The U.S. Consulate provides full consular services to the many American citizens on all of the islands that make up the archipelago. The autonomous Azorean regional government has its own elected president and legislature, and the Consulate in Ponta Delgada serves as the U.S. Government's main point of contact with the regional government and handles issues related to the U.S. presence at Lajes Field.
Other essential missions include trade, cultural exchanges and immigrant and non-immigrant visas. During the summer of 2003, after almost forty years of operation in a waterfront building in downtown Ponta Delgada, the Consulate moved to a new building. Even though we are in a new facility, pictures of former employees and applications of former Azorean emigrants adorn office walls. We have not forgotten our past. We expect that the three-page list of officers assigned to the Consulate in Ponta Delgada to continue to grow as the Azores continue to play a role in world events.
We will carry on the 200-year tradition of defending American interests and citizens in these nine islands, in the center of the Atlantic, where the American, European and African tectonic plates all come together.