Difference Between Consulate and Honorary Consulate

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Consulate and Honorary Consulate

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Consul is a term mainly used for Romans, it can be called a diplomatic mansion between two particular embassies, commonwealth countries, or high commissions. These are present to perform some common tasks that are providing birth certificates and such other services which are quite important for any person to take to visit any U.S. country or to reside there for any purpose which can be to study and take a foreign job for settling up in the life. An honorary consulate is a term that is categorized for the person who works for a nation/ country, especially for the task of taking up consuls and looking after the persons who seek help for residing in any other country.

Consulates vs. Honorary Consulates

Both of these terms are in a way contrary to each other, these are differing from each other as consulates take up their members by the government or the state elective members, whereas honorary consulates elect their respective members by the common citizens of the state and part of the area. The consular generals have a certain kind of, ‘consular immunity’ whereas the members of the honorary consulate do have not the immunity, as every system has its pros and cons.

The functioning part of the honorary consulates and consulates are in a way different from one another, as the honorary consulates have the task of building healthy relationships with the neighboring countries and also with the ones who are inactive in combination with them, on the other hand, the consulates have the task of issuing various legal documents like visas, birth certificates, verifying signatures, marriage certificates and permissions to various activities there.

Difference Between Consulates and Honorary Consulates in Tabular Form

Basis consulates Honorary consulates
Meaning These are a system of official members that are been organized for performing various tasks as diplomats. They do this task for earning a living. These are not a grouping of official members yet they are working as diplomats temporarily and representing their nation as well at the same time that too voluntarily on a non-salary basis until their appointments are refreshed/ revoked.


Nomination of members As they are the official diplomats, they are nominated by the government or the officials of the regulatory department of the state.


Not being official, these are nominated/ chosen out from the common citizens of the host country or the nation belonging to they have.



Task performed These diplomats perform the task of resolving the common/ varied issues of the persons living in the host country regarding their residency and any problem that they are facing while residing there, which can be of verifying various documents, getting in birth certificates or marriage certificates, and certain other tasks other too. These are the temporary diplomats who have the task of enhancing and building strong relations between two countries with the help of the consuls. The relations depend on the legal task that they do.
Immunity The counsel generals are given consular immunity. These are the immunities that provide a person with the advantage of being saved in cases of local jurisdiction which are directly linked to that of their consular work, they still may be tried for the crimes that they may commit while residing there.



The honorary counsels are not given immunity as they are not permanently working as professional diplomats.
Payment The diplomats are the citizens of foreign countries and have officially turned in for their careers, as a result, they are paid by the government. the diplomats are not permanent workers and not officially working as diplomats too, as a result, they are not paid by the government.



Authority The authority that stays with the consular is much more than that of the honorary consulates, being immune and official diplomats too, they are on a higher level of authority. The authority with them is comparatively less than that of the consulates, as they are not making such a big difference by their actions compared to the consulates.

What are consulates?

These are the group and organizations people working for helping the visitors and people who are residing in particular foreign countries, for some of their personal, and organizational goals. They work as the heads of the system by performing various assigned tasks and jobs, the jobs may include verifying some legal documents or scanning some papers for official purposes and the list goes on and on. These are permanently working for the system as they are official diplomats, and also by working on this authority they get immune from certain things, that may include being saved from local defaults that they may commit which are in any sort of way connected directly to their power of a job.

As they are working on the behalf of some other nation, and are giving their utmost knowledge to the task, of providing services, hence they are paid by the government of the host nation for assisting the residers with services and advice too.

They act as the connection of the migrators and the officials in a personalized way, as the grievances and the problems of the common people are heard off, and are also taken under the account of action and help. An example to understand better this would be, let us think there is a Pakistan embassy in India, and some person named Rahim is working in India for the past 2 years in a multinational company for earning a living for himself and his family. Now when he is getting married he wants to get his documents for marriage verified, and the marriage certificate to be received, this task will not be performed by any Indian company but by the embassy present in India, once Rahim reaches out to the embassy and explains his need, subsequently, proper actions would be taken up and he would be at last satisfied, this is the process and how a diplomatic mission/ embassy performs its functions to the people seeking help.

