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Consular news

Bereaved families demand more help from FCO – Embassy 51
Families whose loved ones have died abroad in unexplained circumstances staged a small protest outside the Foreign Office...

Police chief warns of cyber crime – Embassy 51
Crime fighting agencies globally will have to undergo a “major transformation” to combat the growing threat posed by cyber crime...

Home Office gets tough on migrants – Embassy 50
The Home Office is set to introduce tough new measures to create a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants in Britain, a senior Home...

Meeting the consular challenge – Embassy 49
The Embassy Consular Conference, held in partnership with the Consular Corps of London, examined the challenges facing...

UK Immigration Bill Debate – Embassy 49
Andrew Elliot (Home Office) and Rowena Moffatt (ILPA) debated the new measures to reduce the impact of immigration in the UK...

Document Fraud – Embassy 49
The threat of document fraud us huge and growing, Charlie Miller of the National Document Fraud Unit (NDFU) warned passport and visa...

Consular Emergency Procedures – Embassy 49
DS Heather Scott and DC Gill Piloni of the Disaster Management Team at the Metropolitan Police briefed consular assistants about...

Assisted Voluntary Returns – Embassy 49
Anuska Casas Pinto briefed consuls on a government/EU-funded service to return irregular migrants and asylum seekers home...

Consular Technology – Embassy 49
Using technology can help consuls to be more responsive even with fewer resources...

The Honorary Consul – Embassy 49
Lawrence Landau was London’s first-ever Honorary Consul yet in a career spanning five decades, he has never been to Buckingham Palace...

Consular Service Contacts – Embassy 49
Click here for a list of the Consular Service contacts

Sham marriages ‘out of control’ – Embassy 48
Bogus marriages to gain residency in the UK have reached “an epic scale,” consuls heard at a briefing by a senior registrar...

Plea for diplomatic lane at airports turns down – Embassy 48
A channel dedicated to diplomats arriving at London’s airports remains off the cards, the Head of the UK Border Force recently told a...

Brits behaving better – Embassy 48
The Foreign Office assisted 19,000 Britons abroad in 2012/2013, a decrease of 3 per cent, suggesting that the FCO’s annual summer...

The tweeting consul – Embassy 48
The FCO has launched a new service on Twitter designed to answer the queries of British travellers abroad...

Stay safe, Muslim consuls warn nationals – Embassy 47
Consuls from Islamic countries are advising their nationals to exercise caution in parts of London as a result of anti-Muslim reprisals that...

Home Office pledges better customer service for consuls – Embassy 47
London’s consuls can expect a “massive improvement in customer service” and a new culture of openness following the restructuring of...

No more nannying, says FCO consular chief – Embassy 47
The UK consular service will take a hands-off approach to non-urgent inquiries and concentrate resources on urgent cases and emergencies...

“Can you translate my tattoo?” – FCO’s weirdest consular enquiries – Embassy 47
To silence a cockerel, translate a tattoo or order an unfit husband to shape up to have a family – these were just some of the more...

Consuls welcome UKBA split – Embassy 46
The announcement by Home Secretary Theresa May that the troubled UK Border Agency is to be abolished and brought back within the remit...

Consuls asked to be alert to forced marriage victims – Embassy 46
Carla Thomas, FCO Joint Head of the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), raised consuls awareness to the hidden crime of forced marriage at a recent...

Home Office and FCO in visa row – Embassy 45
Tougher visa rules proposed for Brazilian migrants by the Home Office have sparked a dispute with the Foreign Office and the Treasury...

Consuls urged to help deport offenders – Embassy 45
– Embassy 45A senior Ministry of Justice official has appealed to consuls in the UK to assist the British government in expediting the deportation of...

Campaigning for Consuls – Embassy 43
Bernard Silver has pledged to campaign hard on behalf of London’s consular community as the new president of the Consular Corps...

FCO launches crisis centre – Embassy 42
The Foreign Office has upgraded its Consular Crisis Centre in order to improve assistance to British citizens stranded abroad...

Consular Corps appoints new chief – Embassy 42
The new president of the Consular Corps of London has pledged to “up the game” to raise the profile of the organisation...

Consulates brace for impact – Embassy 41
Additional staff have been seconded to London’s consulates for the duration of the Olympic Games in anticipation of a spike...

Holidays in hell – Embassy 41
For most children, summer means sunshine and holidays. But for some youngsters, it signals the start of a life of...

