Career talk: What does a consular officer do?

 

Many people think that the consular officer just stays at a visa window interviewing and counseling people coming in and out of the United States. But the job is so much more than that. At a time of global interconnectedness, with tourism and international trade of the concern of many countries, the work of consuls and embassies are of prime importance.

Image result for consular officerImage source: ca.usembassy.gov

Businesses, private companies, and governments are now more invested than ever in the work consular officers do for legitimizing travel. Of course, the recent threats of terrorism must be taken seriously as well, and the consuls become the first line of defense in filtering out people who might want to do harm in the country.

Beyond any possible threat is maintaining the character of the United States as the land of the free, of embracing diversity whatever a people’s heritage and race are. In a big way, consular officers ensure that the country’s principles of freedom and rights are preserved and that the law is applied with fairness in mind.

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Again, the job of the consul officer is not just about adjudicating passport applications, visas, and reporting on the birth and passing of Americans abroad. They coordinate with all sorts of businesses and local officials as well as do other duties within the State Department. And, in a more ideal sense, they safeguard our hard-won freedom.

Incorporated in 2008, CKGS is a specialist business process outsource agency that is focused on serving consular sections of diplomatic missions. For more on the company, visit this website.

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What are diplomatic missions for and why are they still important?

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A diplomatic mission is a key aspect of international relations, representing a country, state, or a governmental organization like the United Nations in another country. These resident or non-resident embassies are crucial in maintaining healthy social, cultural, and economic ties between two countries.

When missions are established between commonwealth nations, this is called high commissions, with their heads named high commissioners. The premise here is that commonwealth nations are not foreign to one another. The high commissioner is, for all intents and purposes, still operates like an ambassador. However, they are accredited by the government of the receiving Commonwealth country, not to the head of state.

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There are other forms of mission officials, like the Vatican’s envoy and the consulate, which focuses on dealing with individuals and businesses. But all diplomatic missions are guided by the need to intercede in issues related to trade, war, and peace-making. Diplomatic missions used to strictly deal with the issues mentioned, but a growing global world has required such relations to include other concerns like culture, diaspora, human rights, and the environment.

The idea behind diplomacy is to find mutually beneficial and acceptable solutions for common national challenges, in a non-confrontational manner. In short, diplomacy is needed to maintain the ideals of civility, the root term that defines our modern civilizations.

CKGS is a business process outsource agency that specializes in serving consular sections of diplomatic missions. It provides a range of services covering all aspects of visas, passports, and consular application processing. More on the company here.

Diplomacy 101: A beginner’s guide to diplomatic missions

 

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The ability to practice diplomacy is an integral aspect of any state. It has been practiced since the formation of the first city-states. Also called a foreign mission, a diplomatic mission refers to a group of people from one state or organization existing in another state. The group represents the sending state officially in the receiving state. It is usually embodied by the embassy: the main office of a country’s diplomatic representatives located in the capital city of another country.

Consulates are smaller diplomatic missions often located outside the capital of the receiving state, but can still be in the capital, usually when the sending country has no embassy in the receiving state. Diplomatic missions can likewise be non-resident permanent missions to more than one country.

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Diplomats were originally sent only for specific negotiations and come back home when the mission is finished. These people were often either relatives of a state’s ruling family or high-ranking officers, giving them legitimacy during negotiations.

The beginning of modern diplomacy can be traced to the states of Northern Italy during the early Renaissance period, with the first embassies having been established in the 13th century. Soon all the major European powers were exchanging representatives. Spain was the first to send a permanent representative when it appointed an ambassador to the Court of England in 1487. By the late 16th century, permanent missions were common in Europe.

The Congress of Vienna of 1815 established an international system of diplomatic rank, after the fall of Napoleon. Disputes on precedence among nations and the appropriate diplomatic ranks used continued for over a century until after World War II, when the rank of ambassador became the norm.

CKGS provides consular and diplomatic offices with a range of services covering all aspects of visas, passports, and consular application processing. More on the company here.

The basics of US student visa application

 

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Studying abroad can be a viable option for many students seeking specific institutions that can satisfy their academic goals, especially when these schools are well known for particular fields. The United States is home to some of the best universities, colleges, and other centers for learning, so it is no longer a wonder that many people, including foreigners, want to enter those schools. There are diplomatic requirements, though, for non-citizens that must be fulfilled to avail themselves of the chance to get that exceptional American brand of education.

Securing a visa is, of course, the most basic thing a non-citizen must focus on if they want to enter the United States. One usually gets an appropriate type either for temporary visit or permanent residency. A student must apply for a student visa to become eligible for a stay in the country during the entire duration of the program. There are two types of student visas: F-1 and M-1. The course of study and the type of school one is attending will determine what visa is required.

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If one wishes to attend a university, college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or other academic institutions (including language training programs), the student should obtain an F-1 visa. Otherwise, entry into vocational and other nonacademic centers (excluding ones for language training) would necessitate application for an M-1 type.

