What Is a Consul?
A consul serves as the official representative of one state’s government in the territory of another. A consul normally acts to protect and assist the citizens of the consul’s own country and to facilitate friendship and trade between the peoples of both territories.
What Is a Consulate?
The term consulate usually refers to the office of a consul, but it can also refer to the building used by the consul and their staff. Sometimes a consulate will share a premises with an embassy.
What Is the Difference Between a Consul and an Ambassador?
There can only be a single ambassador from each country, representing the home country’s head of state to the host country’s head of state. An ambassador’s duties focus on diplomatic relations between two countries
. However, there can be several consuls present within a country. Consuls help with bureaucratic issues facing both citizens of the consul’s own country who are travelling or living abroad and the citizens of the host country that wish to trade with or travel to the consul’s country.
What Activities Does a Consul Undertake?
Part of a consul’s role is to protect the interests of the citizens living (either permanently or temporarily) in the host country, issuing visas to foreigners, issuing passports, and undertaking activities related to public diplomacy.
Traditionally, a key part of a consul’s remit is to promote trade by assisting companies that want to invest and import and export into and out of the home and host countries.Consuls may also have specific legal authority for certain activities, such as document notarization.
What Is a Consul General?
A consul general is a consul of the highest rank and is appointed to the consulate general. More than one consul general may be appointed by a nation to another country. Typically, one or more deputy consul generals, consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents work under a consul general.