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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Employment Resources for Family Members Returning to the United States


Before Leaving Post

Start the Job Search Process

  • Obtaining a position in a desired field and with a desired salary can take months of full-time job searching. Family members, who want to be employed upon arrival in the U.S., should start networking and searching for jobs four to six months prior to departure. FLO’s regional Global Employment Advisor (GEA) can provide strategies for networking.

Hand Carry Employment Records

Leaving a Family Member Appointment (FMA) position?

  • Per Standard Operating Procedures introduced in May 2014, Human Resource Offices worldwide will standardize the process for family members leaving a Family Member Appointment (FMA).
  1. Final Evaluation - If more than 120 days have passed since the last Performance Appraisal Report (PAR), HR must ensure a final evaluation (Form JF-57) is completed. HR should provide a signed and dated copy for the employee’s records.
  2. INWS Letter or Resignation Letter - Employees hired under a Family Member Appointment (FMA) are eligible to be placed in Intermittent-No-Work-Scheduled (INWS) status at the end of their employment or they may choose to resign. Both options require the employee to submit to HR either the Request for Placement into INWS status letter or the Request for Resignation letter. These are standard letters available to HR staff that state the number of days/hours earned toward non-competitive eligibility (NCE). Employees should save this letter in case a federal hiring official asks for it.
  3. SF-50s, Performance Appraisal Reports, and Award Nominations – Family members can print SF-50s, performance appraisal reports (PARs), and award nominations by accessing HR Online/eOPF (intranet) prior to departure from the position. The SF-50s and PARs prove NCE.
  4. Employee Express - print the most current Earnings & Leave statement to check leave balances and to update addresses.
  5. Noncompetitive Eligibility (NCE) - HR provides a handout that explains NCE. The HR representative will also make a note in the employee’s profile that shows he/she has earned NCE.
  6. There are specific instructions available to Human Resource Officers (HRO) for converting an EFM/FMA into a U.S. direct-hire Foreign Service Generalist/Specialist or Civil Service appointment. The family member should ask the HRO at post not to terminate the FMA.
  7. Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) and Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) are terminated after 31 days in INWS.
  8. Family members in INWS may no longer pay into their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) but will continue to have access to their account.
  9. Family members cannot earn federal service credit while in INWS.


Subscribe to The Network

  • Subscribe to The Network, a program designed to connect family members with potential employers within the U.S. Department of State as well as with other outside organizations. Working with Department of State hiring officials and HR specialists, FLO sources job opportunities for which family members with NCE would be considered for non-competitive hire upon their return to the U.S. FLO also works with outside organizations to source job opportunities and give family members the inside track on government contract and NGO positions stateside. Job vacancy announcements and other employment related information, including upcoming programs and FLO services, is distributed via The Network listserv to registered family members.

Do Your Own Research

Upon Arrival in the United States

Federal Employment

  • Visit FLO's Federal Employment web page. Family members who have worked inside the Mission on a Family Member Appointment (FMA) or TEMP appointment and earned noncompetitive eligibility may consider continuing with Federal employment.

Training Courses

For a summary of the information above, check out FLO’s Quick Guide to Employment in the DC Area.

 

Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office


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