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I read on this answer by Mark Johnson:

[Since] the general agreement about the issuing of visas states, as a general rule, that visas should be issued at the place of domicile of the applicant (a rule which still applies today), this is probably the reason for this [physical address] field [on some passports].

[...]


FINAL ACT adopted by the Passport Conference on May 18th, 1926.
...
RECOMMENDATIONS
SECTION I. - GENERAL QUESTIONS.
II . Facilities to be Granted.
...
B. Visas. The Conference recommends:
...
(3) That, although as a general rule visas are granted by the diplomatic or consular authorities competent for the place of domicile of the applicant, the diplomatic and consular authorities may in cases deserving special consideration grant visas to persons not domiciled in their area and that as far as possible the said authorities shall not require the applicant to appear in person. In the case of transit visas, the applicant should only be required to appear in person if the authority granting the visas has doubts regarding the case.


Sources:

In what case(s) is a visa only issued at the place of domicile of the applicant? Or is this II.B.(3) rule dating back from 1926 in practice just ignored by all nowadays?

In practice I have never seen a visa only issued at the place of domicile of the applicant. E.g. as a French citizen domiciled in California with a French address on my French passport, I can obtain a Chinese visa in Hong Kong (mirror).

If specific to the applicant's citizenship, I am interested in French citizens (possibly with a US double citizenship) applying for visas.

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    Ironically, France does in general require people to apply for a visa at the consulate serving their place of usual residence. As a French citizen, that doesn't impact you of course. Ultimately, the passport conference doesn't carry much weight, it's up to each country.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 7 '20 at 21:25
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    Related: travel.stackexchange.com/a/148256/30703
    – jcaron
    Jul 7 '20 at 23:41
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    @jcaron the concept of "domicile" is by no means exclusive to UK tax law.
    – phoog
    Jul 8 '20 at 3:52
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    @FranckDernoncourt it's not the consulate "nearest to their domicile" but rather in whose jurisdiction they reside. The two are not always the same. This rule is imposed by the Schengen Visa Code, so it applies to all Schengen visa applicants.
    – phoog
    Jul 8 '20 at 3:56
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    One issue is that consular staff are familiar with local applications. If a resident of India applies for a visa in India, the consulate knows what's normal locally, knows what common documents look like, and will have local national staff who know how to verify details. If an Indian resident applies for a visa in Panama, they're suddenly asking staff to start working in rupees and figure out how to verify someone's employment on the other side of the world. So some countries either prefer you apply where you reside (and may be more likely to deny a visa otherwise) or strictly require it. Jul 8 '20 at 4:16
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It's not a rule, it's a recommendation. Some countries follow it (for example the Schengen countries) while others don't (for example the US, the UK, and apparently China).

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  • Glad I typically don't need visas for Schengen countries :-/ Surprised that China doesn't reciprocate that. Jul 8 '20 at 3:55
  • @FranckDernoncourt people seem to think that visa rules are based on some sort of reciprocal agreement, but they often aren't. In particular, rules governing whether applications must be submitted to a particular consulate don't typically depend on the nationality of the applicant.
    – phoog
    Jul 8 '20 at 4:04
  • The visa application process does depend on the nationality of the applicant in the case of French citizens applying to a Chinese visa in the US (perhaps worldwide, idk) :( No reciprocal agreement, just Chinese mirroring some stupid French visa process rule. Jul 8 '20 at 4:05

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