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Protocol Guidelines

2.11 Non-resident heads of mission

A non-resident HOM presents credentials in an individual call on the Governor-General. Protocol Branch will arrange a mutually convenient time after the HOM-designate indicates a range of dates when they are available to travel to Australia. HOMs should arrive in Canberra at least one working day ahead of their presentation, in order to meet the Chief of Protocol and hand over the working copies of the letters of credence and recall.

A representative of Protocol Branch will meet the HOM-designate and party on arrival in Canberra if this occurs during normal business hours. Airport facilitation can be requested at the points of entry and departure on the first visit to Australia ( see section 2.4 and section 2.10). Protocol Branch will arrange transport from Canberra airport to the hotel. HOMs are not farewelled when they depart Canberra.

Except for the transfer to their hotel on arrival in Canberra, and travel to and from Government House for presentation of credentials, non-resident HOMs must organise their own transport, including on departure. Information about car hire, taxis and limousine services in Canberra is available online. HOMs are also responsible for organising their accommodation in Canberra. There are several hotels in Barton within short walking distance of DFAT; other hotels are located at Canberra airport and in Yarralumla, Canberra City and New Acton.

Non-resident HOMs may be accompanied when presenting their credentials by their spouse and/or one official, such as a colleague from their mission or an honorary consul who represents their country in Australia. The party will be escorted to Government House by a representative of Protocol Branch. The HOM-designate will be introduced to the Governor-General by the Chief of Protocol. After presenting the letters, the HOM-designate will be invited to have a short discussion with the Governor-General. Tea or coffee will be served. Photographs are taken but there are no speeches or ceremonial elements.

The relevant geographic branch in DFAT will arrange a program of visits and meetings in Canberra. Suggestions for particular meetings are welcome and will be accommodated if possible.

Non-resident HOMs are usually issued with multiple-entry diplomatic visas that are valid for three years. A diplomatic identity card is provided when they meet the Chief of Protocol. Non-resident HOMs are asked to inform Protocol Branch when they depart the country of their resident accreditation. They are not expected to visit Canberra for farewell calls.

Should non-resident HOMs wish to contact members of the Canberra corps, the Diplomatic List published on the department's website gives details of all HOMs accredited to Australia.

Last Updated: 18 December 2018
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