51

Man, these answers are confused. Which is understandable, because this is complex, but quoting Wikipedia isn't going to do it. Here's my understanding, based on holding a diplomatic passport for 18 years and seeing all this first hand & up close. So on a purely practical level, Doc's got it right: embassies and consulates are pretty much ...


44

From the perspective of a traveler, there is almost zero difference. Both embassies and consulates are representative departments of a foreign country/government within another country. Technically, an Embassy is where an "Ambassador" is based. As there can only be one Ambassador for a specific country, there can only be (at most) one Embassy. As the ...


25

No country has a diplomatic presence in every other country; in some cases politics prevents it, but in other cases it is simply impractical. Your home country will take care of its citizens' needs in the destination country in some fashion, however: Through another country's mission to the destination country, by agreement Through a mission of your home ...


18

Embassies and consulates will only assist their own citizens. For example, the section of the US embassy that performs this function is called "American Citizen Services". You and your spouse would have to contact your respective countries' embassies. As your children are dual citizens they could get assistance from either embassy. Only in exceedingly rare ...


16

The entry clearance officers are in the British embassy and consulates (known as high commission and deputy high commission in India). Your passport and supporting documents will be sent to the high commission or deputy high commission serving as a decision making hub for the area in which you live (see the map below), and an entry clearance officer there ...


14

You can take pictures, which: Show the internal layout, where people sit, etc.; Show the people that work there, which allows to identify them, It could be a remote bomb - you just leave you cell lying under the chair or wherever, and later remote detonate it; It would be incredibly annoying if you have dozens of people in there, all shouting on their ...


13

The two highly voted answers are not entirely correct. Embassies represent the interest of their home country, consulates serve the public (EDITED, see comments below). Of course, each country has some freedom in how to organize their diplomatic network but that's the general idea and it's regulated by international treaties. To take an example I have first-...


9

I had to do this in Bolivia. South African and NZ citizenship. Needed to contact my country and Interpol. Neither has a presence in Bolivia. So I went to the 'closest' I could think of - the British consulate. A quick call to them and they were able to give some initial advice, but then connect me with the NZ consulates in Chile and Argentina, who ...


8

Embassy represents country dealing with the host's government. There is always only one embassy per country, it's lead by an ambassador. Consulate represents country dealing with individuals. There may be numerous consulates per country, there may be numerous consuls. Confusion arises from the fact, that most often the building housing an embassy (...


8

Yes you can, from the official site of Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Is it possible to apply for or renew my Italian passport at a consulate where I am not a resident? Yes, but in that case it is necessary to obtain a clearance (nulla osta) from: the police (Questura) where you are a resident for citizens residing in Italy, and authorised ...


8

Yes, I checked with the consulate security, They said we can carry them, but we cannot use them during the interview. However, you can use them when you are waiting in the lobby.


8

EU citizens who travel to or live in a third country where their Member State of nationality does not have an embassy or consulate have the right to consular protection by the consular authorities of any other Member State. That Member State has to assist these unrepresented EU citizens under the same conditions as its own nationals. Source: ...


8

Without knowing your nationality, this is very much a hypothetical. In addition to the answer by Choster, if you are an EU citizen you can receive consular assistance from any other EU representation if there is no national embassy or consulate.


7

The easiest ways to go about finding genuine websites is to look for them from the website of the Ministry or Department of Foreign Affairs or Department of State. Like the one from Singapore. These usually have links to embassies in the countries where they exist or in other cases they have indication on which government provides consular services for a ...


7

Answering if someone is looking for answer. Italian consulate website adds new slots (I guess these slots are a result of automatic cancellations in their system) everyday at 12 midnight Italy time. I made sure to login at that time and managed to find a slot well under a week.


7

The answer is going to depend wildly on the citizenships you hold, and the country where you get in trouble. My personal advice would be to choose the consulate or embassy with the most useful presence in the country where you are having difficulty. The larger the diplomatic presence, the more resources will be available to assist you. A secondary factor ...


7

I don't have a great solution for you, but here are some options, too long for a comment: There's SOLVIT. I suspect that the timeframe of 10 weeks may be longer than you have, but they may be able to resolve the question more quickly than that. (Furthermore, I am unfamiliar with EU law on divergent administrative practices, but the free-movement directive ...


6

The legal answer for why consular districts exist is that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations specifies that consular posts are associated with consular districts, and a consular officer isn't allowed to exercise his functions outside his district except in special circumstances with the approval of the receiving state. Furthermore, a country can't ...


6

If the photo is not suitable, than at the time you attend the consulate they will instruct you to provide a physical photo that meets the requirements. I've seen this occur for multiple people in the Sydney consulate - for each person they directed them to a nearby shop that could take the photo, and would not allow them to proceed with the application ...


6

I do not know about US consulates, since US usually takes security extremely cautious thus the access to the consulates are strict. However, I can tell from personal experience that consulates usually welcome their own citizens. I went to the Turkish Consulate in several countries, just to ask question (I was bored), and in all the times, they offered me ...


6

From my perspective and in my experience (as a non-American citizen), American consulates are tightly guarded very unpleasant places where people often get mistreated. As an American, you are less likely to be put through an awful experience, but I also find it very unlikely that it will be any fun. Note that much of the mistreatment I experienced was by ...


6

So - to answer my own question: Yes this does happen. I've been checking interview appointment availability on the consulate web site twice a day since I made the original appointment, and today saw some new slots open up in the date range I was aiming for and I've now rescheduled for the 19th.


5

Your visa application may well be processed immediately, on the spot! At least if you're from a developed country and applying in the low season. I'm Australian and applied in late November. I can't guarantee it will be the same for all countries or in the summer. The bad news if you're applying in the winter is that you will have to wait outside the ...


5

The correct address appears to be : KM 3, Thadeua Road Watnak Village Sisattanak District Vientiane This would place it very close to the ambassadors residence, and in the same vicinity as multiple other embassies, including Japan, India, Singapore and Australia (which is at KM4, Thadeua Road). If you get stuck, I'm sure the staff at the Australia embassy ...


5

According to the website, "2.If you cannot come in person, you may entrust someone else or a travel/visa agent to drop off your application at the visa office of the Embassy or Consulate -General which holds consular jurisdiction over the state where you reside;" So, no, you don't have to drop off/pick up your visa in person. But SOMEONE has to visit the ...


5

In Australia you have two options: If you go to the consulate yourself then you need to make a return trip to pick up the visa yourself, so be careful about planning a road trip because you will likely end up needing to make 2! I don't know about major travel agencies, but the Chinese travel agents always get the visas for me, but they charge us an extra $...


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