What Is the Role of a Consul in Foreign Relations?

The role of a Consul is to protect the interests of his country's citizens who live abroad in the country in which he is stationed. He directs the Consulate, a diplomatic mission that provides a number of services and resources to citizens of the home country. Often, the Consulate is a subdivision of an embassy and shares its facilities.

The Consul oversees all of the processes that occur at the Consulate. Traditionally, the purpose of Consulates has been to increase trade. The Consulate helps businesses from each country market its goods and services in the other.

Consuls promote the culture of their home country. They invite artists, scientists and other notable individuals to share their talents and knowledge with the foreign nation. Consuls promote intercultural exchange by holding forums and workshops where people can learn about foreign policy, business, education and art.

Consulates take part in the international effort against crime, facilitating police forces and investigations across the border. They also help citizens of the country in which they are stationed obtain visas.

When citizens of a foreign nation have issues with immigration status, health or legal issues, they can seek the service of their country's Consulate. The Consulate also registers children born to citizens abroad and facilitates access to doctors and lawyers.