Consular assistance

Consular assistance

Consular assistance is help and advice provided by the diplomatic agents of a country to citizens of that country who are living or traveling overseas.

Such assistance may take the form of:

  • provision of replacement travel documents
  • advice and support in the case of an accident, serious illness or death
  • advice and support to victims of serious crime overseas, and arranging for next-of-kin to be informed
  • visitation contact with incarcerated nationals
  • liaison with local police officials in the case of nationals abducted or missing overseas
  • loans to distressed travellers
  • help during crises, such as civil unrest and natural disasters
  • facilitating the overseas payment of social welfare benefits
  • registering citizen births abroad
  • providing a list of local doctors and lawyers
  • supervising their flag vessels in foreign harbours

Such assistance commonly does not extend to:

  • storing luggage or valuables
  • intervening in commercial disputes on behalf of their nationals
  • providing travel agency, banking, or postal services
  • money changing
  • translation and interpreting services
  • legal advice or advocacy
  • negotiation of special treatment, bail, or early release from prison
  • criminal investigation
  • employment services

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

At Article 5, the Convention gives the most broad, detailed, and internationally-accepted definition of 'consular functions':[1]

See also

References


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