Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH www.gov.uk/government/organisations
17 October 2014
Dear Sadika, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST REF: 0928-14
Thank you for your email of 17 September 2014 asking for information under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000. You asked:
Further to recent announcements by home office to issue emergency travel
documents for children out of UK, infact the exact wording on gov.uk website
says 1. How many emergency travel documents have been issued for children born
outside the UK in the months of July, Aug and Sep '14. (especially children born
2. What is the average turnaround time to get ETD in the months of July, August
3. As everybody know, schools in UK have started in September and parents with
school going children cannot bring them to the UK along with new borns because
currently there is no information about how long it takes to get ETD for new borns
from India. For such parents is there any helpline or some other departments to
speak to and expedite the application processing?
4. In Sep'14 the Home Office announced that the number of outstanding
application have fell from nearly half-a-million to just 90,000. If there is such a fast
turn around time, how many overseas applications from India were successfully
dispatched to individuals in the months of July, Aug and Sep 2014?
I am writing to confirm that we have now completed the search for the information that you
I can confirm that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does hold information
relevant to your request.
1. The figures for UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) issued to children born outside
the UK are:
July 2014: 641 (10 of which were in India)
August 2014: 293 (less than 5 of which were in India)
September 2014: 218 (12 of which were in India)
Please note that the above figures do not include any ETDs issued to children born in
2. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) aims to issue ETDs on the same or next
working day for straightforward cases once we receive the full and complete application
at the British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The turnaround time for non-
straightforward cases, including those who have not previously held a British passport,
can vary depending on the complexity of the case and in some cases it could mean that
travel arrangements have to be delayed. It is the FCO’s priority to provide an efficient
service to all ETD applicants and we will aim to turn around each application as quickly
3. For the duration of the measures (which were announced by the Home Secretary on 12
June 2014), Her Majesty’s Passport Office is responsible for verifying the identity and
nationality for applicants from India, if the applicant hasn’t previously held a British
passport. HM Passport Office considers each application on a case by case basis. They
do not have a helpline for ETD applicants unless the applicant also has a passport
application in process. Parents/applicants for ETDs should liaise directly with the British
Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss their application.
4. The information you requested is not held by Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).
We understand HM Passport Office will respond to this question separately.
We are unable to provide precise figures when the overall numbers are five or fewer to
minimise the risk of individuals being identified. We are required to protect their identity
under the Data Protection Act (DPA). We regard these figures as personal data relating to
third parties. It is our view that disclosure of this information would breach the first data
protection principle, which states that personal data should be processed fairly and lawfully.
Section 40(2) and (3) of the FOIA therefore apply. It is the fairness aspect of this principle
which we think would be breached by disclosure in this case. In such circumstances, section
40 confers an absolute exemption on disclosure. We do not therefore have to apply the
public interest test. In keeping with the spirit and effect of the Freedom of Information Act, all
information is assumed releasable to the public unless it is exempt. The information we
have supplied to you may now be published on our website
together with any related
information that will provide a key to its wider context.
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-
commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-
use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright
holder. Most documents supplied by the FCO will have been produced by government
officials and will be protected by Crown Copyright. You can find details on the arrangement
for re-using Crown Copyright information on the TNA
Information you receive which is not subject to Crown Copyright continues to be protected by
the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated. You must
ensure that you gain their permission before reproducing any third party (non-Crown
I hope you are satisfied with this reply. However, if you wish to make a complaint or if you
would like a review of our decision, please write to the FOI and DPA Team, Foreign and
Commonwealth Office, Room K4.10-13, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You have 40 working days to do so from the date of this letter.
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may then apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner cannot
make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the FCO.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
FOI / DPA Team
We keep and use information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. We may release this personal information to other UK
government departments and public authorities.