BECOME AN HONORARY CONSUL
Honorary consuls are highly regarded and respected members of a community, part of the elite diplomatic corps and as such come with privileges, protection and perks. They fly flags on their cars, never get parking tickets, pass through the fast lane at immigration, don’t pay real estate taxes and have their homes and offices off limits to law enforcement. They are recognized by international law and legally enjoy the same privileges as careers diplomats.
WHAT IS AN HONORARY CONSUL?
Just like a consul, an honorary consul is an official representative of one county in the territory of another. It’s different from an ambassador. An ambassador is the representative of a head of state in another country and heads an embassy which is usually in the capital. A consul or honorary consul can head up an official consulate in any city. His job is to stregthen the ties, facilitate trade, investment and goodwill between the two nations. The difference between a consul and and honorary consul is that honorary consuls either do not get paid or get a nominal salary for their work. Small African countries don’t pay anything, more prosperous North Korea pays $2500 a year to their volunteer consular corps. Honorary consuls still carry on with their professions and in their spare time perform their consular duties.
WHO CAN BECOME AN HONORARY CONSUL?
Countries appoint their honorary consuls based on age, experience, political and business connections, integrity, political views and charisma. There’s no election to win. If you can get politicians and government officials in a foreign country to like you, you’re on your way.
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY AND OTHER BENEFITS
Diplomatic immunity is a principle of international law by which foreign government officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of local courts and other authorities for both their official and, to a large extent, their personal activities. Your diplomatic immunity will protect you from certain infractions. Your bags will be considered diplomatic pouches at customs and can not be searched. Parking tickets will no longer apply to your car. You will not have to pay sales tax or VAT on items purchased for your home and office. You will not have pay property taxes on your home and office if you own the property. Your office and residence will be an inviolable territory of your sending country and may not be entered by officials of the host country, such as police or army. The benefits of being a diplomat are agreed to by 177 countries in Vienna in 1963. It’s called the Vienna Convention On Consular Relations. Each country interprets diplomatic immunity in different ways. There are many intricacies which you may want to familiarize yourself.
NOT A PERMIT FOR ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES!
Many mistakenly think that a diplomatic appointment is carte blanche to commit illegal acts and they will be protected from the authorities. Minor offenses such as motoring violations will not lead to the lifting of diplomatic immunity. However more serious cases will result in the revoking of diplomatic immunity and the receiving country may even request the sending country to cancel the appointment of the honorary consul. Honorary consul appointments as their name suggests are an honor and should be treated honorable by its holder. There are many cases of countries revoking honorary consult titles for improper behavior. In September 2015 France canceled the status of their honorary consul in Turkey after helping human traffickers.
HOW CAN ONE BECOME AN HONORARY CONSUL?
One myth we must disperse immediately is that honorary consul titles are not sold on the internet. To become an honorary consul you must work with a diplomatic consultant, sometimes also called a diplomatic broker or must have a very strong international political network of your own. Your consultant needs to know and understand your situation and intentions to connect you with the best suitable option. A great deal depends on where you live. If you live in New York or Geneva it’s hard to become an honorary consul since almost every country has representation in those cities. However if you live in large cities of big countries (Houston, Miami, Toronto, Manchaster) or capitals in small countries (Bratislava, Lisbon, San Jose) it’s easier to get an appointment. Your background and history matters. You will need to submit a CV and an essay with your application. Your sending country needs to see that you are the right person to represent them. Your status and education make a difference too. They need to see your education and your professional, scientific or business accomplishments.
YOU TOO CAN BECOME AN HONORARY CONSUL
We can help you become an honorary consul and enjoy diplomatic privileges, immunity and tax benefits.