Talk:Diplomatic missions

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Consulates do not have diplomatic status?[edit]

Perhaps WV is not the best place to describe this complex subject. Anyhow, the sentence "A consulate is a lower-rank representation, typically without diplomatic status." This doesn't strike me as correct. Although not the same as a Embassy, surely all consulates have some diplomatic status? An exception might be 'honorary consulates', which are typically staffed by volunteers. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:54, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

You're right Andrew. Consulates do have diplomatic status and so diplomatic immunity but I think some of the staff in a consulate do not have diplomatic status or diplomatic immunity, unless they are accredited as such and this is varies from country to country. --Saqib (talk) 01:20, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
I question the usefulness of this article. It's a stub, and quite definitional. If we want to have an International travel topic for people who are about to embark on their first international trip, these brief remarks about embassies and consulates can be folded into a larger article that touches on questions of passports, international security, customs, immigration, and visas, but as it stands, I think this article may be a good Vfd candidate. Would anyone like to try to convince me otherwise? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:09, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
I think the current text demonstrates that an area complex as this is open to gross misinterpretation by a well meaning contributor, and thereby doing a disservice to the traveler. I support Vfd Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:59, 16 December 2013 (UTC)


I assume Elbonia is a reference to the Dilbert comic strip, although might it not confuse people not familiar with that reference? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:55, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, rewrite if you like. Pashley (talk) 01:40, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I changed it. Less colourful, but clearer. Pashley (talk) 02:16, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm not actually against color, although I can't think of a fake country that everyone would know about. Suggestions? :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:27, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I've used Back-of-beyond-istan in some contexts, but it wouldn't work here. Pashley (talk) 02:46, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Diplomatic immunity[edit]

I believe the Diplomatic immunity section is still very wrong:

"Diplomatic staff are immune to prosecution by the host country, whether for spying or more mundane offenses"

This is actually incorrect. Only a few members of an embassy's diplomatic staff have immunity. A good current example is the Indian consul staff member Devyani Khobragade who has certainly not enjoyed full diplomatic immunity: Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:48, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

I changed it to "Some diplomats are immune ...". Khobrogade is covered in the paragraph below. "Some mission staff may have only a weaker "consular immunity"...". Pashley (talk) 03:03, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Location of consulates[edit]

Current text:

"A consulate can be located in any significant location other than the capital city"

I thought that consulates were also part of (though sometimes a separate building from) many embassies, given that there is a consul who is second-in-command and who, along with his/her staff, takes care of many consular services. Am I operating under a misconception? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:05, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Also, I have to observe that this text is inaccurate, given that there are few if any embassies in Jerusalem, but a number of consulates. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:06, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
In view of that, I've reverted the language for now, but if it is generally untrue that there can be consulates attached to embassies in capital cities, we have to figure out what language we can use to reflect this, without inaccuracy. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:10, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
This article does cover a complex area that even Wikipedia hasn't been able to cover adequately yet.
Yes, embassies certainly also provide consular services that are separate from the diplomatic work that the 'main' embassy is engaged with. It might even be possible that an embassy would not provide consular services to their citizens, although I can't think of an example. Certainly consular staff may be the first to be evacuated in an emergency, such as the one in South Sudan right now. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:14, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

(undent) Jerusalem is a special case, because it's a political act to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and that's why all the embassies are still in Tel Aviv. But there are enough of these embassy-not-in-official-capital cases, usually for newly built capitals (Naypyidaw in Burma, Putrajaya in Malaysia, etc), that the current wording is reasonable.

Also, a consulate is a stand-alone building, what embassies have is a consular section. Jpatokal (talk) 12:15, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

In some cases a consulate may be more relevant than the embassy itself for similar historical/political reasons. I had my British passport renewed in the British Consulate in Bonn (Former embassy of West Germany) rather than the actual embassy in Berlin. Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:38, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Sure, it's quite common for the capital not to be the largest/most convenient city. Jpatokal (talk) 23:50, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

VFD nomination[edit]

This article was proposed for deletion. After quite a bit of discussion (see Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion/January_2014#Diplomatic_missions), it was kept. Pashley (talk) 00:00, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

General travel advice[edit]

I appreciate the sharing of knowledge, but the article is about diplomatic missions, not general travelers who have no such status. Hence I have removed the text below because it is not in the scope of this article:

"To give one practical example, citizens of the US are often required to pay "reciprocity fees" in some Latin American countries because their citizens pay the same amount applying for US visas. Those fees are not charged for EU citizens whose countries don't charge as much for visa applications (or at all)."

Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:02, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

I disagree with the removal of the bit about espionage and ejecting diplomats for "activities incompatible with their status". It's widespread enough to be notable. K7L (talk) 03:19, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with both Andrew's deletion of the quoted text & K7L's comment that the other text should be kept. Pashley (talk) 05:11, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
The quoted text would be relevant in the visas article & should likely be inserted there if that article does not already cover the issue. Pashley (talk) 19:10, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
I checked & it is covered. Pashley (talk) 19:12, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

Move to Embassies and consulates?[edit]

I think Embassies and consulates would be a more traveller-friendly title for this article. In various situations travellers are advised to contact their nearest embassy or consulate; I don't think I've seen advice to "contact your nearest diplomatic mission". The offices themselves are usually called something like "Embassy/Consulate of Country X", not "Diplomatic Mission...". I'm not sure the average traveller would recognize how a "Diplomatic missions" article is relevant to them. Admittedly the proposed title wouldn't explicitly cover high commissions, trade offices, and the other terms used in special situations, but I think glossing over that minor complexity in the title is worth it for the increased clarity overall. What do others think? —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:47, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

There are redirects at embassies, embassy & consulates. I'd say that's enough. Pashley (talk) 22:23, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Pashley. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:03, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Flags in consulate list[edit]

Moved from Talk:New York City'

Do these make it easier for readers to find information, or are they just clutter? Ground Zero (talk) 11:12, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

I never use them—I either use ctrl+F or rely on alphabetical order to find the country I'm interested in. I don't know whether others find them useful. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:34, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
I find them easier to use than a bland list, and like the visual appearance of a chain of flags, but this is not a NYC discussion as we use flags in lots of embassy and consulate lists. Why are we talking about this here, and not Talk: Diplomatic missions?--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:41, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Because I didn't know that article existed. I'll move the discussion there. Ground Zero (talk) 20:49, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

An example can be seen at New_York_City#Consulates. Ground Zero (talk) 20:49, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

I can't imagine they'd be useful for finding one; you'd do that by looking through the list in alphabetical order. I think it's fairly minor, and probably doesn't matter one way or another. However, I can come up with some arguments in favor of keeping them:
  • It gives a bit of visual interest (making it obvious as you scroll through the page rapidly that you've reached the list of embassies).
  • It has some visual consistency with geocoded listings, which also begin each entry with a colored blob.
  • We don't do this now, but potentially we could use the flag to link to something... either geocoding, or linking to our article for that country, or perhaps to the general website for that country's diplomatic relations (e.g. US State Department) as opposed to the website for that specific embassy.
  • It makes a bit of sense based on our styles which evolve from WV being an online guide. We're not constrained by black-and-white pages that limit the available space and cost money to print. Of course a traditional printed guidebook wouldn't include flags in such listings, but we really don't lose anything by doing so.
--Bigpeteb (talk) 21:50, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

Actually we do have something to lose by having all these images. Our Wikivoyage:Image policy says, in part,

"Image use in articles should be kept at the minimum necessary to get across a point or impression.... Don't get overexcited adding images to articles. Travellers may be using Wikivoyage from networks with low bandwidth, or with a cost for every MB used. Several travellers may be sharing the one poor mobile data connection. A traveller using the WiFi on a bus or train may only have a few MB of free data allowance for a long journey."

I'm in favour of maps, and photos to provide useful information and visual interest. I think that a collection of flags is a low value for the traveller, and not a good use of "the minimum necessary". Ground Zero (talk) 16:52, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Interesting point. I'd argue that perhaps that policy is somewhat outdated as it's more than a decade old, technology having advanced quite a bit, and maybe it shouldn't be taken so literally. Regardless, I checked to see how much merit this has. The images are in fact quite small; they're actually only a few hundred bytes each, however by the time you add in protocol overhead, it requires sending 0.5 to 1 KB to request each image, and receiving around 1 KB for the headers plus the content (as a rough estimate). On a page like London with around 150 embassies listed, estimating a total based on what my browser is doing, that's perhaps 75 KB uploaded and 150 KB downloaded, on a page that has 150 KB of text.
That does seem like a lot, but not when you compare it to all the other images on the page. For instance, I'm actually shocked to find out that each pin on the map is a unique image. And of course the banner is 500 KB, and other images (even as thumbnails) add up as well. All told, my browser received 5.04 MB of data, of which only 2.51 MB was content (the rest being HTTP headers). That's a surprising amount of overhead! But my main point was that removing these flag images would only reduce that to 4.25 MB of data (and maybe 1.75–2 MB of content). A reduction to be sure, but if someone was that limited in bandwidth, they ought to disable images entirely.
We could, though, make a compromise. Most systems support Unicode w:Regional Indicator Symbols to display a flag emoji. These only take up a handful of bytes and don't require requesting separate files. Instead of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe we would have 🇿🇼 Zimbabwe. With perhaps some tweaks to the formatting, would that be an acceptable substitution if we wanted to keep the flags? --Bigpeteb (talk) 19:32, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
Maps and photos provide a lot more information to readers than flags do, so I don't think that the comparison is valid. But if replacing flags by Unicode emojis reduces the draw on bandwidth to a minimal amount, then I think that would be a win for low bandwidth users. Thanks for coming up with that creative solution. Ground Zero (talk) 19:38, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
The point is valid because it shows how proportionately little data flags use compared to everything else. I like the emoji idea, though unfortunately my laptop seems to be in the minority that doesn't allow it; I just see the letters 🇿🇼, which I can imagine in a list of 80 embassies would look awful. At least with the wikicode, it's equally accessible to everyone. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:58, 14 May 2020 (UTC)