1. Request for Agrément
Procedures for requesting agrément:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) or the diplomatic mission of the sending State addresses its request the agrément for new Ambassador with a note attached with his/her curriculum vitae to the MOFA of Viet Nam.
The note shall be submitted to the Chief of State Protocol or a protocol official by the Ambassador/Chargé d’Affaires a.i. or an official of the Embassy in Ha Noi. In case of the sending State does not have a resident mission in Ha Noi, the MOFA or a diplomatic mission of the sending State shall submit the note to the diplomatic mission of Viet Nam in that country or in a third country.
The Curriculum Vitae includes the following information:
- Full name
- Date and place of birth
- Family (spouse and children)
- Education qualification
- Career (time, positions, work and places of employment…)2. Response of agrément
Upon the grant of agrément by the Vietnamese Government, Directorate of State Protocol or a diplomatic mission of Viet Nam shall send a note to response to the request for agrément. This shall be communicated via the channel used by the sending State for requesting agrément.
The processing for agrément normally takes one to two months since the receipt of the note requesting for agrément.
In accordance with article 4 of the VCDR, the sending State must make certain that the agrément of the receiving State has been given for the person it propose to accredit as head of mission to that State. The receiving State is not oblised to give reasons to the sending State for a refusal of agrément.3. Presentation of Credentials
Ambassador’s arrival in Ha Noi
If the Ambassador-Designate arrives in Ha Noi by aircraft during working hours, he/she shall be received and invited to airport’s VIP Lounge by a deputy director-general level official of Directorate of State Protocol. Chargé d’Affaires a.i may also be present at the event. If the Ambassador-Designate arrives in weekend or during holidays, he/she shall be received by a desk officer of Directorate of State Protocol and hosted for the VIP Lounge .
If the sending State has Embassy in Ha Noi, the Embassy shall take charge of immigration clearance, baggage claim and vehicle for the Ambassador-Designate. This will be supported by a desk officer of Directorate of State Protocol.
Time for the presentation of credentials
As a common practice, the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall receive letters of credence four times per year in the second month of each quarter.
Presentation of the working copies of the letters of credence and recall.
Before the presentation of the credentials to the President, the Chief of State Protocol shall meet with the Ambassador-Designate to receive working copies of the letters of credence and recall (in case the sending State has previously appointed Ambassador to Viet Nam). At the meeting, the Chief of State Protocol shall make briefing on procedures of the presentation. Chargé d’Afffaires a.i may attend the meeting.
Presentation of credentials
Deputy Chief of State Protocol shall come to escort the Ambassador-Designate by honorable car and motorcycles at his residence or the Embassy (communicated in advance by the Embassy) to the Presidential Palace and vice-versa. At the credentials presentation ceremony, the two sides shall not read or exchange speeches (details available in the guide book provided by the Chief of State Protocol when receiving the Ambassador-Designate).
As for the dress code, the Ambassador-Designate and diplomats shall wear traditional costumes or dark suits.
It is practice in Viet Nam that the spouse of the Ambassador shall not be present at the credentials presentation ceremony. The maximum number of diplomatic agents accompanying the Ambassador is four, for whom the vehicles shall be arranged by the Embassy.4. Courtesy calls after the credentials presentation
Courtesy calls to high-level leaders and leaders of MOFA.
After presenting letters of credence, the Ambassador may pay courtesy calls to the following dignitaries:
- Prime Minister
- President of the National Assembly
- Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Deputy Minister of MOFA who is in charge of relations with the sending State.
The Embassy shall send a note to Directorate of State Protocol requesting arrangements for these calls.
Courtesy calls to leaders of other Ministries, Agencies
Ambassador’s courtesy calls to leaders of other ministries, agencies that having close relationship and co-operation shall be arranged directly between the Embassy and the foreign affairs department of the ministry, agency.
Courtesy calls to leaders of localities (cities, provinces)
If the Ambassador wishes to visit localities and pay courtesy calls to leaders of cities/provinces, the Embassy shall send a note to Directorate of State Protocol while directly contacting the foreign affairs department of the city/province for arrangements of the visit.
Calls on colleagues in the Diplomatic Corps
In accordance with the common practice, the Ambassador should arrange a visit to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps as soon as possible. The Dean shall inform the Ambassador on practice of the Diplomatic Corps in Ha Noi.5. Working visits to localities
When the Ambassador wishes to make a working visit to localities, the Embassy shall send a note to the MOFA while directly contacting the foreign affairs department of the city/province for making arrangements of the visit.6. Letters of credence and recall.
