Difference Between Consulate and Embassy

Consulate vs Embassy

Consulates and embassies are permanent diplomatic missions that countries establish in cities of other countries, mostly in capital cities of the world. Many people cannot differentiate between a consulate and an embassy as both serve similar purposes and functions. However, despite overlapping, there are differences between a consulate and an embassy that will be discussed in this article.


A consulate is a diplomatic mission that is generally smaller than an embassy and is found in cities other than the capital cities of the world. There are many important cities in a country other than its capital such as cities that are important from the point of view of tourism or business. Countries set up consulates in such cities to provide services that are usually provided to their citizens in capital cities through an embassy. For example, India is an important country having embassies of nearly all countries of the world in its capital New Delhi. However, there are other important cities of India such as the commercial center Mumbai and technological hub Bangalore where most countries have their smaller diplomatic missions called consulates so as to make it easier for their citizens visiting these cities.

The chief diplomat in a consulate is called the Consul who has a stature smaller than the ambassador of a country. A consul looks after issues like issuing visas to the citizens of his country visiting the city and also to help in improving trade relations between the two countries.


Embassy is a permanent diplomatic mission that a country has in other countries of the world, to maintain friendly relations. In most instances, an embassy is situated in the capital of other country. The word Embassy comes from French Ambassy, which means ambassador’s office. An ambassador is the highest ranking official sent to another country to act as a representative of his native country and his office is called an Embassy.

Embassy is a much bigger office than a consulate and much more formal than a consulate. Any country recognizing the sovereignty of another country tries to maintain an embassy in the capital of that country. The presence of the embassy of a country in another country signifies the fact that the country is recognized by the country maintaining its embassy.

As a rule, there is only one embassy of a particular country in another country while there can be many consulates in different cities of the country. It is the duty and responsibility of the embassy of a country to maintain friendly relations with the host country. The embassy also tries to keep its government informed about all cultural, political, business and military happenings in the host country.

What is the difference between Consulate and Embassy?

• While both embassies, as well as consulates, are permanent diplomatic missions, the consulate is much smaller and much less significant than the embassy of a country in the host country.

• Embassy is the office of the ambassador while consulate is the office of the Consul.

• There is only one embassy of a country in another country that it recognizes, and this is situated in the capital of the host country.

• There can be more than one consulates of a country in the host country in different cities depending upon their tourist importance or other cultural importance.

• Embassy is responsible for maintaining friendly relations with the host country and keeps parent country informed about all happenings in the host country.

• Consulates are mostly responsible for the security of the travelling citizens and issuance of visas to these citizens.

  • Tegan Bigone

    So basically a Consulate is a satellite office of an Embassy…? I get it now.