Skip to main content

Protocol Guidelines

4.3 Accreditation

Officials of diplomatic missions are accredited in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as diplomatic, administrative and technical, or service staff.

Officials of consular posts are accredited in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations as consular officers, consular employees, service staff or honorary consuls.

Persons assigned to provide domestic support to a diplomatic mission or consular post must be employed by the sending government in order to be eligible for accreditation as service staff. To establish their status, a CV and detailed job description may be requested, along with proof of their employment such as a notice of engagement or the issue of a diplomatic, official or service passport.

Accreditation of staff of international organisations varies according to the legal basis of the office's establishment.

For home-based officials, the mission/post/office must notify Protocol Branch ( promptly of new arrivals, and provide completed Arrival Notification – Accredited Official [PDF] and Arrival Notification – Official's Dependants [PDF] forms, a colour copy of the passport personal data page and one colour passport photo for the official and each dependant.

Honorary consuls must complete an Honorary Consul – Commencement form [PDF] and return it with a colour passport photo to Protocol Branch ( They must provide telephone numbers and confirm (by ticking the relevant section on the form) that these numbers may be published in the Consular List.

Protocol Branch will then formally accredit the official. Identity cards (see section 4.4) are issued to all officials and to the spouses of diplomats, administrative and technical staff and consular officers. Identity cards are not issued to the spouses of consular employees, service staff or honorary consuls, or to children.

The names and designations of diplomats, consular officers and senior representatives of international organisations and their partners are published in the Diplomatic List and the Consular List on the department's website.

If an official's rank or accreditation changes during their posting, Protocol Branch ( should be advised:

  • about a promotion, for example from Second Secretary to First Secretary, by the mission/post
  • about a change of functions, for example from consular employee to consular officer, by the foreign ministry
  • about a transfer, for example from an embassy in Canberra to a consular post in another city, by the foreign ministry.
Last Updated: 14 February 2019
Back to top