The Consul protects the interests of French nationals abroad
He stands ready to help in the event of : theft, loss of property and documents, serious illness, arrest and incarceration (to ensure proper legal procedures) political difficulties, natural disasters.
The Consul provides administrative services to the French community
As a registrar : he may register acts issued by local authorities concerning French citizens residing in or visiting South Africa ; draw up birth certificates, certificates of recognition (paternal or maternal), marriage certificates, death certificates and certificates necessary for the transport of a body or ashes to France.
He may issue officially recorded acts : e.g. power of attorney for purchases or sales in France, marriage contracts, deed of gift, testaments, successions.
He issues national identity cards, passports, ’laissez-passer’ and facilitates the first steps in resolving problems of nationality.
He handles military service issues : registration for military service, exemptions, war pensions.
He organizes and chairs consular committees : scholarships and grants, protection and social services (for detainees) and elections. Consulate staff can provide information and assistance regarding the host country and with the return to France.
He compiles electoral lists and organizes the voting which may be held at the Consulate for presidential elections, European elections, referendums and elections of the AFE counsellors. He also receives proxies for elections in France.
Finally, he is in regular communication with French associations, consular agents and honorary consuls.
The Consular Chancellery
The consular Chancellery provides administrative services to the French community within its jurisdiction. These cover the full range of formalities required by French law. The Chancellery may also help with certain formalities in the host country :
1. Issue identity documents, travel documents, registration papers, passports, identity cards, ’laissez-passer’ ;
2. Facilitate certain administrative procedures, legalization of a signature, certified photocopies, certificate of residence, life certificate, ’PACS,’ etc.
3. As a French civil registrar, it issues or registers birth certificates, recognition certificates (paternal or maternal), marriage certificates, death certificates ;
4. Helps with adoption procedures and assists with French naturalization applications ;
5. Takes the place of the notaire for establishing proxies, marriage contracts, sworn oaths, deeds of gift, etc.
6. Registers young men and women for the mandatory “information day” for eventual French military service (Appel à la Défense) ;
7. Allows French citizens to vote in presidential elections, European elections, referendums and for the election of AFE councellors.
The social service is available to meet with, listen to and counsel French citizens in trouble and to help them with administrative, social and health-related formalities.
Principal areas of action :
Scholarships : attribution of scholarships, under certain conditions, to children attending French-government accredited schools ;
Retirement : Information, delivery of life certificates, help in filing pension applications with French pensions offices (caisses de retraite française) ;
War Veterans : identity card, war veterans’ pensions, free medical treatment.
Handicapped : applications for disability card (carte d’invalidité), allowances for handicapped adults or children ;
Incarcerated French citizens ;
French citizens with financial difficulties as a result of a death, loss of employment or divorce.