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Complaints Procedure

Our aim at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is to provide an efficient service to the public in the UK and overseas. However, in any organisation, sometimes things may go wrong. In this case, please let us know as soon as possible. We will do our best to respond to your complaint quickly, and try to ensure that you and others do not have cause to complain again.

This page tells you whom to contact and how. It also explains how we will deal with your complaint.

WHO TO COMPLAIN TO

If you have a general complaint about any Post overseas, or one related to consular or visa matters, you should complain directly to the Post concerned, if possible.

Complaints about information or support provided by any Post throughout the world on commercial matters should be addressed separately to UK Trade & Investment (see below).

In London, there are different areas that cover different FCO activities. If your complaint does not seem to fall into the areas below, or you are not sure where your complaint should go, there is a central point for general complaints. This area will accept your complaint and pass it to the correct department.

UKvisas

Please contact UKvisas, preferably in writing, if you wish to complain about the service that you or your visitor has experienced at a UK visa office overseas:

  • By telephone: +44 (0) 20 7008 8438
  • By fax: +44 (0) 20 7008 8359 or 8361
  • By post:
    Desk Officer for (name of office where the application has been made)
    Visa Correspondence Section
    UKvisas
    Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    King Charles Street
    London SW1A 2AH
Consular

(ie services from Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates overseas to UK citizens – including for accidents, illness, imprisonment, lost passports, robbery and similar incidents. Also includes the Travel Advice Unit).
  • By telephone: 020 7008 0223 (Consular Division)
  • By fax: 020 7008 0152 (Consular Division)
  • By letter:
    Complaints
    Director of Consular Services
    Consular Directorate
    Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    Old Admiralty Building
    Whitehall
    London SW1A 2PA
For further details, please refer to the Consular complaints procedure.

Commercial

(ie information and support for all export and outward investment activities by British business).

Commercial-related work by all staff in overseas posts throughout the world to help British business is now the responsibility of UK Trade & Investment. Any complaints about the information or support you have received should be sent using the 'Feedback' page on the UK Trade & Investment website. The Feedback page can be accessed via 'Contact Us' on the home page of www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk. On-screen, self-explanatory instructions will guide you through how to make a complaint or provide feedback on our services.

If you prefer not to contact UK Trade & Investment via their website, they can be contacted on 020 7215 8000 or by Minicom on 020 7215 2471 from 9.00am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Please have your business postcode ready.

If you wish to write, UK Trade & Investment's HQ address is:
Kingsgate House
66-74 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 6SW

General

  • By telephone: 020 7008 3925
  • By fax: 020 7008 0926 (headed 'For Complaints Officer')
  • By e-mail: complaints@fco.gov.uk. This email address should be used to register a specific complaint about FCO operations only. Our public feedback form should be used for general enquiries and to comment on foreign policy issues.
  • By letter:
    Complaints
    Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    Room E213
    King Charles Street
    LONDON SW1A 2AH
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

In all cases, please provide:
  • A clear name, address and telephone number
  • A clear description of your complaint
  • As much detail of names, dates, places etc as possible
WHAT WE WILL DO

If your complaint is by telephone, we will always try and deal with the issue immediately. With a more complicated complaint, we may ask you to put the complaint in writing.

In all cases we will take your complaint seriously and try to give you a full reply within 20 WORKING DAYS.

If we can not give you a full reply within this time, we shall tell you when we expect to do so and keep you up-to-date with progress.

WE DO NEED TO KNOW FROM YOU IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG. ONLY THEN CAN WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND IMPROVE THE SERVICE WE OFFER.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE STILL NOT SATISFIED

Refer to Head of Department. If you consider we have not dealt with your complaint adequately, you can ask for the complaint to be put forward to the appropriate Head of Department.

Refer to Minister. If this does not provide a satisfactory solution, you can write (directly or through your Member of Parliament) to the appropriate FCO Minister. The Department you are dealing with will provide details.

Refer to Ombudsman. If you have gone through our complaints procedure and you are still not satisfied, you can ask your MP to raise your case with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman): www.ombudsman.org.uk/make_a_complaint.
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