What a consulate can and cannot do for you

Tural Abbasov25 April 2021961 views7 min. read
What a consulate can and cannot do for you

We all hear the words “consulate” and “embassy” all the time, specifically before travelling somewhere. In case we need a visa, we have no other choice than visit the embassy of the country that we are planning to visit, but in some cases, it is extremely helpful to know the location of our country’s embassy in that country, as well and in case if there are no embassies, the place that we should approach to. Diplomatic facilities are essential intelligence and assistance tools for travelling people and their families in another host country. That is why it is always important to know the location or access the embassy or consulates of your country in a foreign state. Suppose you are wondering where you can get the information you needed. In that case, pickvisa.com is the right address for you, since you can check the location of any embassy or consulate anywhere in the world and also get their contact numbers and email, which can be crucial in some extreme cases while travelling around. However, in that case, we are facing questions such as: What is an embassy? What are the responsibilities of the consulate? Most importantly, what is the difference between these two?

What is an embassy?

blue passport

Let us get started by explaining what is an embassy. The embassy is, in short, the headquarters of the diplomatic representatives of one country in another country. However, even though the location might differ on a usual basis, usually embassies are located in the capital city of the receiving country. On the other hand, consulates are smaller diplomatic missions typically located in the receiving state's major cities (but may be positioned in the capital, usually when the sending country does not have an embassy in the receiving state). In addition to being a diplomatic mission to the country where it is based, it may also be a permanent, non-resident mission to one or more other countries.

What can these two institutions offer you once you are in another country? An embassy is the centre of a given country’s representative for its diplomatic missions to another nation, where the ambassador performs its operations. People living or travelling abroad who are passport holders of that country may show up for government services like visas, birth registration and voting. However, the consulate's help is a bit different as it plays the role of some type of support to the embassies. We can also call it a position of a satellite for the embassy in other parts of the country. Just take into consideration that the consulates have a more commercial than a diplomatic role.

Functions of embassies

usa flag

However, let us imagine that you are travelling around New York City, in one of the largest cities in the world, to be honest, there is a chance that you might face some type of problem and that is normal. For example, do you know whom you can turn to if the situation goes south and you have your passport stolen? The first thing that appears on your mind is probably your country’s embassy, so you google the location and surprise! The country that you are from has an embassy in Washington D.C. but not in NYC. So, what to do now? To get a ticket for 150 USD and fly there? Absolutely, no. Even though the main focus of consulates is the commercial success of your country in a foreign state, as we have mentioned above, there is always someone who can help you out and even help you build a bridge between you and the embassy. In that case, there is a question arising, in which cases can we approach the consulate? What are the things that they can do and cannot do for us?

vintage camera

When we are talking about travel, we all want to imagine beautiful and Instagrammable pictures, pleasant memories and enjoyable moments of the whole trip, in general. Travellers and especially bloggers love sharing stories about the places they went, the encounters they had and how amazing their last trip happened to be. However, don’t get lost in the illusions of what you see on YouTube or read in blogs if you are willing to travel, it is better to be prepared for any inconvenience during your trip.

Sometimes tourists might unintentionally or intentionally break the laws, resulting in them being arrested in a foreign state. If you find yourself behind the bars, I would suggest you contact your consulate immediately. Seeking legal help for you is one of the things they can surely do. They will give you a pack of documents after contacting the consulate and informing them that you have been detained. It includes basic facts and a description of the relevant laws and regulations of the country you were arrested in. The consulate also can provide you, detainees, with support in the form of informing your family of your imprisonment and, also, provide you with regular contact with your family, send and collect notes and establish reliable communication.

Functions of consulates

consulate staff

Floods, rainfalls, earthquakes? Yes, thousands of tourists per year face this natural phenomenon that might be more than a mood-killer and might even have catastrophic consequences for you and your family. If you find yourself in a similar situation, do not forget that connections, satellites might be damaged and nothing is going to work perfectly, even if they do function at all, however, panicking and being frustrated in confusion can only make matters worse. As it was with imprisonment, in case of a natural disaster, head for refuge as soon as possible, then when there is no direct threat to your life or well-being, contact your consulate and give them detailed information about the situation and about your location, so that the consulate can provide you with assistance, too.

Let us, imagine you are in another country, and you lost your passport or somehow it has expired. This is a very crucial situation as your exit from that country might be denied due to lack of documentation, in this situation passport. However, if by any chance it happens you should be heading directly to embassy or consulate. Issuing passports and departure visas where identity papers have been destroyed or stolen is one thing that consulate can do for you. However, pay attention that this issued “new” passport is only to make sure you can go back home safely and without any problems. This means you should apply for a passport once you are in your homeland afterwards.

What consulate can not offer

canadian passport

Now it is about time we look at the points when running to the consulate does not really mean a lot, as they cannot offer us the guidance we require. There are hundreds of cases when consulates receive a request about finding a job for travellers, which is wrong in many ways and consulate cannot find a workplace for you, so you might need to check out the local employment agencies to find the most suitable workplace that you were looking for.

One of the most complicated things for some people is to plan their trip. So, they might want to turn to the embassy or consulate to help them out. However, the consulate neither can help you plan your trip or offer you tourism services nor provide a person to serve as your translator, guide, or social assistant. So if you are wondering which cafes to dine in or maybe, which museums are the best, I would strongly advise you to check out travel blogs on “pickvisa.com” to know more about historical places, food and more.

Another very common problem among travellers is losing your belongings while rushing from one place to another. And especially when it is your fault, the feeling of guilt is just indescribable, however, unfortunately, the consulate cannot do anything about it as they cannot locate the lost property of yours.

While travelling abroad we should also make sure we have our travel insurance ready. Given how careful our preparation is for our next trip, many things could just not go the way we planned it to go, and that, sadly, can make us feel extremely insecure while visiting another country. An expense of a medical emergency for which we, clearly, have not prepared for could result in financial hardship, making our travel experience very bad, if not the worst. Just for your information, the consulate is not responsible for paying or authorizing your medical treatment bills. There are several other things that consulates cannot do for you, including offering additional information about the schools or corporations of the country you are paying a visit to. Renew or upgrade your expired driver's licenses, and last but not least, assist you with concerns about social insurance or specific compensation.

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