Before the visa application, a student must be accepted first by a school that is approved and certified by SEVP (Student Exchange and Visitor Program). Once accepted, details will be entered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and will require a payment the necessary fee. A document designated as Form I-20 will be provided by the chosen school for presentation to the consular officer during the visa interview.

The steps and order of processing might differ among various U.S. embassies and consulates, so it is important that candidates research information carefully before applying for the visa in their country of origin.

Cox & Kings Global Services is a specialist business process outsource agency that is focused on serving consular sections of diplomatic missions. Incorporated in 2008, the agency has been providing administrative support and managing non-judgmental tasks related to the entire lifecycle of a visa, passport, and consular application process. To learn more about its services, visit this page.

How do diplomatic missions work?

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The term “diplomacy” comes from the Greeks, and it means the practice of dealing with other nations to foster better relations and negotiate social, cultural, environmental, and economic issues such as peace, trade, pollution, and human rights.

Diplomatic missions are offices that represent a country’s government in the territory of another nation. They are either embassies or consulates, with the former established at the capital city of the target country and the latter set up in any of the other nation’s major cities. There are both resident and non-resident embassies, which means a permanent office may exist in one nation, but several, non-permanent offices can be opened in other countries.

Image result for diplomatic missionsImage source: mospat.ru

A good diplomat will exhibit extreme tact and sensitivity, especially in delicate matters that could lead to the losing of ties between two countries or even war. A diplomatic mission is of course not just about the consul general; it is composed of a group of individuals from one country and can also be an intergovernmental alliance or organization. For example, the United Nations is the biggest diplomatic mission in the world.

The rights and so-called diplomatic immunity of people in a diplomatic mission are protected by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Diplomats and their staff can both choose to reside within the embassy or consulate’s compound or choose highly secure private residences that are equally protected by established rights and immunity.

CKGS is a specialist business process outsource agency that is focused on serving consular sections of diplomatic missions. For more information on the company’s various consul services, visit thiswebsite.

Applying for an Indian intern visa

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Broadly defined, an intern is “a student or a trainee who works, sometimes without pay, at a trade or organization to gain work experience.” Thus, an internship is a great way, especially for new graduates or young professionals, to assess and determine the career they intend to pursue. Internships, which are also called work or industrial placements, provide an excellent opportunity for future employees to gain “on-the-job” experience in a particular field or industry, weigh their career options, network with prospective employers and colleagues and industry movers and shakers, or for soon-to-be graduates, earn additional academic credits. And while most internships are available locally, there is also a growing number of overseas placements.

India, for instance, attracts many foreign interns who would want exposure in the IT industry. The country’s IT sector, in fact, is one of the biggest drivers of the economy, with the city of Bangalore known as India’s version of Silicon Valley.

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For those who wish to do their internship in India, it is critical that they secure the correct visa to gain entry to the country. What foreigners need to apply for is the intern visa, which is issued to an intern of an Indian firm, academic institution, or non-governmental organization (NGO).

Before an intern visa is granted, an applicant must fulfill a number of conditions, including:

· The foreigner must comply with all legal requirements like tax liabilities.

· The intern must submit a letter from the Indian company, educational institution, or NGO that is sponsoring the internship. The letter must specify the period of internship.

· The time between completion of graduation and commencement of the internship should not be more than a year.

Intern visa applicants who will be doing volunteer work with charities or non-profit organizations need to present a letter from the sponsoring organization that details the nature and duration of the visit and place of work.

As for the duration of the visa or the number of entries granted, it would solely depend on the discretion of the Indian Embassy or Consulate.

CKGS is the official partner of the Embassy of India in the U.S. providing visa application and data management services. For more information about the CKGS and the various missions it serves, click here.

Capturing biometric data: Fingerprint recognition

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These days, passport and visa applications require more than paper documents. With the advancement of technology, applicants are required to give their biometric data, particularly digital photograph and fingerprints. And just like any requirement, the enrollment of biometric identifiers must meet certain conditions.

For example, in taking fingerprint data, diplomatic missions and their outsourced service delivery partners follow procedures in accordance with the international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Complying with standards is critical in ensuring that data collected is accurate and globally interoperable.

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There are three classes of fingerprint biometric technology: Finger image-based systems, finger minutiae-based systems, and finger pattern-based systems. Finger image-based systems are used for enrollment, searching, and verification. For matching and analysis purposes, the minutia-based and pattern-based systems are employed. But regardless of the technology or use, what is crucial is that from the capturing of the raw biometric sample to its storage, compression, and compression, the collected data must be uncompromised.

The 9/11 attacks in the U.S. had many countries stepping up their national security efforts, including rolling out more stringent international travel policies. While the process of biometric enrollment may be deemed time-consuming by some passport and visa applicants, it is a necessary step to verify the identity of a traveler.

CKGS, an outsourced delivery partner of various diplomatic missions across the globe, including the Embassy of India in the U.S., possesses the capability to provide dependable biometric solutions, including digital photograph and fingerprint capture. For a more detailed explanation on how CKGS handles biometric enrollment, click here.