A Consulate is an official agency representing a sovereign state abroad, serving as a local representative office for the international issues of its citizens. While the Embassy must be located in the capital city, this requirement does not apply to the Consulate – you can find its office in most tourist cities.

The main role of a Consulate is to provide information and guidance to the citizens of the country they represent. They should offer complimentary assistance to all travelers that may be in need.

Before leaving for a journey to any country, it is highly recommended to check the current location of your national Consulate and Embassy offices. If you face any obstacles during the trip, visit the post for help.

What is a Consulate?

A Consulate is a legitimate national office located in another country, representing the state. It is a subordinate office to the Embassy, making it a secondary diplomatic mission. It may also be described simply as the building occupied by the chief diplomat (the Consul) and the supporting staff.

Keep in mind that you may not always find a Consulate in the capital city, as it is usually the address of an Embassy. However, Consulates are located in other major cities, especially in tourist destinations.

There are two types of diplomatic missions – a Standard Consulate and a Consulate General. The only difference is that the Consulate General provides travelers with a full range of consular services. You can also differentiate an office headed by an Honorary Consul.

According to the rules of diplomatic immunity, Consulates are legal territories of their respective home countries. They play an essential role in ensuring unproblematic cooperation between the countries by reinforcing political alliances and providing help to their citizens abroad.

What does a Consulate do?

The services provided by the Consulate will vary depending on the office’s location and the country it represents. All the formal requirements concerning the services offered by Consulates can be found in the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations.

In general, the Consulate is the representation of a country in the international arena. They provide similar services to an Embassy but on a smaller scale, outside the capital city. The main role of any diplomatic mission is to provide travelers with the necessary assistance and information.

The diplomatic staff of the Consulate will help you process visa applications (both for individuals and business entities) and obtain a passport in case of losing the original document. Some offices may also issue birth certificates, register marriages, and legalize documents.

If a visa is required for your travel abroad, you do not need to essentially visit the Consulate. You can also obtain a visa online – complete the electronic application form, submit the essential documents, and cover the processing fee payment. An approved visa will be sent to your e-mail.

Apart from the consular visa services, the office also assists citizens concerning permanent or temporary residence in the host country, managing diplomatic relations, and organizing cultural activities.

Additionally, all diplomatic missions (a Consulate and an Embassy) should promote international trade by assisting companies in investments abroad, advocating for import and export balance, and supervising concluding business contracts with foreign enterprises.