The first Swedish honorary consulates were established to assist the shipping industry and Swedish travellers. To this day, many consulates are still located in harbour cities, although recent changes reflect where today’s large Swedish communities, Swedish tourists or Swedish business interests can be found.
The role of a Swedish honorary consul in the UK is to assist and advise Swedish nationals on consular matters, within reason; on where they may obtain assistance and how to protect their own interests in the country in question; forward visa applications to the Embassy, hand over new passports as well as driving licences and assist the Embassy in a crisis or serious accident. Increasingly, the honorary consuls promote the image of Sweden abroad together with the Embassy, for instance through participation in cultural partnerships and the exposure of Swedish trade and industry.
As the name suggests, the role of Swedish honorary consul is undertaken on a voluntary basis. When appropriate, the consul can be reimbursed for costs related to the appointment.