The honorary consulates augment Finland’s network of diplomatic missions, made up of embassies, consulate generals, consulates and other liaison offices. An honorary consulate is headed by an honorary consul. Honorary consuls are private individuals who take care of their tasks on a part-time basis without remuneration.
Within the scope of a specific geographical area, an honorary consul monitors the rights of Finns and foreigners permanently residing in Finland. He or she provides advice and guidance for distressed Finnish citizens and foreigners permanently residing in Finland who are temporarily abroad, assisting them in their contacts with local authorities or the nearest Finnish embassy or consulate. Certain types of notarized certificates can be acquired through an honorary consul. Honorary consuls do not accept passport applications nor do they handle matters pertaining to visas or residence permits. Honorary consuls cannot serve as attorneys in judicial proceedings or as legal advisers.
Together with diplomatic missions, an honorary consul promotes economic and cultural relations between Finland and the country in question, and takes part in strengthening Finland’s image abroad. An honorary consul can advise Finnish companies, for instance, in obtaining information about local business culture and in finding cooperation partners.