We develop and maintain relations between the UK and China. Our work covers a range of issues including bolstering global security, increasing mutual economic prosperity, establishing stronger people-to-people ties and supporting British nationals in China.
We also provide services at Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Wuhan.
Get or renew a passport
If you can’t get a new or replacement passport in time to travel, you may be able to get an emergency travel document.
Get an emergency travel document
You can apply for an emergency travel document (ETD) if you’re abroad and your passport has been lost or stolen, damaged or expired, and you can’t get a new or replacement passport in time to travel.
If you’re due to travel in the next 24 hours, as soon as possible. Call us before making an appointment if you’ve never applied for a British passport before or if you’re applying for a child under the age of 16.
Before you are able to leave China with an ETD you will need to obtain an Exit Visa from your local Public Security Bureau’s (PSB) Entry & Exit Division. This may take up to 10 working days. Consular staff can direct you to the nearest PSB.
Please note that we are unable to issue ETDs if requested for the following reasons:
- you wish to renew your Chinese residence permit – ETDs are for travel purposes only
- your normal passport is with the local PSB to renew your Chinese residence permit – the Chinese authorities will not permit you to hold more than one visa at the same time
Get a visa
The British embassy can’t help with visa enquiries.
If you’re a British national travelling abroad and need to apply for a visa to visit a particular country or check if you need a visa, see the entry requirements on our foreign travel advice for the country you want to visit.
Marriage and civil partnerships
We can issue affirmations or affidavits of marital status and, in some circumstances, perform a marriage or civil partnership for British nationals. For information on getting married in China, see getting married abroad.
Register a birth or death
Find out how to register a birth or register a death that occurred in China. You can’t register a birth or death at the embassy or our consulates.
If the death occurred in China and you’re still in the country. If you’re in the UK and hear of the death of a relative from a third party, you should contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500.
Read our guidance on coping with death abroad, as well as our guide on bereavement in China.
Support if you’ve been arrested
We’ll do all we can to contact you within 24 hours of being told that you’ve been detained or arrested, and will give you a prisoner pack with information for British prisoners in China. We cannot get you out of prison, prevent the local authorities from deporting you after your prison sentence, or interfere in criminal or civil court proceedings.
Read our advice for British nationals and UK companies on commercial disputes in China, covering details of what we can and cannot do if you are involved in a commercial dispute in China, as well as information on travel bans and where else to seek advice and support.
Notarial and documentary services
We may be able to offer notarial services, including administering an oath, affirmation or statutory declaration, making a certified copy of a document, and preparing a document in English or Chinese. See the full list of notarial and documentary services we provide.
Local service providers
Use our lists of local suppliers and services if you need help in China. Please note that inclusion in these lists does not constitute official endorsement by the British embassy or the UK government.
How else we can help
In addition to the services listed above we can also:
What the embassy cannot do for you
Although we try to help British nationals in a wide range of situations, we cannot:
- help you enter a country, for example, if you don’t have a visa or your passport is not valid
- give you legal advice, investigate crimes or carry out searches for missing people, although we can give you details of people who may be able to help you in these cases, such as English-speaking lawyers
- get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people
- pay any bills or give you money (in very exceptional circumstances we may lend you some money from public funds, which you’ll have to pay back)
- make travel arrangements for you, or find you work or accommodation
- make business arrangements on your behalf