What Are the Duties of a Consul General?
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A consul general is tasked with building international relations and promoting the interests of her home country and the foreign country in which she is currently residing. Nationals of her home country turn to the consul general for legal, criminal and even natural disaster assistance when they are visiting other host countries and cities.
Issuing Identification Documents
For international travelers, misplacing or losing important documents like passports or other identification can be a major inconvenience. However, if their home country has a consul general staffed in the foreign city they are visiting, these international travelers are in luck. The consul general can issue their fellow countrymen passports and ID cards, and help resolve other issues pertaining to confirming an individual's nationality.
One chief responsibility of a consular general is that he must spearhead certain initiatives designed to strengthen ties to his host community and his fellow nationals. This can include organizing scholarship opportunities for students or social services for detainees from his homeland. The consul general may also help organize electoral committees to help foreign nationals participate in elections in their home country while abroad.
Making Public Appearances
A critical role of a consul general is to make public appearances that enhance diplomatic ties with host countries. For instance, she may visit the opening of a children's hospital or medical research facility dedicated to fulfilling unmet needs in the local area. Depending on the event, she may be asked to speak and pledge the support of her home country to the public.
A unique responsibility of a consul general is to link foreign visitors from their home country with services and business from their nation of origin. Because of the globalized economy, the need for this service can be more valuable than it first appears. For instance, a French citizen visiting the United States may long for a little taste of home, and the French consul general's office can provide that French citizen with information on local French restaurants their fellow countryman may not have found otherwise found.
M. Skylar Ezell has been writing about politics, entertainment, urban culture and career-related topics since 2007. His communications work for Fortune 500 companies in health care, technology and hospitality has resulted in international recognition, including the Association for Talent Development BEST Award and Achievers Global Award. He is a graduate of Georgia State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public relations.