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There are numerous Afghan nationals and Afghan embassies abroad, with at least some of the staff in those embassies not supporting the new regime/government.

What would happen to the embassy staff, their status, the embassy and the buildings it occupies?

Would all the staff become refugees or stateless?

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    @JoeC It answers it for the example I gave, but I was asking in a more general sense, not just for the Afghan embassies (another example might be the former Nazi Germany embassies, such as in Switzerland, Turkey and Sweden after the second world war.)
    – Boolean
    Sep 5 at 22:38
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    @RobbieGoodwin - How could a the country stop existing? For about 20 years, Vietnam was partitioned as if it were two countries. When reunited, one of those stopped existing. Korea is still partitioned and one day it too may reunite.
    – Rick Smith
    Sep 7 at 10:56
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    @RobbieGoodwin - Each part of Korea has an embassy in Berne, Switzerland. Under reunification, one of those embassies would likely no linger be needed. I don't know, but it seems likely, that each part of Vietnam had an embassy in Berne since relations with the North began in 1971. I was simply suggesting how a country could stop existing. It would be interesting to know more about whether it did happen regarding Vietnam, since that would serve as an example for answering the question.
    – Rick Smith
    Sep 8 at 0:48
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    @RobbieGoodwin - You asked How could a the country stop existing? I have now provided three case where that may occur within the context of the post. I previously described "destruction" as "total" and used "uninhabitable" for the result. I have nothing further to add.
    – Rick Smith
    Sep 9 at 21:14
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What happens to an embassy when the country it represents stops existing?

It depends on how the country stops existing, but normally there will be some provision for the country's assets to pass to a successor country, whether because the country is being broken up or consolidated with another. If ​the country's government is simply being overthrown, then the country doesn't actually stop existing, and the new government assumes control of the embassy along with the rest of the country's assets.

What would happen to the embassy staff?

Some may continue to represent their country; others may leave; others may seek asylum to remain.

Their status?

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations they retain diplomatic status until two things have happened: first, the receiving state (the country where the embassy is) has been notified that their diplomatic function has come to an end, and second, either they have left the country or a reasonable period for them to leave has elapsed. If they remain longer, the specific status depends on the immigration law of the receiving state, although if they seek asylum then their status should be governed by the refugee convention.

Would all the staff become refugees or stateless?

They would not become refugees automatically: they would have to make a claim, and the claim would have to be accepted. Whether they become stateless depends on the nationality law of their country. (Indeed, it is possible for a diplomat, with the permission of the receiving state, to have the nationality of a third country, and any such people are not generally going to become refugees, much less stateless.)

Thanks to Relaxed for reminding me in a comment to add another possibility: if a government in exile arises, the embassy could continue on as a diplomatic mission of that government. This happened, for example, in the second world war, at least with the Netherlands and probably with other occupied countries. Relaxed also mentions some others:

Another scenario after a government overthrow is that some diplomats remain loyal to some minority government or government-in-exile with little or no power on the ground in the sending country. If the receiving country finds it expedient and no new ambassador is named or accepted, and the embassy somehow finds some funding, it can continue to function more-or-less as normal and the situation can last for some time. I think it happened to various representations of Estonia (during the cold war), Somalia (in the late 1990s/early 2000s), and Libya (in the 2010s). – Relaxed 14 hours ago

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    (+1) Another scenario after a government overthrow is that some diplomats remain loyal to some minority government or government-in-exile with little or no power on the ground in the sending country. If the receiving country finds it expedient and no new ambassador is named or accepted, and the embassy somehow finds some funding, it can continue to function more-or-less as normal and the situation can last for some time. I think it happened to various representations of Estonia (during the cold war), Somalia (in the late 1990s/early 2000s), and Libya (in the 2010s).
    – Relaxed
    Sep 6 at 9:44
  • @Relaxed Having never been to any of the embassies that you mentioned (as well as some being before my time) were there any notable differences once the government has changed in these embassies? Also, are these embassies able to give valid passports/visas still?
    – Boolean
    Sep 6 at 21:19
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    @Boolean any visa granted by an embassy representing a government in exile is unlikely to be of much use since the government that's actually in control of the country's territory is unlikely to recognize it. Passports are another matter, I suppose. My grandfather worked in the Dutch embassy in Washington during the second world war, and I suppose they probably did issue passports that were recognised by the countries that recognised the queen and her government as the legitimate authority of the Netherlands. I don't know where neutral countries stood on that question.
    – phoog
    Sep 6 at 23:49
  • @Relaxed thanks for your comment. I was thinking about that as I was writing the answer, but somehow forgot to include it.
    – phoog
    Sep 6 at 23:51
  • What happens if there is no successor for a while because the country is under military occupation, such as the Axis powers after WWII?
    – cpast
    Sep 7 at 2:04

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