We operate both in the UK and abroad, with two thirds of our staff based in the UK at any one time. Half of them are members of the Diplomatic Service while the rest are members of the Home Civil Service.
London is the seat of Government and ultimately important policy decisions come from Whitehall. Our London department is divided into political, service delivery and corporate service sectors.
Our work overseas is usually in British Embassies or High Commisions - collectively referred to as Missions. There are currently over 200 Missions worldwide. They vary in size and can be staffed by anything between five and 500 people. A typical British Embassy or High Commission is divided into five sections:
Political Officers monitor political, economic and social developments in the host country and report them to London. They also advise the host nation of any relevant policy decisions made in the UK.
- Trade and Investment
This section is responsible for the development of trade relations between Britain and the host country.
- Consular and Immigration
Consular section is responsible for the protection of British nationals visiting or living in the host country. The Immigration section processes immigration/visa requests.
- Press and Public Affairs
This department is our public face - answering questions on Britain and issuing up-to-date information on British policies.
Management staff are responsible for the smooth running of the Mission itself.