Diplomatic passport and honorary consulate

Diplomatic passport and honorary consuls

The ability to obtain a diplomatic passport or an appointment as an honorary consulate is an honor that is reserved for a very select few. Diplomatic passports and honorary consul appointments both offer multiple benefits. In order to secure them, people must navigate a complex process and have the right connections. CS&P assists people throughout the application process, including making introductions and acting in an intermediary role between applicants and high-ranking government officials who might be able to help their cases.

What is a diplomatic passport?

A diplomatic passport is a special type of passport that is issued to people who will travel internationally on official state business. When people travel to other countries on state business, they must do so with their diplomatic passports. When they are traveling as tourists, they must use their regular passports. Some diplomats travel with both their diplomatic and tourist passports. For example, if a person has official business in one country but wishes to visit another country during his or her international trip, he or she would need to carry both passports and get them stamped at each point of entry.

What is an honorary consulate?

An honorary consulate or honorary consul is a person who is appointed to act in the interests of a country’s citizens in another country. Honorary consuls differ from career consuls in several ways. They are not expected to perform their consular duties on a full-time basis and they are usually unpaid or receive only nominal salaries. Most honorary consuls work in other businesses or jobs while completing their consular duties on a part-time basis in their spare time. They generally live and work in large cities in the receiving countries that do not have embassies of the countries that they are representing, and their jobs involve strengthening goodwill and ties between the two countries while facilitating investments and trade. Honorary consuls receive special badges reflecting their esteemed statuses, and the appointments carry all of the benefits that career consuls also receive.

What are the benefits of being an honorary consul?

The benefits according to people who serve as honorary consuls are outlined in Art. 71 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Optional Protocols. People who are honorary consuls receive special license plates for their vehicles that designate their statuses. They are allowed to fly flags on their cars, and they cannot receive parking tickets. Honorary consuls also enjoy diplomatic immunity, which means that their offices and homes cannot be searched by law enforcement officers. Because the offices and homes are considered to be the inviolate territory of the sending countries, they are not subject to searches by law enforcement officers or military personnel. Honorary consuls also do not have to pay property taxes on their homes or the value-added taxes if the countries in which they reside charge them for goods for their homes or offices. Finally, when people are traveling on official state business, they are able to pass through the quick immigration lanes and not have their belongings searched in airports.

Limitations of privileges

The diplomatic immunity that they receive is not a license for them to engage in illegal activities, however. While diplomatic immunity will not be lifted for minor traffic violations, for example, major legal violations may result in a lifting of it and the revocation of the status by the sending countries. These appointments are considered to be an honor, and appointees are expected to perform their duties honorably.

How to become an honorary consul and obtain diplomatic passports

People are not able to purchase titles of honorary consuls on the internet. Companies that claim to sell them are fraudulent. Instead, people who wish to become honorary consuls and to obtain diplomatic passports and immunity must either have their own extensive network of connections or work closely with diplomatic consultants such as those at CS&P. Diplomatic consultants have extensive international political networks to help their clients. They will need to know the intentions and individual situations of the people who wish to become honorary consuls so that they can identify the best options for them.

Where people live is important. It is more difficult for those who live in cities like New York to receive honorary consular appointments simply because most countries already have numerous representatives located there. It does not mean that it is impossible, however. People’s backgrounds and educational levels are also important. Applicants must submit curricula vitae along with their other application materials. Foreign governments will want to see the accomplishments that applicants have achieved educationally as well as in their careers and businesses. Having connections to the sending countries is also important. Some people receive appointments when they apply to countries with which they already have business ties or from which their ancestors originated.

When people work with the diplomatic consultants at CS&P, they may increase their likelihood of receiving diplomatic passports and appointments as honorary consuls. While these honors are reserved for a select group of individuals, taking advantage of our expertise and an international political network may help people to gain approval.

Contact our offices for a free consultation.