I am very proud to serve as the Honorary Consul for the Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset and Wiltshire area, and have been in post since 2012. I was lucky to succeed a very well-respected and experienced Honorary Consul in Mr Roger Thornton, who fulfilled the role with grace and expertise for 37 years!
My appointments take place on Fridays at the Totton & Eling Tennis Centre, which is the home of my business, Serving Tennis. As Honorary Consuls generally fulfil other employment alongside their role for the Federal Republic of Germany, appointments normally take place at the individual’s place of work. The role of Honorary Consul is essentially a voluntary position, and therefore duties often fit in alongside day-to-day work. The Federal Republic of Germany relies on a network of more than 300 Honorary Consuls worldwide, 17 of whom serve in the United Kingdom. Honorary Consuls do not necessarily need to be German citizens.
I often get asked about my own background and how I came to be an Honorary Consul. As a very brief summary, I studied German / Business Administration at Aston University, and then worked in Germany for a number of years as a contract manager in the logistics industry. This time took me primarily to Hamburg and Offenau (Stuttgart) and was a fascinating and immersing experience. My lifelong love has always been tennis, so when the opportunity came along to create a business in community tennis development, it did not take much thinking about! Although this meant that I did not have many opportunities to use my German language, I maintained links with the country through organisations such as the Southampton Anglo-German Society, Totton & Eling Twinning Association and British German Association. By 2012, as my business had become established and I had a little more time, I was therefore looking for a role that would allow me to both build on my links with Germany, and give me the opportunity to use my language. The Honorary Consul vacancy was therefore perfectly timed!
Please note that I am not able to take in/ process visa applications. For all visa related questions please contact the German Embassy in London.
The following list sets out my principal consular activities:
It is possible to apply for a German passport at my Southampton office. Unfortunately I cannot accept ID card applications.
The applicable fees, including an additional consular fee for applications processed in Southampton, have to be paid in British Pounds. As they depend on various circumstances (e.g. type of passport, age of applicant) they will be determined upon request or once an application has been filed. Please note that the passport fees payable to the Embassy in London must be made via Postal Order. The additional consular fee for applications processed in Southampton is payable in cash.
During the appointment, all original documents brought by the applicant are copied and then certified. All relevant biometric data is taken digitally, including finger prints and a facial photograph, and forwarded together with the paperwork to the Embassy in London within 24 working hours.
A new passport is issued in Germany within 4-6 weeks for a standard application, or 2-4 weeks for an express. The time needed for processing applications depends entirely upon the German authorities and cannot in any circumstances be influenced by the Honorary Consul or the German Embassy in London. Following receipt by the Embassy, new passports are then forwarded directly to applicant by Special Delivery post.
The Honorary Consul can certify signatures on a document for its intended use in Germany or on applications for Certificates of Good Conduct (i.e. no criminal convictions). The consular fee is fixed at Euro 20.00 (or the comparable amount in British Pounds).
When certifying signatures for powers of attorney and declarations of ratification in connection with the purchase or sale of property in Germany, the consular fee is calculated by reference to a statutory fee table, related to the value of the underlying legal transaction.
The consular fee for certifying the authenticity of copies, as compared against original documents, is fixed at Euro 10.00 for up to 10 pages (or the comparable amount in British Pounds).
Due to its complexity, the completion of the form for a name declaration is undertaken by the Embassy in London; nevertheless, all signatures and copies of all original supporting documents can be certified by the Honorary Consul. The current consular fee is Euro 25.00 for certifying the signature and Euro 10.00 for certifying copies of up to 10 pages.
For all initial questions related to Name Declarations, and to organise preparation of the document, please refer to the information provided on the Homepage of the German Embassy at:
Recipients of a public pension from Germany must normally produce an annual life certificate to the pension provider. The signature of the pension recipient on the relevant form can be certified by the Honorary Consul, free of charge.
- Renunciations of Inheritance
From time to time heirs wish to renounce their inheritance in relation to German estates. As a general rule, the heirs can declare their renouncement to the competent German probate court within six weeks after being informed about the death and their entitlement as heirs. The deadline is six months in case either the heir stayed outside of Germany (irrespective of his / her actual residence) at the time of death or if the deceased had his sole residence outside of Germany. All signatures on the relevant form must be certified by the Honorary Consul. The current consular fee is Euro 20.00
After certification of the signature, the form has to be sent to the competent probate court (Nachlassgericht) in Germany. In case the heir has children, the right of inheritance would usually pass on to them under intestacy rules and they would have to sign a separate renouncement form. In case of children who are underage, their legal representative(s) (i.e. usually both parents) will have to sign. In some cases the approval by the family court is necessary to renounce for children. The family court’s approval has to be submitted to the competent court of probate within the above mentioned deadline. The family court’s approval is not necessary in cases when the minor becomes an heir where the parent, who legally represents the minor, has renounced the inheritance.
The Honorary Consul unfortunately cannot offer legal advice regarding inheritance matters including the legal consequences and validity regarding a renouncement. You are therefore kindly asked to check with the German court directly whether the form has been received and accepted within the deadline. If necessary you may wish to avail yourself of a lawyer for detailed legal advice and further assistance.