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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What the British Consul can and cannot do to assist British nationals in Zimbabwe

1.      Consular assistance – what we can do:

·        prison visits

·        hospital visits

·        contact family and friends in the UK if things go wrong overseas (with your permission)

·        assist with transfer of funds from friends and family members should you need money overseas

·        assist in a crisis situation

·        issue Emergency Passports and Emergency Travel Documents


2.      Consular assistance – what we cannot do:

·        get you released from prison

·        get you better treatment in prison

·        investigate crimes on your behalf

·        guarantee your safety in a foreign country

·        intervene in private disputes (family, business, property)

·        give legal advice

·        pay personal bills


The attached link explains these points in more detail: Support for British national abroad: a guide.  In essence that is what ‘consular’ work involves. 


To speak to Malaga Contact Centre about a ‘consular’ matter, please dial 8585 5200 then select option 2, then option 5, then option 1.


3.      Since passport production was returned to HM Passport Office in January 2014, Consular Section can no longer:

·        issue passports – replacements or renewals

·        give out passport forms

·        accept or process passport applications

·        answer passport related queries

·        assist with filling in passport forms

·        check passport applications and supporting documents

·        give status updates on the progress of passport applications with HMPO


Please continue to contact the HMPO directly for any passport related queries and complaints on:


HM Passport Office Customer Service Team


Tel: +44 300 222 0000



4.      Home Office applications – what we can no longer do:

·        since 2009 we can no longer give nationality determinations (that is, assess citizenship eligibility) for passport facilities.  If you feel strongly that you have a claim, you need to submit a full passport application with HMPO and they will either issue or refuse your application

·        since July 2012 we can no longer accept or process citizenship applications (that is, registrations for citizenship, renunciations and reclaiming citizenship).  Applications are made directly to Home Office (via courier) and forms and guidance notes are available on their website


5.      Other services – what we can no longer do:

·        we can no longer witness signatures on proof of life certificates for UK pensions

·        certify foreign/ID documents

·        obtain duplicate birth/death/marriage certificates from the local registry office on your behalf

·        verify registration details of birth/death/marriage certificates with the local registry office on your behalf

*(we usually advise customers to speak to local family members or friends to assist with this type of request)


All of the above changes have affected ALL British embassies and high commissions worldwide.


We hope this document will clarify any confusion about what services Consular Section can and cannot offer.


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