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Q. What is a "consular officer?"
A. A consular officer is a citizen of a foreign country employed by a foreign government and
authorized to provide assistance on behalf of that government to that government's citizens in a foreign
country. Consular officers are generally assigned to the consular section of a foreign government's embassy
in Washington, DC, or to consular offices maintained by the foreign government in locations in the United
States outside of Washington, DC.
Q. What is an "honorary consul?"
A. An honorary consul is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States who has
been authorized by a foreign government to perform official functions on its behalf in the United States.
Q. Is an honorary consul to be treated in the same way as a consular officer?
A. Yes, when an honorary consul is performing various consular. A foreign government can
authorize its honorary consuls to perform prison visits or even to accept consular notification on the
government's behalf. As a practical matter, however, since honorary consuls and their addresses and phone
numbers may change more frequently than the phone numbers of embassies and consulates, the Department of State
assumes that consular notification will generally be given to consular officers who serve at an embassy or
consulate. Such officers may then ask an honorary consul closer to the actual place of detention to visit the
[Source: U.S. Department of State]