How do I get hold of a Royal Mail delivery envelope within the next 6 hours?
July 9, 2012 4:55 PM   Subscribe

UK Filter: I need to buy/beg/steal a Royal Mail Special Delivery Envelope before 8.45am tomorrow morning. The post office does not open until 9am. I am in Belfast and I am all outta ideas....

I'm making a B2 visa application at the US consulate in the morning. I've just discovered that I need a Royal Mail Special Delivery envelope to have my passport returned to me and I believe my application will be denied without it.

They stipulate that "No other form of delivery is accepted." I'm willing to pay over the odds for said envelope and drive all over the city to acquire it, but I have no idea where I can get hold of one and still get to the appointment at 8.45am.

Any brilliant ideas metafilter?
posted by rubyrudy to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some bloke at this site reckons the consulate receptionist would sell them. If that's not a gamble you're willing to take, there's a small possibility you can print your own on Royal Mail's website, which is down at the moment. I'm not sure how their self printed stamp service works with Special Delivery.
posted by ambrosen at 5:26 PM on July 9, 2012

If you can't get one, go to the appointment anyway and ask if you can bring the envelope to them later tomorrow. They will be opening a file for you anyway. It shouldn't be a lot of trouble for them to let you add the envelope to the file later. I have read the instructions, and they say, "The failure to present the required forms and documents on the day of the interview will result in the cancellation of your appointment." A stamped envelope is neither a form nor a document, and anyway, you can certainly have it to them on the day of the interview, so I think you at least have a chance.
posted by ubiquity at 5:33 PM on July 9, 2012

Someone with this exact same problem was previously advised to get stamps and put them on a regular envelope. I suppose you could do this or print postage from the web if all else fails.

Perhaps there are Special Delivery dropboxes that have envelopes in them?
posted by zachlipton at 5:37 PM on July 9, 2012

So in desperation I called the cab company who is picking me up tomorrow morning to see if they had any in the office (I dunno, it seemed like it was remotely possible) and the guy on the phone said that you can print them off on the website - YAY! But the website's been down for about 3 hours now, so if the website comes back up I'll do that.

Thanks ambrosem, I've googled around a lot and I didn't see that particular site - if all else fails, I'll go to the interview, try the receptionist and then try ubiquity's suggestion.

zachlipton - I considered that, but the envelope needs to be trackable, so I'd need the special delivery labels which the supermarket doesn't sell.

Thanks for the suggestions, I was considering not even going without the envelope but now I''l definitely go - Thanks!
posted by rubyrudy at 5:59 PM on July 9, 2012

Do you have any friends or family you could ask to be at the post office at 9:00 and then bring it to you at the appointment. I bet you'd still be there at 9:15 or so, the way bureaucracy works.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 6:58 PM on July 9, 2012

All done, thanks for your answers!

For posterity: If you forget your envelope, you can still submit your application, you will need to go to the post office after your interview to get an envelope then return that day and leave it with the guard. Alternatively you can take the right postage - they had a few spare envelopes so that's an option. Finally, don't print it fromt the Royal mail website like I did because there is a time limit on the postage and they can't guarantee that they'll post it within the time limit so they won't accept it.
posted by rubyrudy at 4:01 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

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