What is Embassy?
An embassy is the office or official site of the diplomatic mission of a country in another country (referred to as the host country). Embassies or diplomatic missions abroad are usually located in the capital of a country.
The embassy is where the ambassador and diplomats do all their official work. The citizens from the embassy’s home country can also go there to get their passports renewed, get birth certificates etc. Similarly, the embassy also grants visa to the citizens of the country where the embassy is located. Not only is the embassy an office for the diplomats and ambassadors, most of the times it is also the home of the ambassador where he or she lives with their families. The representative or head of an embassy is referred to as an Ambassador.
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What is Consulates?
Consulates on the other hand are like site offices or branches in different part of a host country. The jobs and responsibilities of a consulate are more commercial in nature than diplomatic. Their job revolves around providing any legal or government services to their citizens abroad.
Other than that they focus more on the business side of things for example exploring potential investment avenues. In case a certain country has no embassy in a host country but only a consulate, granting visa’s to citizens then also falls under the domain of the consulate. The representative of a consulate is referred to as a Consul.
What is Different?
Embassies and Consulates are present in all sovereign countries but they perform different roles. The role of an embassy is to deal directly with the presidential office in its home country. The embassy acts as a messenger between the host country and the home country. Its job is to keep track of and monitor all social, political and economic activities between in the host country and see if those activities will have a positive or negative impact on the relationship between them the two states. A consulate on the other hand is mostly responsible for aiding and helping its citizens who are living in the host country by issuing birth certificates, renewing passports or providing them with any other legal documents. A consulate is mostly there to look after and help out citizens of its own country living in the host country where as an embassy is supposed to keep the needs and welfare of the host country citizens in mind as well.
They may set up or launch welfare programs in the host country on behalf of their government. Other than that it is the job of an embassy to arrange state visits, treaties as well as cultural events to promote their culture and crafts. A country will only set up its embassy in another country if it recognizes it as a sovereign state. Some countries only have consulates in other countries and no embassies; this is due to a lack of an ambassador being assigned to that particular country. A consulates job is to keep its citizens aware of any security threats in the host country and what actions to take in such an event. A consulate is as some would say a “junior” embassy which handles very minuscule diplomatic tasks. Its main job as mentioned before is to look at potential business avenues, improve trade relationships and help companies from the home country to set up and invest in the host country.
When it comes to abiding the law, the ambassadors, diplomats and staff of a consulate and embassy have diplomatic immunity and are bound only by the laws of their own country. These rules do not apply to any citizen of the host country working at or for an embassy or consulate.