Types of consulates

There can be several types of consulates in a country, these are the different names given to the service provider to the needy people of the nation who have migrated or are temporarily residing in the host country. Some of them are as follows;


These are official buildings owned by the government which has people of other nations working for their nation, they represent their nation and provide certain services to the people who are residing in the foreign nation due to some purpose or other. They issue visas, help with issues regarding birth certificates, marriage certificates, and some others like this also.

It can also be termed as a building owned by the government and headed by an ambassador who is the overlooker of all the official matters of the embassy.

High commission

 It can be termed as the office of a high commissioner and their jurisdiction of trust and experience, the group of people working in the high commission has supreme authority on their shoulders to behold. It looks after the political as well as economic cooperation between two countries, alongside the other function that it has is to get inside the trade and investment deeds between two countries, in simpler terms it is an embassy in the commonwealth countries.

Permanent mission

The United Nations dated December 3, 1948, referred to the term named as permanent mission, it is used for any embassy that is working or operating in any of the parts of the United Nations, it is a diplomatic mission working in the major cities and not in capital cities. Generally, the permanent mission provides every single diplomatic or consular service and performs the task of service-providing and advice-seeking authority.

Consulate general

Being the fact, that only an ambassador may take up the decisions, and speak on behalf of the country they represent, acting as the head of the diplomats they perform functions like speaking up for their nation and acting as the spokesmen while staying true to their work as well as truthful to their work.

In summarizing, a general is the head of the diplomats and guides them out of their work and the path that they are following, and he also has got a considerable commercial purpose for supervising.

What is an honorary consulate?

These too provide services to the nation but the type of task they perform varies from that of the consulates, they are also service providers but they focus on building strong relations between the host nation and the foreign country.

The members of the organization are not officially working as diplomats they just perform this to the point when their assignments and authorities will be revoked. They work for the enhancement of the country yet do not take it as their professional work, hence they are not paid by the government, they are not even applicable to the immunity that one receives for working for the nation, they are the members that are generally the locals, and the taxpayers of the host nation. The members are working on separate levels but still have a common objective of serving the services to the nation.

These have opened their doors to the business owners and the startups, in the Netherlands they are playing an integral role in providing an international network of connectivity, not in the terms of internet-only but in the base of the relationship a country has with another country. They have gone too ahead to helping out dutch nationals abroad in situations of urgency.

These consulates work as volunteers and do not earn any sum from this task, as a result, this is not their profession of earning a living, they act as the volunteers working on a non-salary basis until it turns up and changes into their permanent job.

Types of honorary consulates

It has not got several types yet the summary of the type will be given below;

Consulates headed by honorary consulates

These are not the diplomatic missions that have their workers as the official permanent workers yet it performs the task of providing services, getting the services, and providing them to the users for enhancing the relationship between the two countries. They have their head in the form of honorary consulates and work under their kind supervision, and act as a great spokesman too.


The consulates and the honorary consulates both are interrelated to each other very closely, these are the servers to the nation, they differ from each other in points yet are similar in certain points too. The consulates are the official servers and perform the task such as issuing visas, verifying documents, and many others, they do these tasks as their professional work and are also paid the amount receivable by the government of the host nation, working as a diplomat they get many privileges as the perk, one of the topmost advantages they receive is to have consular immunity.

On the other hand, the honorary consulates are not working officially as diplomats, yet are performing the task of diplomats, they have the main task of enhancing the relationship of countries within by doing official work for the residers, they are not working permanently in a country hence they do not get paid by the government for their work, they do not receive any such immunity, and as a result, are not protected from any such cause.

Both of them are confined and are a helping hand to the society and the persons who are living far from their home country, from their parents, and the homely pleasures. These help them by providing genuine services and resolving their queries regarding any of the issues in their working system. As a system now the consulates have made a great impression, and also have evolved to be much better and more efficient in their system of providing services and helping the people residing in foreign countries due to any respective condition of them.



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"Difference Between Consulate and Honorary Consulate." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 22 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-consulate-and-honorary-consulate-287>.

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