HOMs-designate officially take up their functions and assume their place in the order of precedence within the diplomatic corps on presentation of their credentials to the Governor-General (see section 2.6). Credentials are presented strictly in the order that HOMs-designate arrive in Canberra (not their date of arrival in Australia). Until credentials are formally presented, the title ‘Ambassador-designate’ or ‘High Commissioner-designate’ should be used.
Different arrangements apply to precedence and credentials for high commissioners who represent countries where Her Majesty The Queen is the Head of State (see section 2.7).
HOMs-designate may perform some official acts before presenting credentials, such as calling on senior officials of the department, the Dean of the Corps and other HOMs. Generally, it is not appropriate for a HOM-designate to host official functions or to call on ministers until credentials have been presented. The Chief of Protocol will consider requests for exemptions in exceptional circumstances.