Guide to the United States Embassy London

Guide to the United States Embassy London

The following guide looks at the services provided by the United States Embassy in London, from helping US citizens to dealing with the necessary permissions for foreign citizens to travel to the USA.

Do you have a question about the US Embassy in London?>

The US Embassy in London is the diplomatic representation of the United States government in England and Wales. The Embassy also has what’s known as a consular section, exercising the functions of a consulate. This is the representation of the public administration of the USA in London.

The duties of the consulate are essentially twofold:

  • US Citizenship Services – where it is responsible for providing information and assistance to US citizens living or travelling in England and Wales, including the issuance and renewal of passports and other official documents for such citizens.
  • US Visas – it is also responsible for issuing visas to British citizens, as well as any foreign nationals residing in England and Wales, applying for leave from their country of residence to enter the United States.

United States Embassy London address

The United States Embassy London is located in tWandsworth, South West London. The address is as follows:

Embassy of the United States of America
33 Nine Elms Lane
London
SW11 7US

Tel: [44] (0)20-7499-9000

How to get there

The closest Tube is Vauxhall station on the Victoria Line. The closest rail station is Vauxhall.

From Vauxhall station, it takes approximately 10 minutes to walk to the Embassy.

From Vauxhall Tube station take Exit 1 for a riverside walk or from Exit 4. The Embassy is two stops by bus 156, 344 or 436 from Vauxhall Bus Station, Stop E, to Elm Quay Court.

To locate the Embassy using GPS when driving you will need to use “London SW8 5BL“ or “US Embassy London Nine Elms”. Note there is no public parking available.

Visiting the Embassy 

The Embassy is open:

Monday8am–5:30pm
Tuesday8am–5:30pm
Wednesday8am–5:30pm
Thursday8am–5:30pm
Friday8am–5:30pm
SaturdayClosed
SundayClosed

Only individuals with an appointment will be admitted to the Embassy. Young children can accompany the person with an appointment, as can the parents or guardian of a minor with an appointment.

United States Embassy London is closed to the public on US and British public holidays.

Embassy services for non-US citizens

As a British citizen, or a foreign citizen residing in the UK, you can apply for either an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa for the USA from the United States Embassy London.

The purpose of your intended travel, and other facts, will determine what type of visa is required under US immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

An immigrant visa is for those wishing to live permanently in the USA, for example, on the basis of family connections or work, while a nonimmigrant visa is for those with permanent residence outside the United States, but wish to visit the US on a temporary basis for the purposes of tourism or business, or to live in the US to undertake studies or employment.

There are multiple categories of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to choose from, each with their own specific and stringent requirements. As such, it is often advisable to seek expert legal advice from an immigration specialist when applying for a visa, not least to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria and to help you collate the necessary documentation in support.

You may even be eligible for visa-free travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP permits citizens of 38 partner countries, including the UK, to travel to the US for the purposes of tourism or business without a visa, so long as the proposed trip does not extend beyond the permitted timeframe of 90 days.

What are the petition processing times at the US Embassy London?

The processing times for the various different services offered by the United States Embassy London will vary depending on the nature of the application in question. By way of example, the routine processing time for a US citizen applying for a full validity passport, ie; 10 years for adults, or 5 years for children under 16, is approximately 2 weeks.

In stark contrast, the overall wait time for immigrant visas to the US, from start to finish, can run into several months, and in some cases, even years. To apply for permanent residence in the United States, typically you will need a US sponsor who will first be required to file a petition on your behalf with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is only once USCIS have approved your petition that you will then be able to apply to the United States Embassy London for consular processing.

Embassy services for US citizens

US Citizen Services at the United States Embassy in London consists of three main departments. These are as follows:

  • Passport & Citizenship Unit
  • The Special Consular Services Unit
  • The Federal Benefits Unit.

Please note, the US Embassy London only provides information and assistance to US citizens in England and Wales. If you reside in Northern Ireland, you will need to contact the Consulate General in Belfast for assistance. For those living in Scotland, you will need to contact the Consulate General in Edinburgh.

