Honorary consulate to open in Los Angeles

06 Oct 2021

Sweden will open an honorary consulate in Los Angeles, California on October 20, 2021. Ms. Gudrun Giddings will be the new honorary consul.

Who decides about the opening of an honorary consulate?

The opening of an honorary consulate reflects a formal agreement between a sending government and a receiving government, as outlined in the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Where are honorary consulates located?

Swedish honorary consulates are located in places that have large Swedish communities, high levels of tourism from Sweden or that are important to Swedish business and trade. 

Sweden has 27 honorary consulates in the United States. In addition to the 27 honorary consulates, there is a Consulate General of Sweden located in New York. 

Who works at an honorary consulate?

An honorary consul, an honorary vice consul and consular support staff work at an honorary consulate. The consulate must always be headed by the honorary consul.

Honorary consuls are called “honorary“ because they perform their work on an honorary basis and are not paid for their service.

Who will be the honorary consul of the honorary consulate in Los Angeles?

The Swedish government has selected Ms. Gudrun Giddings to be the new honorary consul. The honorary consulate is located at:

Honorary Consulate of Sweden
11766 Wilshire Boulevard, suite 270
Los Angeles, CA 90025

What assistance do honorary consulates provide to Swedish citizens?

The duties of an honorary consulate include (but are not limited to):

  • Notarize documents
  • Hand out passports and drivers’ licenses that have been issued by other government agencies
  • Receive applications for coordination numbers and report the death of Swedish citizens that occur in the host country to the overseeing mission.
  • Emergency passports for Swedish citizens. Applications can be submitted to the Honorary Consulate in Los Angeles, the process takes 4-5 working days.

In addition to these formal duties, honorary consuls work closely with local businesses and organizations to promote Sweden, Swedish businesses, and Swedish culture.

Who handles visa and residence permits?

Who is eligible to become an honorary consul in the United States?

To be eligible for appointment as an honorary consul, a person must be an individual of good standing and reputation in the community. They must also meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR);
  • Not hold an office of profit or trust with the U.S. government or a position with a state, county or other municipality of the United States and which is considered by such entity to be incompatible with the duties of an honorary consul;
  • Obtain permission from the Secretary of the Department concerned, if he or she holds a commission as a Reserve Officer in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Reside full-time within the boundaries of the metropolitan area where the embassy is requesting representation; and
  • Be at least 21 years old.

Who should you contact if you need assistance?

If you need assistance, and there is an honorary consul in your area, you should contact the honorary consul first. The honorary consul will, if necessary, refer you to the Embassy of Sweden in Washington DC or the Consulate General of Sweden in New York City.

Because they frequently practice their consular office alongside a main profession, honorary consuls will not always be present or available by phone.

Will the opening of an honorary consulate in Los Angeles affect the honorary consulate in San Diego?

The Swedish government has decided to close the honorary consulate in San Diego by the end of this year. Residents in Southern California will be welcomed to Los Angeles for assistance.

Does the decision to open an honorary consulate in Los Angeles mean that Sweden will not open a consulate general on the West Coast?

There is no current decision from the Swedish government to open a consulate general on the West Coast. An honorary consulate in Los Angeles does not, however, preclude the opening of a general consulate on the West Coast.

It is the Swedish government that decides where to open diplomatic missions abroad.

 

Last updated 15 Oct 2021, 10.14 AM