View Vacancy - Consular Officer - Bogota

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Consular Roles)

Main purpose of job

The Consular team at the British Embassy, Colombia provide support to British nationals, and other eligible persons, who travel to, or reside in, Colombia.

The Consular Officer is the first point of contact for consular customers, and will be expected to deliver professional and efficient consular services to all customers.  This includes issuing Emergency Travel Documents and some notary services required by the Colombian authorities (namely affirmations for marriage), as well as working on assistance cases.  These include, but are not limited to, supporting the most vulnerable British nationals who may have been the victim of crime (including those who may have been raped or sexually assaulted); hospitalised; have been arrested or detained in Colombia; or require additional support due to mental health needs.  The main purpose of the role is to ensure delivery of professional and high quality services in line with FCO guidance.

The Consular Officer will work very closely with the Vice Consul and Head of Consular Section, and senior management.  The role involves extensive interaction with the public, with local, regional and UK authorities, with colleagues across the consular network in Colombia, the Americas and London, and with external stakeholders such as the prison service, Fiscalía and Migración.  They will also provide support to a number of voluntary Consular Agents, and Honorary Consuls we have throughout Colombia.

What will the jobholder be expected to achieve?

  • Take ownership of the public counter, arranging and confirming appointments, answering enquiries, and act as the initial point of contact with Consular Contact Centres in Ottawa and Malaga.
  • Issue Emergency Travel Documents and provide other notarial services in line with consular guidance.
  • Undertake the reconciliation of fees in line with Embassy and Consular guidance.
  • Ensure the public facing areas are maintained in line with consular guidance.
  • Provide consular assistance, in accordance with current guidelines and policies.  This is likely to include, but isn’t limited to, visiting British nationals in hospital or in prison (after a security assessment and when conditions allow) providing support to family members including following a bereavement, in cases involving a missing person or a child abduction, providing advice and assistance following a rape or sexual assault or a robbery, and supporting customers with mental health needs. 
  • Maintain up-to-date and detailed case notes on the case management system.
  • Maintain close links with local authorities including, but not limited to, law enforcement, correctional facilities, hospitals, morgues and mental health facilities.  In consultation with the Vice Consul, undertake outreach visits to different areas of Colombia to build and maintain contact network.
  • In the absence of the Vice Consul, represent the British government at consular related events, including some public speaking duties.
  • Work with the Vice Consul, to ensure that the Honorary Consuls, Consular Agents and other colleagues occasionally conducting consular work, are trained and supported to deliver appropriate assistance.
  • Work with the Vice Consul and colleagues in the Americas network by contributing to discussions to help shape the development and application of consular policy and to share best practice.
  • Exceptionally, participate in call-out arrangements for emergency cases out of hours when our Global Response Centre in London requests additional support.
  • Contribute to the team’s prevention objectives to ensure we are providing targeted and accurately information to British nationals to prevent them for getting into difficulties, where this is possible.
  • Crisis Management / Webpage Management - Assist Vice Consul in up-dating Crisis Management Plan (CMP) with accurate staff details, up-to-date service providers.  Ensure Embassy web master has the most up-to-date information for British Nationals in Colombia each month.
  • Play an active role in the Embassy’s corporate agenda.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Resources managed (staff and expenditure):

Staff: On occasion, management of temporary Consular Assistants.

Budget: Consular Imprest and Benevolent Fund.

Essential on arrival:

  • Proven ability to prioritise, effectively manage, and carry out multiple tasks in a fast-paced work environment working largely unsupervised, delivering to deadlines and agreed targets.
  • 3+ years of relevant work experience (to include working with the public). 
  • Excellent spoken and written Spanish and English.
  • A relevant Bachelor's Degree, or equivalent experience in a similar field.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to communication at all levels.
  • Proven ability to demonstrate initiative and determination.
  • The ability to work efficiently, accurately and calmly under pressure.
  • Proven ability to prioritise, effectively manage and carry out multiple tasks.
  • Ability to handle personal issues/information and deal with staff and clients in a friendly, sensitive and inclusive manner (professional support is provided).
  • Consular work can be demanding. The successful candidate must have a high degree of personal resilience and empathy.
  • Working knowledge of the Microsoft Office.


  • A good knowledge of multi-cultural Britain, its language and geography.
  • Casework experience/dealing with vulnerable people.
  • An ability to travel at short notice, in Colombia or further afield (when conditions allow).
29 July 2020
Administrative Officer (AO)
Full-time, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
35 (Net)
Latin America and Spanish speaking Caribbean
British Embassy
14 September 2020

Due to COVID-19 we are unable to confirm any start date of employment at this time.  We will continue to monitor progress and developments, and will be touch as soon as there is an update.

Must have the legal status to live and work in Colombia.

The British Embassy Network offers a strong benefits package.  This package includes generous vacation and leave time, flexible working patterns, and enriching learning and development opportunities.          

Learning and development opportunities:

  • The successful candidate will be expected to complete a number of e-learning courses on consular assistance work and crisis within the first month of employment.
  • The successful candidate will have the opportunity to attend a 1 week training course in the UK within the first 3-6 months of employment (when conditions allow).  In the meantime, comprehensive, remote training will be provided.
  • The successful candidate may be invited to participate in a regional conference abroad (when conditions allow).
  • Regional Responsibilities – there will be the opportunity to provide regional resilience in Posts within the Americas Consular Network (when conditions allow).

Working patterns

This position is a fixed term contract for 6 months, with a view to becoming permanent after successful completion of the 6 months period.  The successful candidate will work 35 hours per week (not including 1 hour daily lunch break), on the following basis:  Monday to Thursday 08:30 - 17:00; Friday 08:30 - 13:30.  At present, due to the local restrictions in place because of the Coronavirus pandemic, embassy staff are currently working from home.

This is a customer-facing role and normally includes frequent telephone and email contact with the public, and usually face-to-face contact with stakeholders.  When the local conditions allow, travel within Colombia and occasionally further afield may be required.  We are supportive of flexible working, however, the ability for the jobholder to provide a continued high quality service to our customers and external stakeholders is taken into consideration when discussing any flexible working requests.

Exceptionally, the successful candidate may be required to participate in training, call out arrangements for emergency cases or crisis work out of hours, including over the weekend (although rare).

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Country Based Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.