Consuls urged to join fight against human trafficking – Embassy 39
A British MEP has appealed to consuls in the UK for help in rooting out  human trafficking at a recent Consular Corps lunch.

Crazy consular requests – Embassy 38
British nationals are wasting consular time with “ludicrous” inquiries about lost false teeth, runny jam and plastic surgery problems...

Consuls demand more access to UKBA – Embassy 38
Consuls have appealed for better cooperation with the UK Border Agency, saying they felt like “ping-pong balls” ...

In case of emergency – Embassy 37
Around 70 consuls attended the inaugural Consular Academy, which focused on emergency procedures in the event...

Consular alert for festive season – Embassy 35
Christmas is a busy time for consuls so the Metropolitan Police Service has announced they will be on call for the FCO from 12 December...

Committee chief calls for UKBA reform – Embassy 35
The head of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, recently told consular officials that he was planning a thorough...

Consular connections – Embassy 35
The new president of the Consular Corps of London George Georgiou has a big year ahead of him with a milestone annivesary...

FCO launches crisis text service – Embassy 33
The Foreign Office is piloting a service to deliver emergency text messages to Britons caught up in major overseas...

Foreign students still welcome – Embassy 32
International students remain “integral and important” to British universities a gathering of education attachés...

UKBA gears up for the Olympics – Embassy 32
The UK Border Agency is mounting the largest entry-clearance operation in history during the 2012 Olympics, which will include...

Talk on foreign prisoner policy – Embassy 32
Mr John Townley, Deputy Head of Cross Border Transfer at the Foreign National Offender Policy Section of the Ministry of Justice...

Gap Year travel kit – Embassy 31
The Foreign Office has launched a ‘Know Before You Go’ toolkit for teachers to encourage school leavers planning a gap year...

Census will help consuls – Embassy 31
The 2011 UK Census will provide invaluable information to policy planners and consuls alike, Ian White, head of census...

MP appeal to curb trafficking – Embassy 29
The co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Human Trafficking, Peter Bone MP, branded the existence...

Consular concerns – Embassy 29
Bogdan Kolarov talks to Elizabeth Stewart about challenges facing London’s consuls and how the Consular Corps can help them...

Volcano visas fallout – Embassy 25
Consuls have demanded an urgent review of Schengen visa procedures following the chaos caused by the volcanic ash cloud...

Managing migration – Embassy 25
With immigration dominating the election agenda in the UK, consuls welcomed a briefing from an international agency that can...

Protecting UK borders – Embassy 24
With more than 220 million people and 440 million tonnes of goods entering Britain every year, and the Olympic Games only...

Biometric briefing – Embassy 23
With the use of forged passports hitting the headlines recently, biometrics are the weapon of choice for governments...

Consular review after Haiti – Embassy 22
The Haiti earthquake has highlighted the need for coordination between EU emergency response teams, the head of the FCO's Consular...

Consuls raise money for Haiti victims – Embassy 22
In an impromptu collection at the Consular Corps lunch, diplomats raised £275 for victims of the Haiti earthquake...

Who's bugging you? – Embassy 21
Consuls were given a fascinating briefing on audio surveillance by industry expert Brig Gen Tweedie Brown of PSG Solutions...

Consuls caught in pickle over jam – Embassy 19
Have you ever been woken at 4am on weekend duty with a bizarre request from one of your nationals in need?

Identity scheme still on the cards – Embassy 19
Britain’s national identity card scheme will proceed as planned, contrary to reports in the media that it has been shelved.

New Consular Corps Committee elected – Embassy 18
Belgian vice consul Guy Van Glabeke was re-elected president of the Consular Corps of London at their recent Annual General Meeting...

Consuls briefed on mass casualty events – Embassy 18
Consuls recently attended a seminar informing them of procedures following a mass casualty event. Titled ‘What Happens Next?’...

Points Based System affects UK summer festivals – Embassy 18
More than 20 summer arts events in the UK have been cancelled or badly affected by new visa regulations introduced in November 2008...

Biometric visa deters director – Embassy 17
Visa complications have caused award-winning Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami to withdraw from directing...

The basics of biometrics – Embassy 17
Consuls and visa officers recently attended a VFS-sponsored seminar jointly hosted by the Romanian and Bulgarian Embassies...

Consuls on flu watch – Embassy 16
Consuls in the UK are considering their response to a serious swine flu outbreak in Britain as confirmed cases rose to 65, with 30 countries...

