An embassy is the legal office of a country in a foreign land, and serves as that country’s presence. Normally embassies are set up in countries that have diplomatic ties, and are closed when these ties are broken such as in case of war or political strife.
Embassies perform multiple functions apart from representing their states. They also act as the point of contact between the officials of the host country and the other country. Embassies are also points of information, where citizens of a particular country can gain information about travel and immigration to the relevant country. They can also be used to organize marketing of their home country in the host country.
For instance, an embassy in the United States can set up a marketing campaign to attract tourists from the US to the foreign country in question. Embassies can also collect information about the host country and send it to the home country. This information is then used when making decisions such as foreign policy and the nature of the diplomatic ties between the two nations.
A crucial role of embassies is the organization of travel to and from the home country. American embassies in other countries, for instance, are usually the source of Visas and other travel documents to the US. It is in the embassies that individuals are assessed and processed before being granted access to the country.
Embassies are usually headed by an ambassador, and their top officials are granted diplomatic immunity and other benefits depending on the laws of the hosting country.