- Letters of credence and recall should be addressed to:
“His Excellency Mr…..
President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam”
- Translation of the letters into Vietnamese or English shall be attached if the original letters written in other language.7. Farewell Calls
The Embassy shall inform Directorate of State Protocol, by means of a note, the time for the Ambassador’s termination at least one month prior to his/her departure and the list of the Vietnamese leaders he/she wishes to bid farewell to. The following high-level leaders may be available for the Ambassador’s farewell calls:
- President of the State
- Prime Minister
- President of the National Assembly
- Minister of Foreign Affairs
The arrangements for Ambassador’s farewell calls shall be similar to courtesy calls upon arrival as mentioned in Item 4.
As practice, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs shall host a dinner/lunch to bid farewell to the Ambassador before his/her departure. Also invited on this occasion are the Ambassador’s spouse and some diplomats.
At the departure of the Ambassador, Directorate of State Protocol shall open an VIP Lounge at the airport. An official of Directorate of State Protocol shall be present to see off the Ambassador. The procedures at the airport shall be similar to Ambassador’s arrival as mentioned in Item 3.1.8. Ambassador to Viet Nam accredited to a third country or an international organization
In accordance with Article 5 of the VCDR, the Government of Viet Nam shall not object the sending State’s accreditation of Ambassador to Viet Nam to another country or to international organization.9. Non-resident Ambassador
For non-resident Ambassador to Viet Nam, in addition to the information mentioned above, some following additional informations should be noted:
Ambassador’s arrival in Ha Noi for presenting letters of credence
The Embassy shall inform Directorate of State Protocol, by means of a note, via Vietnamese diplomatic mission the informations regarding:
- Time and number of the arrival and departure flights
- List of Vietnamese leaders the Ambassador wishes to pay courtesy calls to.
- Accompanying persons
- Hotel booking, hire of vehicle, interpreter
- Visits to localities (if any)
- Other requests during the Ambassador’s stay in Viet Nam.
Hotel, interpreter and vehicle can be arranged by the Ambassador on their own. Directorate of State Protocol shall provide assistance if the Ambassador requests. All expenses shall be borne by the Ambassador. Interpreter shall be provided by the MOFA for the meetings between the Ambassador and high-level leaders of Viet Nam.
The Ambassador shall arrive in Ha Noi at least two working days before the date of presentation of credentials.
Before the Ambassador’s arrival in Ha Noi for the presentation of credentials, the Embassy of the sending State shall send copy of the letters of credence and recall to Directorate of State Protocol.
At the Ambassador’s arrival, senior official of Directorate of State Protocol shall be present for welcoming and assisting the Ambassador in terms of procedures as mentioned in Item 3.
Ambassador’s working visit
The relevant regional department of MOFA shall arrange the working programme for the Ambassador. He/she needs to inform MOFA as soon as possible of the time for the visit. The following information is required:
- Arrival and departure time of flights.
- Names of persons to meet and issues of interest.
- Tentative working programme.
- Requirements for hotel, car, interpreter etc.
- Accompanying persons.
End of term
The Embassy shall give Directorate of State Protocol necessary information as provided for the credential presentation. Ambassador’s request for courtesy calls with high-level leaders of Viet Nam may not be fully met due to time constraints.
In case of the Ambassador cannot come to Viet Nam for farewell calls, the MOFA or the diplomatic mission of the sending State shall send a note to the MOFA of Viet Nam on the time of end of the Ambassador’s term in Viet Nam and nominate a Chargé d’Affaires a.i. 10. Appointment of Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
Prior to the absence of the Ambassador in Viet Nam, the Embassy of the sending State shall notify the MOFA of Viet Nam by a note and designate a Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
In case of the Chargé d’Affaires a.i is not in Viet Nam or is unable to perform his functions, the MOFA of the sending State shall appoint a new Chargé d’Affaires a.i and notify the MOFA of Viet Nam by a note.
In cases of no diplomats of the mission are present in Viet Nam, the MOFA of the sending State may designate an administrative or technical staff in charge of the current administrative affairs of the mission. The MOFA of the sending State shall notify in advance the MOFA of Viet Nam of such designation. 11. Activities of the Ambassador-Designate
After presenting working a copy of letters of credence and before presenting Credentials to the President, the Ambassador-Designate may call on senior officials at the highest rank of Vice-Minister. It is not appropriate to host official functions. Local visits are permitted.