Consular Fellows Program – Russian
United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Announcement No: CFP-RU-2016-0002
Position Title: Foreign Service Consular Fellow – Russian
Open Period: August 10, 2016 – September 7, 2016
Series/Grade: FP – 1040-06
Salary: $39,558.00 to $64,983.00 / Per Year
Promotion Potential: FP-04
Duty Locations: MANY worldwide
For More Info: Consultant, CFPInfo@state.gov
Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet the requirements and understand a Foreign Service Limited Non-Career Appointment (LNA).
Applicants may not reapply for one year after a previous application for the same position.
If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except denials for Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates based solely on the SA requirements.)
Security Clearance Required
Limited Non-Career Appointment (LNA), which is restricted by statute to a maximum of five years.
The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders.
Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique opportunity.
Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.
A Limited Non-Career Appointment (LNA) does not lead to onward employment in the State Department or conversion to another form of employment. The LNA program is not an alternate entry method to the Foreign Service. An LNA in the Foreign Service is a distinctive opportunity to serve your country and can offer candidates who are considering a career in the Foreign Service first-hand insights and exploration of potential Foreign Service career paths.
Applicants for LNA positions must be available for posts world-wide and must speak/read Russian at the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) Speaking 2/Reading 2 level. The rating scale for language testing can be found at http://www.govtilr.org.
This Consular Fellow LNA appointment is 60 months, but may be terminated at any time based on the needs of the Service. A Consular Fellow is assigned to a U.S. embassy or consulate with the expectation that the appointment and potential extensions will permit completion of a standard two year tour of duty. Upon completion of the first tour of duty, the Consular Fellow may be assigned to a different post.
LNAs serve in the country specified and may be assigned to or perform Temporary Duty Travel overseas, and at times, live away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions.
Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service. Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance. Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance. Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.* Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
Basic duties may include the following:
Obtaining information relevant to provision of consular services by interviewing individuals, reviewing on-line applicants’ visa or passport application history, reviewing name searches for visa and passport applicants, and verifying information as necessary provided by applicants.
Processing visas or passport applications, including reviewing visa and passport issuance, report of birth, and other controlled records and supplies, determining and verifying required clearances prior to issuing visas or passports; and preparing visa revocations, security advisory opinions, and advisory opinions.
Making and reviewing decisions about visa or passport applications including adjudicating visa or passport applications by reviewing cases and applying relevant USG law, regulations, precedent, and relevant agreements, and cooperating with other agencies in applying laws and regulations related to visa applications.
Interacting with those applying for consular services, including explaining entry procedures to persons, dealing fairly but compassionately with all clients, including applicants refused visas, and communicating appropriately with visa applicants, their attorneys or congressional staff.
Investigating potentially fraudulent activities or claims, coordinating and cooperating with other agencies to prevent entry of ineligible aliens into the U.S., developing working relationships with appropriate in-country officials for the purpose of sharing and verifying information, providing documentation of consular decisions.
Using computers including Microsoft Office applications for word processing (Word), spreadsheets (Excel), e-mail (Outlook), and presentations (Power Point), and specialized consular computer systems.
Preparing written materials, such as memos and status reports, as requested.
Communicating with and assisting Department of State colleagues, e.g., assisting colleagues on projects, serving rotationally as duty officer, attending meetings, and providing information on Consular activities and services as appropriate.
Managing Sensitive and/or Classified Information.
Other responsibilities may include:
Sharing day-to-day oversight of Locally Employed Staff and/or Eligible Family Member employees.
Doing outreach, proactively representing the U.S. and U.S. policies abroad.
Participating on boards, committees, and task forces.
Interacting with foreign government officials.
Communicating with non-government groups.
Monitoring and reporting on developments of interest to the U.S. government.
Evaluating policies and procedures.
Assisting with other consular activities, including American Citizen Services, e.g., helping U.S. citizens, as necessary.
