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Consular Officer

Process visa applications and ensure the safety of citizens abroad.

What does a Consular Officer do?

Though a wink and a smile might do wonders, they don’t do much when a person is trying to enter or leave a new country. For that, world travelers need the services of a Consular Officer. Consular Officers work at consulates, issuing visas and helping out when any problems arise overseas.

Though as a Consular Officer, you work with travelers, you’re more of a Police Officer than a Travel Agent. When a person applies for a visa — whether it’s to study, work, or marry someone abroad — you’re the one who makes sure all the necessary paperwork is done, and done correctly. You interview applicants, verify facts, and, in general, make sure the person has the clearance to live or work abroad.

This job falls under the broader title of ” Foreign Service Officer. ” Your job, ultimately, is to make sure the laws of the United States are being followed and its citizens remain safe. This means when a person is overseas, you’re the one they turn to if anything goes wrong.

Common situations you help with include lost or stolen passports and missing persons. If a U.S. citizen winds up in prison while abroad, you assist by finding them legal representation and communicating with their family back home.

Another big responsibility of this job is helping to shape U.S. foreign policy. Since you live abroad, you’re often the first to get wind of upcoming trouble, like a political uprising or disease outbreak. You communicate with the State Department to make suggestions on whether it’s still safe for travelers to visit the country or if warnings should be issued.