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Consular Services

  • What a British Consulate can do for you
  • What a British Consulate cannot do for you
Britsh Consuls will do everything they properly can to help British people in difficulty abroad. This page gives advice about what help you can expect from a British Consul.

They can...
  • Issue emergency passports, and in some places full passports;
  • Contact relatives and friends and ask them to help you with money or tickets;
  • Tell you how to transfer money;
  • In an emergency, cash you a sterling cheque worth up to £100 in local currency, if supported by a valid banker's card;
  • Help you get in touch with local lawyers, interpreters and doctors;
  • Arrange for next of kin to be told of an accident or a death and advise on procedures;
  • Visit you if you have been arrested or put in prison, and arrange for messages to be sent to relatives and friends;
  • Put you in touch with organisations who help trace missing persons;
  • Speak to the local authorities on your behalf;
  • Only as a last resort, in exceptional circumstances, and as long as you meet certain strict rules, give you a loan to get you back to the UK, but only if there is no-one else who can help you.
UK law says we have to charge for some services. Consulates display the current fees and the standards of service we aim to maintain.

This is a PDF file Latest Table of Consular Fees  (PDF, 46k)


But they cannot...
  • Get you out of prison;
  • Give legal advice or start court proceedings for you;
  • Get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local nationals;
  • Investigate a crime;
  • Pay your hotel, legal, medical or any other bills;
  • Pay your travel costs, except in special circumstances;
  • Do work normally done by travel agents, airlines, banks or motoring organisations;
  • Get you somewhere to live, a job or work permit;
  • Demand you be treated as British if you are a dual national in the country of your second nationality;
    (More information on dual nationality)

See also Services for Britons Overseas FAQs and
Security Information Service for Business Overseas (SISBO)
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