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The Growth of Honorary Consulates in Bengaluru

Introduction

Foreign Embassies and Honorary Consulates are established across several cities of the world through the mandate issued by either Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

These foreign embassies and honorary consulates foster a deep diplomatic relationship with the host country through the promotion of trade, culture, consular relations, and friendship. Eminent businessmen are appointed as Honorary Consuls who are otherwise residents of the host country to represent the foreign country. The Hon'ble Ministry of External Affairs is the nodal ministry for all the foreign missions and honorary consulates based in India.

India too has a strong diplomatic relationship with its neighboring countries and with the countries across the European Union, Australia, Middle East nations, South Asia, Asia Pacific, African Nations, and Americas region. Many countries have a full-fledged foreign embassy based out of the Indian capital city New Delhi. The Foreign Missions are established as per the following administrative hierarchy-

  • Embassy/High Commission
  • Deputy High Commission
  • Consulate General
  • Trade Offices

The offices are held by career-ranking diplomats of the respective sending states. The Deputy High Commissions are also based out of the remaining three metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata.

Apart from a full-fledged foreign embassy, Honorary Consulates also have a full-fledged presence across other cities in India. Some of the other prominent cities in India apart from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai that have a diplomatic/consular presence include-

  • Ahemadabad
  • Agartala
  • Bengaluru
  • Chandigarh
  • Guwahati
  • Hyderabad
  • Panaji (in Goa)
  • Puducherry
  • Thiruvananthapuram

The Honorary Consulates as mentioned earlier represent a foreign country in the home state and are usually looked after by non-career diplomats through the appointment of Honorary Consuls.

The Growing Presence of Honorary Consulates in Bengaluru

Bengaluru is the fastest growing city and popularly known as the Silicon City of India. Bengaluru too has a strong presence of diplomatic resident missions of various countries. Some of them include the British Deputy High Commission, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Djibouti, Japan, Germany, France, Finland, Ireland, Peru, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, The Netherlands, etc.

Further in Bengaluru, there is a need to establish full-fledged embassies or consulates of countries such as the United States of America, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, etc to name a few.

The robust growth of trade and commerce and the presence of Start-up and Information Technology companies operating from Bengaluru is yet another reason why the city needs honorary consulates of some of the prominent countries. As also the presence of one of the fastest-growing international airports located in Devanhalli, Bengaluru, and popularly known as Kempegowda International Airport (KIA); the need to establish various foreign embassies and honorary consulates will boost even the travel and tourism industry.

United States and Bengaluru Relationship

The United States of America has a strong diplomatic relationship with India. It has its main Embassy based out of New Delhi, the capital city of India. Further, the United States also has a strong relationship with the rest of the country through the following offices of Consulate Generals-

  • U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai
  • U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata
  • U.S. Consulate General in Chennai
  • U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad
  • United States Virtual Consulate in Bengaluru

The United States Embassy in New Delhi and United States Consulate Generals in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad play a vital role in issuing Non-immigrant and immigrant visas to the applicants of respective states falling under each city.

Bengaluru too has a virtual consulate as of now. Further, there is a need to establish a full-fledged United States Consulate General office in Bengaluru too. As explained earlier Bengaluru is popularly known as the Silicon city of India as it houses several multi-national companies and start-up offices that primarily cater to the North American region. As such the applicants in Bengaluru need to visit the U.S. Consulate General's office in Chennai, Tamil Nadu for any type of visa requirements. The respective stakeholders may consider Bengaluru as one of the top contenders to host a United States Consulate office, as it will benefit several applicants from this city.

A full-fledged U.S. Consulate General office in Bengaluru will also benefit students who wish to avail information related to educational opportunities for under-graduate, graduate, post-doctoral studies, and other programs. As it is known the United States Embassy in New Delhi and United States Consulate General offices in the cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad also provide information to the students related to educational opportunities too.

American Library at the U.S. Consulate Generals

The U.S. Consulate Generals at Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai provide vital resources to the readers through the establishment of American Libraries. The American Libraries along with American Centres act as a vital source of information to knowledge seekers through various books, periodicals, and journals made available for reading at American Libraries.

The suggestion to set up U.S. Consulate General Office in Bengaluru will also benefit the readers in Bengaluru. American Library and American Centres that act as a key resources for information seekers to pursue research or for general interest will thus highly benefit avid readers in Bengaluru.

The positive move will also boost strong Indo-US cultural association along with fostering a deep diplomatic relationship with the United States of America. The establishment of a Consulate General Office in Bengaluru will also help to boost trade and the consular relationships between the two countries.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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