High Commission vs. Embassy

Difference between High Commission and Embassy

The public’s interest in government affair, how it runs, and its various agencies and its functions have often been a topic of heated debate among men and an issue which as exciting as aging cheese among the ladies. Students often have difficulty in memorizing the various agency one country possesses, much more when they have to remember the functions and responsibilities of every staff member or personnel within that agency.  Simply put, one can understand if people confuse one government institution from another. There are so many government agencies and institutions that people often have difficulty in differentiating most of them. Some of the government terms people mix up are the terms “High Commission” and “Embassy”

High Commission and Embassy are both missions of diplomatic nature which represent one country. Their difference is actually very simple, an Embassy is the building or agency in which a diplomat lives or works, the High Commission on the other hand is an embassy of the British Commonwealth in another nation. Subsequently, the term we use for the people representing both missions are different, too. A person associated with the High Commission is known as the “High Commissioner”, whereas ‘Ambassador” is what we call diplomat from an Embassy. In a nutshell, a High Commission is a type of embassy that specializes in the missions that they have been assigned to carry out in their country of designation.

Aside from the stated variances, the same thing can also be said on the duties and responsibilities of the two institutions. Embassies have a very important function of strengthening the relationship between two nations, while High Commissions are entrusted with the task of carrying out a specific task of one Commonwealth country to another commonwealth nation. Some of the other differences between the two are as follows:

  1. An embassy assesses and makes decisions on issues like travel and visa issuances; a High Commission handles diplomatic relationships and its management with another commonwealth country.
  2. The personnel in an Embassy include Consular Officers, Political Officers, and Economic Officers; A High Commission is manned by the governor and governor- general.