Consuls quiz PBS chief – Embassy 16
Record numbers attended a recent Consular Corps meeting for a briefing by the UK Border Agency about the new points-based immigration...

Emergency passports upgrade – Embassy 15
The Foreign Office has announced a security upgrade to its emergency passport system in order to minimise the risk of fraud...

Nationals in need – Embassy 15 – February 2009
Consuls dealing with citizens in distress rely on the help of NGOs. Travel Care is a charity providing a refuge and basic assistance...

Five countries fail visa test – Embassy 15
From March, first-time visitors to the UK from Bolivia, Venezuela, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland will need biometric visas...

Andre Goodfriend writes from Washington – Embassy 15
In the first of our despatches from colleagues in new postings, former head of US Consular Services Andre Goodfriend describes life...

Russia outsources visas – Embassy 14
The Russian Consulate in London has launched its first-ever visa outsourcing, which will process around 110,000 visa applications...

Consular revamp – Embassy 14
Britain's consular services are undergoing a major overhaul, the FCO's new head of consular affairs announced at a recent Consular Corps...

Visa outsourcing – a solution? – Embassy 13
With the opening of a Joint Visa Application Centre in London, the issue of outsourcing visa services...

New head of Consular Corps – Embassy 13
Congratulations to Guy Van Glabeke of the Belgian Consulate, who succeeds Anas Khales...

Russians, Dutch outsource visas – Embassy 12
London – The Russian and Dutch Embassies have outsourced their visa services operations in London order to cope with the increased...

Consular crisis response – Embassy 11
Less than one third (30%) of envoys knows how the Diplomatic Protection Group responds to a consular emergency in the capital, a recent DPG survey has revealed...

US imposes new travel procedures – Embassy 9
From January next year, travellers to the United States from 22 countries in Europe and five in the Asia-Pacific region currently exempt from certain US visa requirements...

Disaster diplomacy – Embassy 8
Staff at the Chinese Embassy have been working overtime to coordinate the emergency response in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake as the death toll rises to 80,000 people...

An end to visa queues – Embassy 8
Long queues outside Indian and Chinese consulates in the UK will be a thing of the past as both missions move to outsource their visa services in response to growing demand...

FCO launches tracking service – Embassy 8
British consuls will be able to trace their nationals caught in emergencies through a new tracking service.

Consuls bust e-crime – Embassy 8
What do you do when a citizen of yours turns up at the consulate expecting to collect an inheritance that doesn't exist?

CCL committee elections – Embassy 8
The Consular Corps of London will be electing the new committee for 2008/09 at the next meeting

Labour veteran urges radical UN reform – Embassy 6
Former Labour MP Tony Benn delivered a rousing speech at the Consular Corps of London’s luncheon this month calling for the United Nations to be made more democratic...

Visas: service and security – Embassy 5
With visa demand spiralling, how do missions strike a balance between customer-friendly service and tightened security? Here are some ideas from Embassy magazine's Visa Services Management seminar...

Consuls of the future – Embassy 5
Will consuls be specialists in the embassies of the future? This was one of the questions posed at February's Consular Corps luncheon at which Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, Sir Anthony Figgis...

E-borders – the new final frontier? – Embassy 4
Twentieth century border control is not up to the task against international criminals and terrorists who use increasingly sophisticated methods...

Capturing America – Embassy 4
America's strict visa regime doesn't often win the US Embassy friends, but the Embassy's Visa Services department has come up with a novel way...

Consuls attend Custody Conference – Embassy 3
Record numbers of consuls attended the recent Foreign Nationals in Custody Conference hosted by HM Prison Service, a sign that the issue of foreign nationals in English and Welsh prisons is a hot topic...

Beating the queue blues – Embassy 3
With the enlargement of the Schengen Area to include nine new countries in December, Embassy talks to the head of Consular Affairs at the Belgium Embassy Eric Jacquemin...

Immigration briefing – Embassy 2
With a major overhaul of Britain's immigration policy due in early 2008, the Consular Corps welcomed the FCO's Director of Migration to brief consuls on the overall immigration strategy...

Consuls meet new human rights chief – Embassy 2
In October Trevor Phillips, the newly-appointed chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission addressed the Consular Corps...

Consular concerns – Embassy 1
From the Tsunami to terrorism, how do modern, cash-strapped consular services solve the problem of aiding increasingly mobile nationals in remote, insecure parts of the world while under the media spotlight?...

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