U.S. Embassy

U.S. Embassy

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U.S. Embassy
What is an Embassy?


An embassy is a permanent diplomatic mission located in a country's capital city.  An embassy is responsible for representing the home country overseas and preserving the rights of citizens abroad.  An ambassador is the highest office in the embassy.  Their job is to be the "voice" of the home nation.  Once a nation is declared sovereign by another an embassy is usually established in the capitol of the recognizing nation to maintain foreign relations.
What does an embassy do?
The functions of an embassy deal strictly with that of governmental communication.  The embassy's main job is to represent the visiting nation in the host nation, protecting the visiting nation's interests, negotiating with the host nation and reporting that information to the visiting nation.  
What is the difference between an embassy and a consulate?
Where an embassy deals mostly with international diplomacy between the host and visiting nation a consulate is more concerned with dealing with individual and business relations.  As defined by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 a consular has two jobs; (1) to protect the interests of their countrymen in the host country and (2) further the commercial and economic relations between the two countries. 


What can I get done at an embassy or consulate?
The most common thing that individuals use the embassy for is to obtain visas and/or passports.  For any type of travel outside your home country it is important that you obtain a passport, if not a visa.  


What is the difference between a passport and a visa?
A visa is a document showing that an individual is authorized to enter into a country.  Unlike common belief, a visa does not allow entry into another country; it merely allows the host country to identify the individual prior to their entry into the country.  It may be revoked by the host country at any time.  There are many types of visas available including work visas, transit visas, tourist visas, business visas, etc.  A visa is usually a stamp that is found within a passport.
A passport, on the other hand, is a document that certifies an individual's identity and citizenship.  Unlike a visa, a passport is your home countries notification that you are permitted to travel outside the country.  The passport serves two purposes; (1) to regain entry to the country of citizenship and (2) is a requirement of many countries to gain entry to the visiting country.  
How do I get a visa or passport?
The best way to obtain a visa is to visit your local consulate or embassy of the country you wish to travel to.  There you will need to fill out certain forms depending on what type of visa you are seeking.  Check with the consulate or embassy of the nation you intend to visit to discover what their visa requirements are.  There are many countries, especially for U.S. citizens that do not require a visa to travel, only a passport.  

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