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When you need to apply for a visa or have any inquires related to visa, you will think of contacting the nearest embassy or consulate of the country you want to travel. But do you know what is difference between embassy and consulate? Many people still confuse and cannot distinguish these two diplomatic missions.

What is an Embassy?

The Embassy is a diplomatic organization of one country in another country, it is established when two countries have diplomatic relations and agree to establish diplomatic agencies. The head of the Embassy is the Ambassador, followed by Counselor, Secretary,…

What is Consulate?

A consulate represents the country in large cities which are economically important, hence the fact that in Canada, the US has a consulate-general in Toronto as well as an embassy in Ottawa, while in Australia, Ireland has consulate-general in Sydney as well as an embassy in Canberra.

Embassy vs Consulate

The head of mission in embassy is an ambassador, the most senior diplomatic rank and the head of mission in consulate is a consul who is junior in rank to an ambassador.

Both the Embassy and the Consulate refer to Government representations in a foreign country. Each country often have only one embassy which is located in the capital city of a foreign country, and have a lot of consulates located in the big cities of that country. That means, Consulate under control of Embassy. The head of the Embassy is the Ambassador, who has authority over the country in matters such as visa, economy, culture, politics,… The Ambassador will be responsible for reporting to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the host country.

While the Embassy deals with major diplomatic tasks, Consulates handle minor diplomatic tasks. The number of Consulates will depend on the requirement. The main task of Consulates is to foster trade and maintain commercial links between the two nations or to issue relating to visas, passports and also deal with tourists and expatriates.

When there are any significant social, political, military, economical and events happening in the host nation, embassy must inform its government, while Consulate reports to its government about significant deaths, births, marriages and many events.

Embassy takes responsibility for preparing treaties between the two nations and also in arranging official visits.

The consulate also takes responsibility for informing its nationals all security problems. Consulates are entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of its nationals of detention or arrest.

Although both Embassy and Consulate represent for their government in a foreign country, they have completely diverse responsibilities and diverse roles to play.

Though the United States has strong diplomatic ties to many foreign nations, there are some countries which does not have embassy or consulates in US such as Bhutan, Iran, Syria, and North Korea.

Now we understand more clearly about these diplomatic mission. Whenever you need helps, find the embassy or consulate near you. Both can help you resolve the problems.