USA. We cannot get you out of prison, prevent the local authorities from deporting you after your prison sentence, or interfere in criminal or civil court proceedings.
Notarial and documentary services
See the full list of notarial and documentary services we provide.
The British Embassy in Washington D.C. does not provide legalisation services. Read our notarial and documentary services page for more information on legalisation.
Ask the UK government to get a UK document legalised (certified as genuine).
Local service providers
Use our lists of local suppliers and services if you need help in the USA. Please note that inclusion in these lists does not constitute official endorsement by the British Consulate or the UK government.
List of lawyers
Use our list of English speaking lawyers if you need help with official transactions in the USA.
List of funeral directors
This list of funeral directors may be able to help you with funeral service arrangements. The number of funeral directors in the USA is massive and they will all universally use English as their main language.
Medical facilities and practitioners
In any major city in the US there are a number of pharmacies offering commonly used medication and available advice from pharmacists. In every major city in the US there are also large numbers of hospitals and urgent care locations available for visitors. A general guide to who may be able to help you with medical service in the USA can be accessed under the Health section of our Travel Advice page.
How else we can help
In addition to the services listed above we can also:
- provide information about transferring funds
- provide appropriate help if you have suffered rape or serious assault, are a victim of other crime, or are in hospital
- help people with mental illness
- offer support and help in a range of other cases, such as child abductions, missing people and kidnapping
- contact family or friends for you if you want
- make special arrangements in cases of terrorism, civil disturbances or natural disasters or other crises abroad
For more information on the services we can provide, see Support for British nationals abroad: A guide.
General information on living in the USA.
What the consulate cannot do for you
Although we try to help British nationals in a wide range of situations, we cannot:
- help you enter a country, for example, if you don’t have a visa or your passport is not valid
- give you legal advice, investigate crimes or carry out searches for missing people, although we can give you details of people who may be able to help you in these cases, such as English-speaking lawyers.
- get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people
- pay any bills or give you money (in very exceptional circumstances we may lend you some money from public funds, which you’ll have to pay back)
- make travel arrangements for you, or find you work or accommodation
- make business arrangements on your behalf
We charge fees for some of our services. See the full list of consular fees in the USA.
Other locations in the USA
White House tours
At this time, we are unable to process any White House tour applications for the general public. We understand that the White House website asks foreign citizens interested in a tour to contact their embassy. However, the US Department of State requires that foreigners be accompanied by a very senior diplomat. Unfortunately, due to the time and resource required, White House tours cannot be made available to the British public.
You may wish to consider tours of the US Capitol Building, where visitors are able to make tour reservations up to three months in advance or obtain same-day tour passes. Passports or other forms of ID are not required for entry into the U.S. Capitol. You can also book a Pentagon Tour. Non-US Nationals will need to submit the British Embassy’s address instead of their home address. Further assistance regarding the online booking process should be directed to the Pentagon Tour Office +1 703 697 1776. You can also take a virtual tour of the White House.
British Embassy Washington
3100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20008
Telephone: +1 202 588 6500