San Diego is host to twenty-four foreign consulates, each headed by a consular official who represents the interests here of his or her respective country. Some consulates issue visas and renew passports, in addition to the typical consular trade and commerce activities. All consulates are responsible for protecting the rights and privileges of that country's nationals, and provide emergency assistance to travelers and others when needed.

The Office of Protocol, within the Office of the Mayor, is the City's official liaison to the San Diego Consular Corps

. As the second largest city in California and the eighth largest in the country, San Diego is a powerful engine to an economy larger than those of many foreign countries. World trade in San Diego is an integral part of its economic life and fuels continuing investment in the City. The Consular Corps plays an ever-increasing role as San Diego expands its presence in the evolving global economy.