It’s something many of us don’t give a second thought to – until we get into trouble overseas and need help. So, that do you call? A Consulate, the Embassy, or High Commission? The following is intended as being an unofficial and brief description only:


Consulates are like mini embassies or limbs of embassies. These are found in major tourist cities of the world or areas with large expatriate populations. Consulates problem visas, passports and unexpected emergency paperwork. Additionally they perform notary functions, register births and fatalities and handle significant issues such as forced partnerships and kid abductions. Consulates assist nationals imprisoned abroad and victims of criminal activity. They also assist in cases of serious sickness while travelling or death of family members abroad. They are the first point of contact when passports are lost or stolen or other serious issue is experienced when living or travelling abroad. Their primary function is always to assist people; they do not usually get involved with country-to-country relationships (the primary part and performance of the ambassador and embassy). Smaller metropolitan areas and communities may have an ‘honorary consulate’ which is a smaller sized version of the consulate.

A consulate establishes a presence in a foreign nation primarily to assist expatriates and tourists and to some extent to promote and improve friendly relations in between the countries pertaining to trade, purchase, as well as the import and export of solutions between countries.

Consuls are employed as established representatives of the federal government (whereas there exists only one Ambassador for each country, which represents the head of state). There may be a number of consuls appointed to your country, performing different jobs, with a different consul in charge of consulates based in major metropolitan areas. A consulate is also sometimes component of the embassy in the capital city of the nation.

A high-position consul is known as a consul-general. A consul-general could have deputy consuls-general, vice-consuls, or brokers working to assist them. In a large country including the U.S. there is a consul-general in many major metropolitan areas, such as New York City, La and Chi town.


Embassy – An embassy could be looked on as the ‘head office’ whereas consulates would be the branch offices. There is only one ambassador located in the embassy inside the capital of the host country, while there are lots of consuls to cover major metropolitan areas. For instance, within the United States the British Embassy is located in Washington, D.C. with consulates in main cities.

An Ambassador is really a representative of the head of state and federal government with their country. The ambassador deals directly with the ambassador for that head of state of the host country (as an example the Ambassador to H.M. The Queen as well as the Ambassador to the Leader of the United States). Ambassadors are responsible for supervising the work of the embassy along with its consulates. An ambassador also provides and clarifies political policies and views to the host nation and similarly reviews back to the house country. Other responsibilities include protection issues, industrial, financial, media, and diplomatic relations and interests. Some countries do not have an embassy for politically-delicate factors, but use a consulate to aid citizen expatriates and travellers.

Higher Commission – In Commonwealth nations, where British Monarch is Head of State, an embassy is actually a Higher Commission and executes the same features as being an embassy. As an example, you will find High Commission fees located in Greater toronto area, Canada; Auckland, Nz; Sydney, Australia, and Pretoria, South Africa. The employed diplomats in charge are referred to as Higher Commissioners. High Commissions can be found in funds cities and, just similar to embassies, are maintained by consulates in major cities.

Expatriates and tourists must not contact any of the previously mentioned workplaces unless of course it is a essential issue (such as a shed or taken passport) or perhaps a genuine emergency. Just as it is improper to contact emergency services as time passes-throwing away calls about loud neighbours and dogs, consulates and embassies will not be contacted over trivial matters like shed sunglasses, weather conditions reviews, missed flights, or assistance with paying the bills! Tourists are expected to take out journey insurance to cover travel accidents such aklhth shed and stolen property and repayment of unexpected emergency healthcare expenses. Although you should speak to a Consulate to change a shed or taken passport, journey insurance coverage will usually include the price for substitute.

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