Frequently Asked Questions
What is an "honorary consul"?
An honorary consul is a consular official specified by one country (the "sending" country) in an another country (the "receiving" country). He is distinct from a professional consul in that he does not accept a stipend or salary; he works honorarily, thus he acts only in his name.
What does it mean that the consulate in Wroclaw is "unofficial"?
We do not operate under the authority of the US Department of State. The government of the US does not support honorary consulates in any country; it operates an official embassy in even the smallest countries. However, other countries, like Poland do not operate in the same way. Poland has 140 official diplomatic missions and 183 honorary consulates. Whereas the government operates the official missions in areas where Poles live abroad in high concentrations, other areas are served by the Honorary Consul. The Wroclaw honorary consulate serves a similar purpose locally.
Is what you're doing legal?
Although the honorary consulate concept is not supported by the Department of State, the concept of helping Americans abroad is certainly legal. We aim to provide help with everyday issues that face citizens. In the case of more serious issues, we would refer to the official mission.
Who does the consulate serve?
The consulate can help citizens of the US in Wroclaw and surrounding areas.
What can the consulate help me with?
We mainly help with crisis situations – for example, a broken hand, a stolen wallet or the like – which require interactions with doctors and office workers who are not likely to speak English. We can also help with finding local specialists, including lawyers, doctors and contractors.
Besides crisis situations, we can support Americans' acclimation after a move to Wroclaw and facilitate economic, commerical, scientific and cultural contact between US and Polish citizens. You can count on us as a point of first contact after your arrival.
What can't you help me with?
We cannot help you with situations requiring the presence of an official representative of the US State Department; in other words – all issues related to visas, passports and invitations to stay. We cannot help with travel to the US. We do not share legal or financial advice or provide loans. We do not predict how the State Department might act in your official legal matters, either.
How much do your services cost?
All services are completely free. If you are satisfied with our service, please write to the US Embassy in Warsaw.