Are you a U.S. citizen with a question about living or visiting the United Kingdom? Do you wish to register with the Embassy or require our assistance? Please take the time to review the information on our website together with the following most frequently asked questions we receive. If, after reviewing the information your question remains unanswered, contact us.
If your question concerns U.S. visas, including status of case inquiries, non U.S. passports required for travel to the U.S., ESTA, your spouse’s immigrant visa application and green cards, please click here for further information. We will not answer your inquiry through this email box.
I need a document notarized, can you help?
Information on notary services at the Embassy, including scheduling an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in London or our Consulates in Belfast and Edinburgh, is available on our Notarial Services for all Nationalities page.
Do I require a visa to enter the United Kingdom?
The requirements for entry into and requests to remain in the United Kingdom fall solely within the jurisdiction of the British immigration authorities – specifically, the UK Border Agency. This agency is your best source for information about British immigration regulations and requirements. You can find out more by visiting the UK Border Agency website at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk
I/My relative has been denied entry into the United Kingdom./ I wish to complain about the treatment received.
We regret that we are unable to assist you as this is a matter governed by the UK, not U.S. government. The requirements for entry into and requests to remain in the United Kingdom fall solely within the jurisdiction of the British immigration authorities – specifically, the UK Border Agency. This agency is your best source for information about British immigration regulations and requirements. You can find out more by visiting the UK Border Agency website at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk
If you wish to make a complaint about your treatment at a U.K. port of entry, you may do so by contacting the UK Border Agency’s border control customer service unit. They can respond to complaints relating to all the United Kingdom’s sea, air, and rail ports. Further information is available from their website: Contact UK Visas and Immigration about your application.
I understand that I must register my marriage with the Embassy/ I need a letter/certificate of no impediment stating I am free to marry.
You are not required to report your marriage to the Embassy. In general, marriages which are legally performed and valid abroad are also legally valid in the United States. However, each U.S. state has its own marriage regulations, therefore, we recommend that you direct your inquiry concerning the validity of a marriage abroad to the attorney general of the state in the United States where you reside or intend to reside. A quick online search should bring you to the correct office.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with such a letter/certificate. Because marriages are handled on a local/county/State level in the United States, the Embassy, as part of the U.S. Federal government, does not have access to those records. However, if you would like to furnish instead an affidavit stating that you are free to marry/have not been married and have it notarized by the Embassy, you may arrange a notary appointment by following the instructions at Notarial Services for all Nationalities.
Is it possible to tour the Embassy?
We regret that we are unable to offer tours of the Embassy. For reasons of security, public admission to the Embassy is strictly regulated and is limited to attending appointments to apply for a consular service or invitation-only events.
Can I arrange a tour of Parliament?
Can you verify the identity of the person who has been in contact with me?
We regret that we are unable to provide you with information about an individual. In the United States, information about individuals is protected by the Privacy Act, and in the United Kingdom such information is protected by the Data Protection Act.
If you have never met this person, do you think you could be a victim of a scam? Fraudsters can easily create fictional personas via online dating profiles, social networks, instant messaging, text or email. They prey on trust and good nature, and can spend many weeks, months or even years building a relationship before claiming to need money in an emergency. Scammers often seem to have incredibly bad luck. In fact, they have invented multiple emergency scenarios to get more and more money. They often claim to have been in a serious accident, falsely arrested, held by customs officials, or insist that expensive departure taxes or visa fees are required.
Warning Signs: Scammers can be very convincing and creative. However, you may recognize some or all of these signs:
- A child or elderly relative is involved, which makes the situation sound even more sad and urgent.
- They say they are a native-born U.S. citizen working abroad, but frequent spelling and grammar errors indicate that they are unfamiliar with English. Unfortunately, the anonymity of the Internet means that you cannot be sure of the real name, nationality or even gender of the person you are communicating with.
- They claim they are due vast sums of money so you will be paid back swiftly.
- They use terms of endearment or nicknames for you – sadly, scammers target lots of people at the same time and it is easier for them not to remember every name. You might even have been communicating with several different scammers pretending to be the same person.
- Their photos appear to have been taken at studio or modeling agency. They may even provide a copy of their passport – which has usually been fabricated using computer software. The person in the photograph might not know their image is being used in this way.
- The relationship moved very quickly to declarations of love and perhaps engagement – even if you have never met
What if there is a real emergency? Many of the scenarios used are entirely fictional. In the United Kingdom, customs officials do not detain travelers, hotel staff do not confiscate passports, there is no such thing as a Basic Travel Allowance, and hospitals do not withhold emergency treatment for financial reasons.
In other cases, be skeptical. Remember, if someone can contact you then they could contact the police, next of kin or the Embassy directly instead. If they claim that the Embassy refused to help, don’t believe them – we have procedures in place for assisting U.S. citizens in distress, financial or otherwise.
It is increasingly common for scammers to pretend to be medical staff, customs officers, police or government officials to support their false claims, which is why we recommend that you ignore any future messages from or about this person.
How to report a scam: Do not try to confront the scammer or investigate them yourself. As the Embassy does not have a law enforcement arm, you should report the scam to:
- The Internet Crime Complaint Center – a partnership among the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BIA) at www.ic3.gov;
- The Metropolitan Police at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk;
- Your bank and/or any money transfer service you used, if you have sent money;
- the Webmaster/website administrator, if you were contacted via a particular website
- the Federal Trade Commission viahttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ for information about identity theft.
Be aware that it is common for fraudsters to pose as different fictional people or organizations, or to sell personal details to other scammers, in order to send entirely new scams. Some even pretend to be officials helping to recover money lost in the original scam – this is known as ‘fraud recovery fraud’. In reality, it is very unlikely that money sent to scammers can be recovered.
We understand that it is difficult to believe that someone you trusted has targeted you in this way. However, we receive messages just like yours every day, and in some cases victims have lost tens of thousands of dollars. This is why we urge you to cease all communication with this person and any associates, and report this matter promptly.