On November 28, 2011, Britain’s Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced the opening of a new British consular post in Recife, Brazil.  According to Secretary May, this marks a “wider network shift” in repositioning British consular posts in economically developed (G7) and emerging market (E7) countries.  The opening of the Recife-based consular post is one of seven new Consulates-General opening in certain E7 countries (e.g., Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey). 

As part of this repositioning, the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) is mindful of the British Government’s new austerity measures that require consolidation of existing consular posts in certain G7 countries in the Americas and the European Union in exchange for expanding presence in the emerging market. Of note is the recent closure of the British High Commission Office in Ottawa, Canada.  

As of October 7, 2011, the British Consulate in New York accepts jurisdiction for all visa applications filed by Canadian nationals or Canadian residents. While the closure does not affect the procedure for applying for visas, Canadians and Canadian residents must submit their biometric information (fingerprints and facial images) at one of five visa application centers in Canada or with a mobile biometric clinic prior to sending original passports and visa application documentation to the consulate in New York.  Applicants posting applications from Canada can review processing times with the New York consular post’s website.

Clients should be advised that the FCO will announce future closures and openings of consular posts as needs dictate.  Web users are invited to review the most current listing of consular posts at the FCO’s website.