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Policy on the Accreditation of Service Staff

Circular Note NO. XDC-0457 of April 3, 2012

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol) presents its compliments to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Chargés d'affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada and has the honour to update its policy governing the accreditation of "members of the service staff", thus superseding the Department’s Circular Note XDC-0531 of April 27, 2005.

1. Definition of “member of the service staff”

Canada has adopted the definition of “member of the service staff” contained in Articles 1(g) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) and 1(f) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR).

2. Formalities for the accreditation of members of the service staff who are nationals of the sending State

Given the above referred definitions, the Department will consider requests for the accreditation of members of the service staff, and the renewal thereof, under the following conditions, namely that the person:

  • is on official appointment from the sending State and considered as a representative of that State;
  • is paid directly by the sending State based on a contract of employment with the ministry of foreign affairs of that State (a contract with the local embassy is not acceptable);
  • carries a diplomatic, official or service passport from the sending State;
  • works in the premises of the mission or of the consular post (which includes the official residence) only, thus excluding work within staff quarters;
  • if formerly a domestic worker, has departed Canada for a period of six (6) months prior to the appointment as a member of the service staff; and
  • has not exceeded a posting period of five (5) years.

The Department may require that the mission seeking the accreditation of a member of the service staff demonstrate compliance with all of the above.

3. Formalities for the accreditation of members of the service staff who are third-country nationals

Given the same above referred definitions, the Department will consider requests for the accreditation of third-country nationals as members of the service staff, and the renewal thereof, under the following conditions, namely that the person:

  • is on official appointment from the sending State and considered as a representative of that State, despite not being a national of that State;
  • is paid directly by the sending State based on a contract of employment with the ministry of foreign affairs of that State (a contract with the local embassy is not acceptable);
  • works in the premises of the mission or of the consular post (which includes the official residence) only, thus excluding work within staff quarters;
  • if formerly a domestic worker, has departed Canada for a period of six (6) months prior to the appointment as a member of the service staff; and
  • has not exceeded a posting period of five (5) years.

In addition, the ministry of foreign affairs of the sending State will initially be required to provide a written statement that the third-country national is under its oversight for all matters of professional and personal conduct. The Department may also require that the mission seeking the accreditation of a member of the service staff demonstrate compliance with all of the above.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol) avails itself of this opportunity to renew to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and notified Chargés d’affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada the assurances of its highest consideration.

OTTAWA, April 3, 2012

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Date Modified:
2013-11-07