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Difference Between Embassy and High Commission

Embassy vs High Commission

To foster the relationship between countries, it has been the custom to send representatives from one to the other.  This is called a diplomatic mission, a group of people sent by a certain country to another to stay in the capital city.  This diplomatic mission is permanent and is popularly known as the Embassy.  The term Embassy also refers to the building where the diplomatic delegation is housed.

For countries that have been British colonies or have been part of the British Empire, with the exception of Mozambique and Rwanda, this is called the High Commission.  There are fifty four members of the British Commonwealth or Commonwealth of Nations.  When they send diplomatic representatives to each other’s countries, the diplomatic delegation is called the High Commission.  For delegates sent to countries which are not members of the Commonwealth, the delegation is called an Embassy.

Although they are named differently their functions and duties are the same.  They were created to foster good relations between the host country and the country who sent the delegation.  They provide assistance to their citizens in other countries and at the same time help citizens of the host country who wish to visit their country.  They provide their citizens information on the visa and other travel requirements in the host country and assist them in every way possible.

Aside from these duties, they are also the ones who negotiate and settle political, economic, trade, and security issues between the two countries.  While citizens or officials of the host country may not enter the Embassy of another without permission and the diplomats enjoy special privileges and immunity from local laws, the Embassy is still under the jurisdiction of the host country.

For a citizen of a Commonwealth country which does not have an Embassy in a certain country, he can ask consular help and assistance from the Embassy of another Commonwealth country.  This is also applied to members of the European Union.

The members of staff who are employed by the High Commission include the High Commissioner, who is the head of office, the governor, and several diplomatic employees.  An Embassy on the other hand is headed by the Ambassador.  Other employees of the Embassy are the consular officers, political officers, and economic officers.  All of them live and work within the Embassy or High Commission.

1. Embassy generally refers to the diplomatic delegation of a country to another while High Commission is used for diplomatic delegates of a Commonwealth member country to another member country.
2. The head of the Embassy is called Ambassador while the head of the High Commission is called High Commissioner.
3. If you are a citizen of a Commonwealth country which does not have an Embassy in another, you can ask assistance from the Embassy of another Commonwealth country.
4. The main role of the Embassy is to foster foreign relations between the two countries while the main role of the High Commission is to carry the mission of a Commonwealth country to another member country.

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