Passport & Citizenship Unit

As the name suggests, the Passport & Citizenship Unit provides various different “passport” and “citizenship” services. On the passport side, this includes:

  • Adult Passport Renewal – you can renew your passport by mail if it is undamaged, was issued within the last 15 years with a 10-year validity, and was issued in your current name, or you have changed your name since your passport was issued and can submit legal documentation to prove this change.
  • Renewing a child’s passport under the age of 16 – all child passport renewals require a scheduled appointment and a personal appearance of the child with all parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
  • Replacing a damaged, lost or stolen passport – US passports that are damaged or in poor condition must be replaced, as they are no longer valid for travel, and are not proof of citizenship or identity. If your US passport is damaged, lost or stolen, you must apply for a new passport in person through a pre-arranged appointment.
  • Applying for an adult passport where your last passport was issued before you were 16, or more than 15 years ago – if you are applying to renew a US passport in these circumstances, you must schedule an appointment and attend in person.
  • Applying for or renewing a second passport – if you are in possession of a current passport you can apply for a second passport by mail. Otherwise, you must attend in person through a pre-arranged appointment.
  • Reporting the birth of a child born outside the United States and applying for their first passport – a child born outside the United States to a US citizen may be eligible for US citizenship. US citizens eligible to transmit citizenship are required to file for what’s known as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) before the child’s 18th birthday.
  • Applying for a US passport card – a passport card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry, and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book.
  • Applying for an emergency passport – you can apply for an emergency limited validity 12 page US passport by way of a scheduled in-person appointment. However, not all countries will recognise this as a travel document so you should always check entry and exit requirements.
  • Amending a passport, including change of name – if you have changed your name in the last 12 months, for example, through marriage, in most cases you may apply for a passport in your new name by mail. In the event that your passport was issued more than 12 months ago, typically you will need to follow the instructions for a routine passport renewal.

The Passport & Citizenship Unit also provides two main citizenship services: applying for and renouncing US citizenship. Please note, loss of US citizenship is an irrevocable act and it is imperative that you fully understand the nature of its consequences prior to requesting a Certificate of Loss of Nationality.

The Special Consular Services Unit

If you are a US citizen with a question about living or visiting the United Kingdom, you may want to contact the Special Consular Services Unit (SCS).

If your question concerns US visas, including status of case inquiries, non-US passports required for travel to the US, visa-free travel, your spouse’s immigrant visa application and green cards, please visit: https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/

The Federal Benefits Unit

The London Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) provides services for various programs including the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Personnel Management, Railroad Retirement Board, Medicare and Department of Labor.

The largest program is the Social Security Administration. This includes filing for benefits, requesting a US social security number, reporting a change of address, reporting a change of direct deposit or reporting a death.

The FBU provides assistance to over 44,000 beneficiaries throughout the UK, in addition to the following countries in Africa: Botswana, Ghana, Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

If you reside in a country that is not listed above, you will need to direct your inquiry to your local US Embassy or Consulate’s website to locate your nearest Federal Benefits Unit. Please note, the Federal Benefits Unit is unable to answer inquiries related to visas, passports, IRS, Selective Service Registration, voting or other non-federal benefit issues.

Visa services 

As a British citizen, or a foreign citizen residing in the UK, you can apply for either an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa for the USA from the United States Embassy London.

The purpose of your intended travel, and other facts, will determine what type of visa is required under US immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

An immigrant visa is for those wishing to live permanently in the USA, for example, on the basis of family connections or work, while a nonimmigrant visa is for those with permanent residence outside the United States, but wish to visit the US on a temporary basis for the purposes of tourism or business, or to live in the US to undertake studies or employment.

There are multiple categories of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to choose from, each with their own specific and stringent requirements. As such, it is often advisable to seek expert legal advice from an immigration specialist when applying for a visa, not least to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria and to help you collate the necessary documentation in support.

You may even be eligible for visa-free travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP permits citizens of 38 partner countries, including the UK, to travel to the US for the purposes of tourism or business without a visa, so long as the proposed trip does not extend beyond the permitted timeframe of 90 days.

Do you need help with making an application to the US Embassy in London? 

NNU Immigration are specialist US immigration attorneys. From our central London base we are conveniently located in close proximity to the US Embassy.

We support individuals and companies from across the globe with US visa petitions.

If you have a question about US visa eligibility or making a specific application, contact us.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.

Image Copyright KieranTimberlake.

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2019-08-27T11:03:41+01:00July 27, 2019|US visas|