Foreign Service Agreement

In countries where there are no bilateral work agreements, family members can still obtain a work permit. When a host country grants a work permit to a family member of a USG employee assigned to that mission abroad, the precedent is set and the country is added to the list of de facto employment agreements. Based on the mutual reciprocity established by precedents, members of the diplomatic family of that host country can apply for a work permit in the United States. De facto agreements are constantly monitored by post and status is reported in the Family Employment Report (FAMER). The Family Liaison Office monitors the success of bilateral labor agreements and the status of de facto labor agreements and cooperates with U.S. embassies that are currently negotiating new agreements. In order to increase overseas employment opportunities for USG family members assigned to an embassy or consulate abroad, bilateral working agreements are concluded through a formal exchange of diplomatic notes between the United States and a single country. Such agreements help to speed up the work permit procedure for our family members in the host country. And because these agreements are reciprocal, family members of diplomats from that country currently serving in the United States can obtain work permits for employment on American soil. To view the current bilateral working agreement between the United States and a given country, click the country of interest in FLO`s bilateral documentation list. Talk to a member of the FLO employment team for general questions about bilateral and de facto work agreements at

There are currently more than 100 bilateral labor agreements between the United States. and foreign countries. The process of creating a bilateral working agreement begins with a recommended text on which the two countries must agree. The text of each bilateral text is negotiated and, therefore, two are not equal. Regardless of the final language, both countries must comply with the text. In addition to the requirements of the agreement, each country establishes a procedure for applying for a work permit. The postal administrator or staff should be able to explain the process. In summary, the United States has bilateral labor agreements with more than 100 countries and de facto agreements with 43 other countries. With regard to formal bilateral agreements and de facto reciprocity, the following three conditions must be met: note: for the purposes of bilateral employment agreements, persons who are involved by order of the USG employee must be called “family members”. Please read the bilateral agreement with a given country to see who is entitled to obtain a work permit. While the Family Liaison Office recommends using a standardized language, each two-way language is unique. A bilateral agreement may limit the nature of the work that one of our family members can perform in the host country.

These are called “restricted areas of employment.” A bilateral agreement could limit the number of family members who can apply for a work permit. .