There is nothing simpler than finding an embassy these days. All you need to do is type in the country name and “embassy” in the search box and find it online. The embassy sites have information about visa requirements and other information such as where they are located and the telephone and fax numbers, although generally you will not find an email address. You can also find the numbers of the embassies in your country in the Yellow Pages. You may need an entry visa for the country you are travelling to in which case you will have to contact the relevant embassy and send or take your passport there in order to get a visa. This is best done in advance as it can take more than a week to have a visa issued. Some embassies do have fast-track services, but you cannot assume that they all do.
When you go online, make sure that you are in an official government site. There are others which offer visa services, but these may not be the official sites. In some countries there is a huge business selling visas at highly inflated prices to those who have difficulties in obtaining a visa for themselves. You need to be in a site with “.gov,” in the address. If you are a British citizen, travelling to a Commonwealth country, such as India or Pakistan, then the embassy will be called The British High Commission, and at its head there will be a British High Commissioner, rather than an ambassador.
There are all kinds of reasons, why, when you are abroad, you might need the services of your own country’s embassy. Before you leave your own country, make a note of your country’s embassy in the country you are travelling to. If you have any difficulties then you will have the number and address of the embassy or the nearest consulate to where you are staying. You may be living abroad and need to renew your passport. In that case you will have to check what you require such as photographs and documents before taking your passport to the embassy or consulate.
If you have your passport and/or money and belongings stolen then you should report the loss immediately to the local police and then go to the embassy so that they can help you. Embassies no longer give money to stranded citizens, but they do offer help in contacting friends and relatives who can send you money either through Moneygram, or through the embassy. Embassy staff can also advise on a number of issues which might arise when you are in a foreign country.
Consulates will also be able to offer assistance and if you are far away from an embassy, but closer to a consulate then go to the nearest one. If you are staying in a foreign country for some time and are not simply on vacation, then it is advisable to register with your country’s embassy, so that they have your contact details in the event of an emergency, for example if you are in danger because of an unexpected crisis.
The embassy officials are helpful and have a mine of information about the country you are travelling to or are in, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you need help or advice. That’s why they are there, and as it is so easy to find them, contact them if you need to.
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