Important Embassy Information for Expats
If you are moving abroad, it is quite important that you obtain information on your national embassies and consulate wherever you will be traveling or residing abroad. Most embassies are found in the capital of the country you are residing or traveling to with smaller consulates in most major cities. Smaller countries with more limited resources may not have a consulate in the large city centers, but most larger countries such as the USA, Canada and those in Europe will have several consulate locations that can serve expats.
Check out the expat destinations pages for more information. While it is unlikely that you will need need to visit your country’s embassy while living abroad, it is a good idea to find your local embassy or consulate before you leave. Also, you may need to visit the expat destination country consulate or embassy to obtain a visitors or permanent visa.
Embassy Frequently Asked Questions for Expats
- Should expats register with their embassy abroad?
- What services do embassies provide to expats?
- Can I obtain a visa at an embassy or consulate?
What You Can Expect From Embassies and Consulates
The importance of embassies and consulates will always remain; however, there is a clear difference between the two. Embassies are mainly involved in the various diplomatic issues or high-profile politics of a country. Consulates, on the other hand, is deeply engrossed in the issues related to expat communities and the local administration. As an expat, you should know what your native country’s embassy can do to safeguard your legal and diplomatic interests before your leave for your expat destination.
Registering With Embassy or Consulate
Letting your country know where you are relocating or settling abroad is important. You can also obtain many benefits when you register with a consulate. Note that this registration is free and not mandatory for all the expats except maybe Swiss citizens.
Benefits of Registering With Embassy or Consulate
Depending on the country you belong to, getting registered with an embassy or consulate will help you in having access to many services as an expat. If you are in a risky country or where safety is an issue, it definitely makes sense to register. Some of the major ones include:
- Assistance during unexpected emergencies like natural disasters, an accident in the expat destination, or a precarious or volatile situation in your native country.
- You will receive travel warnings or voting alerts from the consulate or embassy close to you.
- The process to complete various administrative formalities such as the issuance of passport, filing tax forms, educational grants, and registration of birth will be quite easy.
Registration Process For Expats Abroad
The registration process with embassies and consulates is simple. You will have to fill out a form and provide the required documents as proof of your identity or nationality. There are many countries that offer online registration services and some of them are listed below:
- Canada – Registration of Canadians Abroad
- USA – Smart Traveler Enrolment Program (STEP)
- Australia – Travel Registration
- Ireland – Citizen’s Registration
- South Africa – Registration of South Africans Abroad (ROSA)
- Singapore – eRegister
After registering with your consulate or embassy, you will have to get your personal details updated in case your contact details or civil status has changed, or if you are planning to return to your native place.