Future of the embassies: Will embassies still matter?

Shamil Hasanli26 April 2021945 views8 min. read
Future of the embassies: Will embassies still matter?

Together with consulates and permanent missions, the embassies are diplomatic missions of one country to another country. The embassies generally do works that are related to political-diplomatic, economic-trade, and consular issues. As a traveller, we mostly are interested in embassies for the visa services. I believe that is the first thing travelers think of when someone talks about embassies. We look for and call embassies, search for necessary information on their websites, fill required applications to get our visa to enter a particular country that we plan to visit for different purposes, as well as touristic purposes.

Where can you get visa requirements for each country?

red passport

An interesting question is: will embassies still matter in the future, for example, a decade later, or will they change too much and be substituted by online and other services? Nevertheless, we do not have an answer to these questions yet; we can just assume. However, one thing is precisely known that pickvisa.com is the best website to get the right information about visa requirements of all countries in the world. You need to choose which country you are from and which country do you want to travel to. Then you will freely get the entry and visa requirements of the country you would like to visit for the citizens of your country. After that, you can benefit from the company's visa support services to obtain your visa as soon as possible, regardless of visa type.

Embassies' future

One thing that comes into my mind about the embassies' future is that online services will replace them, and there will be no need to be the physically diplomatic mission of one country to another country. Despite this idea, in the shadow of rapid and spreading globalization and intergovernmental integration trends globally, it can be possible that there will be no need for embassies at all in the future. Thanks! Let us hope that. When we think of the European Union, especially the Schengen area, it was evident that their member countries do not have any visa requirements to enter the in-between country citizens. What about the embassies of these countries to one another? I consider them nothing more than a formality of demonstration about mutual relations. Now, in these countries, there are only a few duties that should be done on behalf of embassies, and I think these may be displaced by online services soon.

E-visa

Are you wondering what is e visa? Besides these, in the last decade, most of us have experienced or get familiar with a new kind of visa, called the electron visa, or shortly e-visa. Now, tens of countries in the world issue this so-called e-visa for certain countries who visit for specified purposes. For example, countries like Azerbaijan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates uses this system. In most cases, these electronic visas are filled by the applicant online on the governmental website. Later, these e-visas can be printed as a document or without print, which is then presented to border control officials on the border crossing. They are easy to get in all ways. It is easy to issue them and demands too little workforce in contrast to embassies due to the low level of human intervention, and the electron system does almost all the work. On the other hand, it is comfortable enough for applicants to fill the blanks and apply for a visa and get it in a short period without wasting any time on going to the embassy consular services.

Schengen Area

european union building

The biggest group of countries that do not have border control are the Schengen area members. It includes members of the European Union, except Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus, and non-EU nations of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. Besides these, micro countries of the European continent and dependent areas of the European Union member states have opened their borders to other Schengen countries. The exclusive features of the Schengen area are that citizens of all Schengen area members and Schengen visa holders have a right to cross the borders of these countries freely without a passport and border checks. Also, citizens of non-member states of the Schengen area are treated equally when crossing the border and want to enter the site.

The Schengen area is the most significant and practical example of the abolition of border controls between countries for the people's fair use and welfare. It is also the best precedent to assume what the embassies will be like in the future. It is evident that in that case, there will be no need for consular services in these countries, so it decreases the grounds to have a necessity of owning an embassy in another member country. Similarly, within the political and economic integrations like the European Union, other kinds of institutions also become homogenized. Other competencies of the embassies, like political duties, trade-economic relations, and so on, are unified in all these states. So, one member state does not need the embassy to another do deal with economic affairs because the economic policies of all member countries are the same for non-member states. Within the member countries, the movement of capital and labor is free. Thus, I think that there will be no embassies in the future, they will be abolished, and some functions of embassies like consular matters will be replaced by online services, if necessary.

Online embassies

european parliament

Another scenario is that embassies might turn online rather than a diplomatic mission operating in some physical office. As mentioned above, e-visa services are spreading quickly enough. Considering that fact, I can say that shortly, all services that the embassies offer will be available online, and nobody will need to visit for these services. It can be a benefit from all sides for all. For example, it is less costly for both sides, the embassy, and let us call applicants from an economic wise. The embassies can reduce their operating costs by having the necessity of owning a large office to receive applicants.

Moreover, the embassies will need to have much fewer employees than before they used to have an offline working regime. Also, in terms of visa procedures, it can decrease the time of issuing documents. Contrarily, it works for the applicants, too. They will not need to commute to the embassy several times for getting their visas, and again it will reduce waste of time.

For all other functions of embassies, online and remote working seems more accurate and reasonable. It is sensible that now in the world of rapid digitalization, all meetings can be held online, all documents can be signed online, and more. Though there is a chance of hack and spam risks for online systems, it is easier and cheaper to have the most secure online course than a physical place and documents. Also, because of wars, terror attacks, and other harmful activities, online working seems more sensible for embassies. Considering that the embassy needs strong protection of their premises, it requires a vast amount of funds to have a workforce of guards to shield the building. In contrast, the online working system does not require them.

Remote work during Coronavirus

Having a point of the world's current situation, which is characterized as the coronavirus pandemic, embassies with an online working regime still matter. It seems very uncertain when we can get through these circumstances, so remote working in isolation can be a massive trend for all and the diplomatic missions. If the embassies operate online, employees and people who visit there will not get infected with the coronavirus. Despite these, there are still some matters that the embassy should carry out offline. For example, if an embassy needs fingerprints of the visa applicant, it is impossible to carry out this task online by ensuring that the applicant will not misuse this opportunity. This and other factors make it a little bit difficult to have an online working regime for embassies, but I believe these will be overcome soon. It seems the embassies still matter for now, and their future as an online service can be achieved by dealing with this kind of challenge.

Recap

In conclusion, the answer to the question of what the diplomatic missions will look like in the future and whether they will still matter can be answered in two ways. Due to the rapid globalization and effective alliances between states, it seems that embassies will not be as useful as they are now. Due to the abolishing of passport checking and border controls between countries of the intact economic and political integrations, such as the European Union and the Schengen Area, diplomatic missions will not be needed anymore. Secondly, some or all functions of diplomatic missions, which will still be required even in the first scenario, will be done remotely and online. For example, people will not need to go to the embassy for consular matters, and they can apply and get their visas and other required documents online. Also, it appears that online working will be inevitable for an uncertain period due to the pandemic.

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