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Travel & living abroad
Last updated at 13:53 (UK time) 17 May 2011

How we can help - frequently asked questions

Whilst you can prepare for your travels, sometimes you can't prevent things going wrong. Here's what the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can and cannot do to help.

What if I lose my passport, or it gets stolen?

We can issue a replacement passport, but you will have to pay - and we don't make a profit from these charges.  If you have comprehensive travel insurance, you may be able to claim the cost back.

If I run out of money or my credit card gets stolen or lost, will you pay for me to return home?

We can't pay for you, but we can contact friends and family for you and provide information about how you can safely transfer money from the UK. See our advice on keeping your money safe.

I've been arrested. Can you get me out of jail?

We can't get you out of prison but we can contact you and your friends and family if you wish. We can provide a list of local lawyers, make sure any medical problems are bought to the attention of the prison and provide general information about the country, prison conditions and the local legal system. Find out more.

I didn't know I needed a visa and now I've been refused entry to a country. Can you tell them to let me in?

We can't help you enter a country as we cannot interfere in another country’s immigration policy or procedures, but we do have advice on entry requirements and passport validity for every country in our travel advice.

I was admitted to hospital and I've been given a bill for thousands of pounds. I don't have that kind of money!  Surely you pay for this?

If you're sick or injured abroad, we cannot pay for your medical treatment or provide treatment ourselves, which is why we strongly advice you to make sure you have comprehensive travel and health insurance before you travel. We will contact you and your friends and family, and we can liaise with travel insurance companies on your behalf.

If you're travelling to Europe, some emergency treatment is free if you have a European Health Insurance Card, but you should still take out separate travel insurance.

I've been beaten up and robbed. Can you help me?

If you're a victim of crime, we can help you get medical attention if you need it, contact your family and friends to let them know what has happened, help you get money safely transferred and provide you with a list of local lawyers and interpreters.

What can I do to prepare?

Going abroad? Take the British Embassy's phone number with you