consular fellows program 2024 – Black Cash

consular fellows program 2024




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Embark on a rewarding career by becoming a Consular Fellow and utilizing your language proficiency in Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, or Portuguese. 

This distinctive consular fellows program involves working in U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.

The consular fellows program (CFP) offers a competitive avenue for individuals aspiring to pursue a career in the United States Foreign Service. 

This limited non-career appointment, lasting up to five years, caters to individuals proficient in Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, or Portuguese. 

Participants gain hands-on experience in consular affairs, focusing on visa processing, passport issuance, and assisting American citizens abroad. 

The program’s emphasis on diversity ensures a comprehensive foreign service experience.

consular fellows program details:

apply for consular fellows program

The consular fellows program offers a limited non-career appointment of up to five years, supporting the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ mission. 

This mission includes providing consular services overseas to:

  • protect U.S. citizens
  • enhance national security
  • facilitate legitimate travel
  • stimulate economic growth at home.


Consular Fellows play a vital role in adjudicating visa applications, assisting U.S. citizens abroad, combating fraud and human trafficking, and ensuring U.S. border security.

Benefits of the consular fellows program:

  • Professional Development: Collaborate with dedicated professionals, gaining valuable experience and developing a diverse skill set, from resource management to public outreach.
  • Incentives: A recruitment bonus is available for candidates hired in FY22 and FY23 with specific language proficiency scores.
  • Student Loan Repayment: Eligibility for the U.S. Department of State’s Student Loan Repayment Program.

Qualifications for the consular fellows program:

We seek motivated, culturally aware, adaptable problem-solvers with sound judgment, strong customer service skills, and the ability to remain composed in stressful situations.

Application Process for the consular fellows program:

Candidates must complete an application on the Pearson VUE portal, including:

  • personal narratives detailing their education
  • professional experience
  • language proficiency.

The application also requires a statement of interest.

Personal Narratives and Statement of Interest:

After the initial application, candidates must submit six personal narratives and a statement of interest. 

The prompts cover:

  • substantive knowledge
  • intellectual skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • communication skills
  • management skills
  • leadership skills. 

The statement of interest discusses motivation for joining the Foreign Service, work experience, and multicultural exposure.

Employment Eligibility for the consular fellows program:

To be eligible for the consular fellows program, candidates must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be at least 20 years old at the time of application and at least 21 years old at the time of appointment.
  • Speak and read one of the eligible foreign languages: Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, or Spanish.
  • Be capable of obtaining and maintaining a Top Secret security clearance.

Additional Information:

  • Suitability Review: Familiarize yourself with the Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards.
  • Veteran’s Preference: Explore information about Veteran’s Preference in the selection process.

Consular Fellowship Program Test (CFPT):

Upon applying and selecting a test date through Pearson, candidates undergo the CFPT, consisting of sections on comprehending regulations, English expression, job knowledge, and situational judgment.

Language Test and Oral Assessment:

Candidates passing the CFPT and Qualifying Evaluation Panel undergo a language screening test and an oral assessment. 

Successful candidates then proceed through the clearance process, including medical and security checks.

Language Screening Test:

This online videoconference test utilizes the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale, ranging from zero (no proficiency) to 5 (functionally native). 

Candidates are evaluated based on their speaking and reading skills, with pass or fail outcomes. 

The test is exclusive to screening for the consular fellows program, and successful candidates may later take a full FSI language test as Department of State employees.

Required Scores:

Candidates must meet the following scores on the ILR scale for speaking and reading in their respective languages:

  • Arabic: 2/1
  • Chinese-Mandarin: 2/1
  • Portuguese: 2/2
  • Spanish: 2/2

While Level 2 is the requirement for the Foreign Service Consular Professional Assessment for Spanish and Portuguese candidates, the consular fellows program favors candidates scoring at Level 3 in both modalities, providing a hiring preference. 

Successful candidates have the opportunity to test a second time to achieve a 3/3 score.

Test Format:

The Consular Fellows Test consists of two parts—speaking and reading—conducted in a single, two-hour session. 

The Speaking Test evaluates language proficiency in real-life situations, involving a warm-up discussion, a prepared presentation by the applicant, and an interview with the tester. 

The Reading Test assesses candidates’ ability to read and summarize articles in English.

Scoring and retesting:

Scores on the Language Test are not reviewable, and candidates who do not pass have the opportunity to reattempt the exam in conjunction with a future successful application to the consular fellows program.

For more details about the language skill levels , visit:

5 important considerations for the consular fellows program:

Role Significance in High-Visa Workload Posts:

  • Consular Fellows have essential responsibilities in posts with substantial visa workloads, contributing to the overall efficiency of consular operations.

No Guarantee of Future Employment:

  • It’s crucial to recognize that appointments as Consular Fellows do not guarantee subsequent employment opportunities within the Foreign Service.

Non-Competitive Eligibility After 48 Consecutive Months:

  • Successfully completing 48 consecutive months in the consular fellows program may provide individuals with non-competitive eligibility.

Specific Assignments for Portuguese and Chinese Language Program Applicants:

  • Applicants proficient in Portuguese or Chinese are specifically selected for service in Brazil and China, aligning their language skills with designated program needs.

Service Time and Benefits Impact on Federal Employment and Retirement:

  • The duration of service and associated benefits, accrued during participation in the Consular Fellows Program, contribute positively to eligibility for federal employment and retirement benefits.

Working Conditions:

Discover details about special circumstances and additional considerations, along with the benefits offered.

Collection of No-Show Fees:

To secure a test appointment, candidates must provide credit/debit card details to Pearson VUE during registration. 

A $5 fee, refundable upon completion of the test, holds the appointment. Failure to cancel at least 48 hours in advance or a no-show will incur an additional $40 fee, totaling $45. 

Queries about this fee can be directed to 

Registering for the consular fellows program (CFPT):

Candidates undergo a two-step registration process involving application submission and appointment selection. 

While applicants have six months to schedule the gateway test, administrative requirements mandate making the appointment within eight weeks of the desired testing date. 

Plagiarism and AI Policy:

Candidates are strictly prohibited from plagiarizing any part of their application materials. The Department of State assesses submissions for plagiarism, and violating this policy results in candidacy discontinuation. 

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, including ChatGPT, to aid in written responses is also prohibited. 

Violating this AI tool prohibition leads to candidacy termination.

Check the requirements for consular fellows program

Ready to apply?

Visit the Test Information and Selection Process to start your application for this exciting opportunity.

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