Consulates in Minnesota
Rosemary K. Heins, Extension Educator — Families Resource Management
Revised December 2015 by Hannah Jastram, Communications Associate. Reviewed on same date by Antonio Alba Meraz, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency.
Did you know that Minnesota is home to general consulate offices for three countries?
What is a consulate?
A consulate provides legal services to its citizens and nationals living in the United States, as well as visa and information services to foreign nationals. Most often foreign embassies are located Washington, D.C. Consulates are generally found in large cities. However, when a significant number of people migrate to a particular area of the country, a general consulate may be established. Honorary consulates may also be established for legal, ceremonial, and/or political reasons. All consulates, both general and honorary, must be approved by the U.S. State Department because of the functions and services they provide.
What do consulates do?
Consulates are governed by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. They give assistance to individuals, firms, institutions, and/or authorities in their assigned territories as well as provide and distribute information about their countries. They assist with planned visits of official government representatives and other prominent people. In some cases, they issue passports and visas or distribute the necessary applications and instructions as well as certify and verify legal documents.
Individuals who are not citizens of the country they are living in may need to seek the help of a consulate for anything related to a legal issue in life events, such as birth, baptism, school attendance, graduation, marriage, divorce, and death certificates. They assist in "re-patriation" of deceased citizens' bodies back to their home country for burial. They also provide powers of attorney to allow non-citizens to transfer property or change their civil status.
What countries have Minnesota consulates?
Canada, Ecuador, and Mexico have permanent general consulate offices with career staff. In addition, the Minnesota Consular Corps and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development include 30 countries with honorary consuls: Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Italy, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Tanzania. Three countries' consulates are vacant: Czech Republic, Korea, and Republic of Latvia.
Seven retired honorary consuls or Associate Members are recognized in the Minnesota Consular Corps for the countries of Czech Republic, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Korea, Norway, and Sweden.
Discover Diplomacy (n.d.). What is a U.S. Consulate? U.S. Department of State, U.S. Diplomacy Center.
GPS Alliance (2014). Foreign Consulates in Minnesota. University of Minnesota.
Minnesota Consular Corps (2015). Members.
Other Recommended Resources
Global Initiatives — Extension Global Initiatives connect University research, education, and training to learners in Algeria, China, Guatemala, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Morocco, Sierra Leone, and Vietnam.
Partner Agencies and Groups — Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development — Click the "Consular Corps" tab for a list of permanent consulates' and honorary consuls' addresses.