3 FAM 4180


(CT:PER-1122;   03-15-2023)
(Office of Origin:  GTM/ER/WLD)


(CT:PER-1122;   03-15-2023)
(Uniform State/USAID/Commerce)
(Applies to Foreign Service Employees and all others under Chief of Mission Authority)

a. Definition of member of household (MOH):  An individual who accompanies or joins a sponsoring employee, i.e., a direct hire employee under chief-of-mission authority, either Foreign Service, Civil Service, or uniformed service member, who is permanently assigned to or stationed abroad at a U.S. mission, or at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan.  A MOH is an individual who meets the following criteria:

(1)  Not an EFM and therefore not on the travel orders or approved through Form OF-126, Foreign Service Residence and Dependency Report, of the sponsoring employee; and

(2)  Officially declared by the sponsoring U.S. Government employee to the chief of mission (COM) as part of his or her household and approved by the COM (in cases where the COM is sponsoring a MOH, the MOH must be declared to and approved by the regional bureau's executive director); and

(3)  Is a parent, grandparent, grandchild, unmarried partner, adult child, foreign born child in the process of being adopted, father, mother, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, or half-sister; who falls outside the Department’s current definition of eligible family member 14 FAM 511.3.  A MOH may or may not be a U.S. citizen.  MOHs are by definition cohabitants.  Therefore, if the MOH is not a U.S. citizen, employees who declare MOHs to the COM must ensure compliance with the provisions of 12 FAM 275, Reporting Cohabitation with and/or Intent to Marry a Foreign National.

b. Where appropriate and practicable and subject to applicable law, chiefs of mission and their staffs should ensure that the official American community is as welcoming as possible and should apply the following policies fairly and equitably to all MOHs:

(1)  May assist MOHs, upon request, in obtaining appropriate residency permits and travel visas in accordance with local law.  There are host countries that may not provide these privileges to MOHs.  However, posts may not request privileges, immunities, or exemptions for MOHs and, to the extent post informs the foreign government that the MOH has accompanied the employee abroad and resides with the employee, it should expressly state that the MOH is not regarded by the Department of State as a member of the employee’s family forming part of his or her household for the purposes of the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic or Consular Relations or for any other official purpose;

(2)  Consider MOHs, who can legally work in the respective country and have obtained any necessary work permits, for positions at post that are appropriate for their citizenship.  Such consideration is subject to applicable law, including nepotism regulations, priority consideration for eligible family members and veteran’s preference;

(3)  At the employee’s request and with the MOHs’ authorization, include MOHs in post telephone and address listings;

(4)  Include MOHs in local community liaison office (CLO) events and other post-sponsored activities and programs as appropriate; and

(5)  Provide access to limited FSI training – contact FSI, CDP, or GCLOAskEmployment@state.gov; and

(6)  MOHs do not fall under COM authority but may be required to comply with applicable COM policies as a condition of living in or using embassy facilities.

c.  Posts may consult with the Bureau of Global Talent Management Office of Policy Coordination (DGTM/PC), if they have questions about policies related to MOHs other than those set forth in this subchapter.

d. Employees’ responsibilities with respect to MOHs:

(1)  Employees must declare and receive approval for all MOHs from chief of mission (MOHs sponsored by a COM must be declared to and approved by the regional bureau's executive director);

(2)  Employees must ensure that their MOHs comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and post policies applicable to the U.S. embassy community;

(3)  Employees should encourage their U.S. citizen MOHs to register with the American Citizens Services’ Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP); and

(4)  Employees must report foreign national MOHs and request an approval for cohabitation in U.S. Government housing in accordance with 12 FAM 275, Reporting Cohabitation with and/or Intent to Marry a Foreign National, and 12 FAM 442, Members of Household; and

(5)  Employees should encourage their MOHs to obtain both overseas medical insurance coverage and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) insurance.

e. When evaluating the suitability of an employee for assignment to a Critical Human Intelligence-Threat post under 12 FAM 263.3-2, Critical Human Intelligence-Threat Posts, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) will consider an MOH to the same extent it would a family member.

f.  The anti-nepotism regulations in 3 FAM 8300 must apply to MOHs.

g. MOHs are not eligible to receive the following:

(1)  Paid travel to and from post;

(2)  Accreditation for diplomatic status and privileges and immunities or a diplomatic passport;

(3)  Expeditious naturalization;

(4)  Access to the health unit (HU); however the HU may provide a list of referrals for local providers;

(5)  Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) insurance;

(6)  Airfare or evacuation allowances;

(7)  Separate maintenance allowance (SMA); or

(8)  Shipment of remains in the event that a MOH dies at post.

h. A MOH agreement can be revoked by the COM at any time.

3 FAM 4182  through 4189 UNASSIGNED