View Full Version : Registering with the Embassy : Changes to Consular Services

25th April 2013, 04:41
As of 18th of May 2013, the LOCATE service, on the FCO website which allowed you to register your presence in a foreign country with the British Embassy, is being suspended.
It isn't clear how the Embassy will know what British citizens it has overseas, but clearly they don't care (we always knew that). The warden network is planned to continue, buy its unclear how you will register with that.

The Philippines appears to be identified as a high risk area, and recommends subscribing to the social network feeds and for travel advice updates.

Consular Excellence: Important changes to consular registration
Millions of British people travel abroad every year. Most have a journey free from trouble and do not need consular services. However sometimes things go wrong and British nationals can be victims of serious crime, require hospitalisation or be caught up in a major crisis. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is committed to doing its utmost to assist British nationals in serious difficulties abroad. The FCO has staff in 146 cities around the world ready and able to provide assistance when necessary, often in tragic circumstances.
On 18 April 2013 the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has launched a new consular strategy for 2013 to 2016 titled "Consular Excellence". This strategy will drive innovation and excellence in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's consular service over the next three years.
As part of this strategy the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is also responding to what British nationals have said about how they want to stay informed about crisis and security situations when overseas. The FCO is updating its systems to offer a wide array of ways to stay in touch on these issues, including via email updates of the FCO's country-specific travel advice or by following FCO on social media.
So every British National going abroad will have access to up-to-date country-specific travel advice at any time. We encourage you to subscribe to this free service so you will be alerted by email when there are important updates. This is a fast and effective method already used by nearly 34000 email subscribers. During a crisis our advice to British nationals will be published on our travel advice website and updated regularly. It is particularly important to consult travel advice if you are considering travel to: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen. You can also follow us on social media so that wherever you go, you can stay informed and stay safe. We encourage you to follow us on Twitter @fcotravel and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/fcotravel. Your local British Embassy or High Commission also has a website and may additionally have its own social media feeds and/or consular warden network. Contact details for all of our diplomatic posts are available on our website.
In effect, the FCO is moving from a system where British nationals are encouraged to register when they travel in case there is a crisis, to one where we are using a number of channels to give the latest information and advice on what you should do if you need our help in a crisis and how to contact the FCO's crisis response team. This faster and more practical system supersedes the Locate system, which is used by less than 1% of British nationals overseas so does not offer what we need to help British nationals in a crisis. From 14 May we will no longer use the LOCATE system, instead using our resources to improve our travel advice service and focus on those who most need our help.
Personal data which is stored on LOCATE will be handled in line with data protection legislation. If you have any questions about these changes you can contact us by emailing consdirlocateenquiries@fco.gov.uk until 14 May.
The new Consular Strategy is available on GOV.UK at:
http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consular-strategy in accordance with Government Digital by Default principles. It will be a dynamic document that will be updated as we achieve our aims and set future targets.
Crisis Management Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

25th April 2013, 07:33
Received the same message on Monday and chose not to read whatever they had sent me. At least they knew my email address!

Sorry British Embassy i am not subscribed to any social networks and i will have to make my judgements on safety by actually living in the country. Unlike your staff who live in large houses or Condo's in Manila and drive around with special blue plates on their car's acting like they are above the law of the host country!

25th April 2013, 10:00
People dont understand what a security risk these social networks are :yikes:

25th April 2013, 10:07
Hmmm, I noticed this important change got sneaked in by way of Hague's Ministerial Statement:-

....Transferring overseas passport production to the Identity and Passport Service in the UK, establishing a more consistent, secure, efficient and cost-effective service....

Let's hope it's a lot slicker and efficient than at present :Erm:

25th April 2013, 10:43
The passports have been a nightmare in recent years, I sent my last one to Dusseldorf and my second passport expires in August so think that one goes to the uk.

25th April 2013, 11:33
Hmmm, I noticed this important change got sneaked in by way of Hague's Ministerial Statement:-

Let's hope it's a lot slicker and efficient than at present :Erm:

Heard a similar thing recently that our passports in the Philippines will be printed in the UK but it still has to be sent to Hong Kong to be processed first. Why not just send it straight to the UK then :Erm:

keith britten
25th April 2013, 12:35
I got an email from them this week but I'm not sure if it's not just spam so I ignored it after clicking on one of the links and getting a security warning. It seems funny that "Locate" mailed me two weeks ago asking me to update my info with them, now they seem to be defunked. They were not much use with their warnings anyway, I allways got then after the event and if you ask the rep for my area for any info she allways just sent a pre written reply that did'nt answer my question.