The Department of State will place language-qualified U.S. citizen Consular Fellows serving in Limited Non-Career Appointments (LNA) in language-specific positions at overseas posts. These Fellows will be fully professional members of embassy and consulate teams. LNAs, however, do not provide expedited, alternate, preferential, or otherwise special access into either the Department of State Foreign Service or the Department of State Civil Service – these appointments do not lead to onward employment with the Department of State or with the U.S. government. LNA Consular Fellows may apply to become Foreign Service Specialists or Generalists, as well as Civil Service employees, but they must meet all applicable qualifications and complete the standard application and assessment processes.
A Consular Fellow who issues a visa for admission to the United States is required by law to personally certify in writing that he or she has performed the necessary visa lookout check, a process that includes (but is not limited to) reviewing returns from Facial Recognition checks and from Automated Biometric Identification and Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System fingerprint clearances; checking the Consular Lookout and Support System and other appropriate post records; and reviewing nonimmigrant visa and immigrant visa case notes and any other post files for information that would render an applicant ineligible for a visa.
Service time and benefits earned as a Consular Fellow can be counted as federal employment, and credited towards federal retirement eligibility.
Consular Fellows who may subsequently enter the Foreign Service as Entry Level Generalists are still required to fulfill the consular service requirement.
Periodic service rotating as an embassy or consulate duty officer requires a 24/7 commitment, typically for a one-week period of time.
Successful candidates who earn a job offer must be able to pass the Basic Consular Training Course. Failure to successfully complete this training would constitute grounds for separation.
Qualifications and Evaluations
Candidates must have completed at minimum a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university at the time of hiring.
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet federal job requirements for this position if the applicant provides an international education evaluation certifying the degree earned is equivalent to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for federal jobs.
For more information, please view How Foreign Education is evaluated for Federal Jobs: https://careers.state.gov/downloads/foreign-education
Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.
Qualifying experience can be in any field, but does not include clerical or wage-grade work, or any other work not usually requiring a bachelor’s or higher degree. The employee’s primary duty must be, or must have been, the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment. Advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. Work performed by active duty U.S. military commissioned officers is considered qualifying experience; work performed by U.S. military personnel who are not commissioned officers is not considered qualifying experience unless it meets the above definition of qualifying experience.
The education, work experience, and other qualifications evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and other requirements have been identified as important to successful job performance as a Consular Fellow, based on extensive job analysis research. Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
General knowledge of the United States, including customs and culture, society, trends, history, economy, government, political system, and constitution.
Skill in written and oral communication, including English grammar and usage, techniques for effective interpersonal communication, techniques for handling interviews, complaints, sources of information, and public speaking ability.
General skills in computers, including computer operations, common office software programs (e.g., Microsoft), e-mail systems, internet. Successful applicants will receive training in specialized Consular software applications.
General subject matter, including psychology and human behavior, interacting with individuals undergoing stress. Basic mathematics.
Required language fluency as outlined above.
Judgment and decision making
Social perceptiveness and interpersonal ability
Good time management
Strong reading comprehension
Solving complex problems
Level IV English ability (fluent) is required. Successful applicants must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).
Applicants must be eligible for diplomatic privileges and immunities in the country of assignment.
Benefits and Other Info
Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing overseas, tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas. Not all benefits are available to LNA positions.
New hires who commit to a four-year service agreement will be eligible to receive a recruitment incentive of up to 10% of their basic salary. This incentive would be paid in two installments: one upon completion of the first two-year assignment, and the second at the end of the second two-year assignment (48 months of service).
Consular Fellows may be eligible to participate in the Department’s Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) at any post in which theyserve when they sign an initial three-year service agreement. For more information on the program, click here.
*The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam
**For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FS Selection Process, please visit: https://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-
No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.
Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.
It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.
The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov within one week of receiving an invitation to a oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.
How to Apply
How to Apply:
We are not accepting applications for this position at this time.
Steps to Apply:
Register on USAJOBS at www.usajobs.gov.
- Create an online federal resume. Your online resume may be typed or you may cut and paste an existing resume into the space provided. Your resume must include your work history for the last 10 years or since completing formal education, whichever is the shorter period.
- From the announcement, select the Apply Online button. This button will transfer you to Gateway to State.
- Follow the instructions at Gateway to State and answer self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying, complete the required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest in the online application.
- Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it. You may interrupt your application process and return to it until you submit it. As specified in the announcement, upload or fax required supporting materials.
- For those uploading or faxing documents, multiple pages must be sent as a single document. Only the most recently uploaded documents will attach to your application and will replace previously uploaded documents.
- If faxing, you will be prompted to print out a fax coversheet once you have successfully completed your application. It is essential that you use this coversheet for all faxes, because it is bar-coded to link your fax to your application.
- Complete, review, and submit.
- After you complete and submit the above including attaching all required documents, this becomes your online application and will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.
- You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully upload or fax any required documentation outlined in this announcement.
- Application packages must be complete and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.
- You should submit your application early, and may make changes as often as needed, up until the closing date of the announcement. We strongly recommend that you go back into your application and verify that your documents are attached. Due to the volume of applications, fax lines can become jammed and documents may not successfully attach to your application on the final days/hours of the announcement.
If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm Eastern Time.
For more information on the FSS hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at https://careers.state.gov/faqs. If you have any questions regarding FS careers, please visit our Careers.State.Gov site and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section: https://careers.state.gov/connect/forums
To learn more about the Department of State and an LNA position, please visit us at https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/lna or at our Frequently Asked Questions at https://careers.state.gov/faqs
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in the application not being considered further.
- Completed online application which contains the completed required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest.
- Transcripts or other educational documents as stated in the “Qualifications Required” section.
- Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted for the application process. It is essential that your transcript include your name, the school’s name, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of the key elements above will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended.
- Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.
- Additional required documents such as certifications or professional licenses as stated in the “Education Requirements” section.
- If claiming a 5 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214.
- If you have documentation or an email verifying the results of a Foreign Service Institute score in Russian, please provide that.
This section is required and provides an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming an LNA Consular Fellow. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Responses are limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 1,300 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as an LNA Consular Fellow is the ability to write clearly and concisely.
The following items must be completed within the online application, not as attachment.
Substantive Knowledge: What skills, knowledge and experience do you have that are applicable to performing the work of a Consular Fellow?
Intellectual Skills: In the Foreign Service you will confront challenging situations that require identifying the problem, collecting relevant information, and formulating or advancing innovative solutions to resolve the problem. Describe a time when you responded innovatively to unanticipated circumstances to solve a problem. (What was the situation? What steps did you take to think through the situation? How did your action address the situation? What were the results?)
Interpersonal Skills: In the Foreign Service, you will be called upon to interact effectively and diplomatically with people in difficult situations. Describe how you have used your interpersonal skills in a specific situation to resolve a problem or achieve a goal. (What was the goal or problem? What specific steps did you take? What was the result?)
Communication Skills: Communication skills are critical to successful diplomacy. Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills, including foreign language skills if appropriate, to further an aim or achieve a goal. (What was the situation? What steps did you take to deal with the situation? What was the result?)
Management Skills: Foreign Service LNA Consular Fellows are often required to manage projects, demonstrating the ability to plan and organize, set priorities, employ a systematic approach, and allocate time and resources efficiently. Describe a project you managed or helped to manage and how you sought to achieve the project’s goals. (What was the project? What steps did you take to manage the project? What was the result?)
Leadership Skills: Leadership can be defined as motivating others, encouraging creative solutions, establishing positive team relationships, or significantly influencing the direction of the work. Describe how you have demonstrated leadership, either on one particular occasion or over time. (What was the situation? What steps did you take to show leadership? What was the result?)
Statement of Interest
Required narrative Statement of Interest equivalent to one page typed and no more than 1800 characters, which discusses your:
- Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
- Comments about your work experience, and
- Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.
As with the Accomplishment Questionnaire, the Statement of Interest must be completed inside the online application, not as an attachment.
What to Expect Next:
Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred to hiring agency only” after the close of the announcement. After the announcement’s closing date, all “referred” applicants will be notified via e-mail from the U.S. Department of State of the status of their applications.
Please note that the “referred” status on USAJobs will not be updated throughout the entire evaluation process.
Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the results of your applications.
We recommend adding the Department of State domain (@state.gov) as an approved sender.