UNCLASSIFIED (U)

3 FAM 8900 
CONSULAR AGENT HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION

3 FAM 8910 

GENERAL

(CT:PER-1091;   04-22-2022)
(Office of Origin:  CA/EX/HRD)

3 FAM 8911  APPOINTMENT AUTHORITIES

(CT:PER-817;   06-01-2016)
(State Only)

a. Section 303 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (the, “Act) (22 U.S.C. 3943) provides general authority for the Secretary of State (the “Secretary) to appoint certain members of the Foreign Service, including consular agents, under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe.

b. New consular agents are appointed as intermittent employees for an initial limited appointment under section 309 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 3949) and the regulations contained in this subchapter that does not exceed one year.  Service as a temporary consular agent may be counted towards the initial one-year limitation.  Extensions of the initial limited appointment may be made upon expiration of the initial limited appointment in any amount of time that is not in excess of three years, although a three-year extension will be typical.

c.  Section 309 of the Act provides that limited appointments for consular agents may be extended so that cumulative service may exceed five years.  The consular agent appointment authority is retained in the Department under the procedures of this regulation and has not been delegated to post.

d. Consular agents (including temporary consular agents) are appointed by the Department to assist the post having territorial jurisdiction (the supervisory post) in the performance of limited consular services, which are defined and authorized by certain international agreements (primarily the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations), statutes and regulations.  (See sections 22 CFR 72.1(b), 22 CFR 72.17 and 22 CFR 92.4(e))

e. Consular agents work under the direct oversight of a supervisory consular officer at the embassy or consulate responsible for the consular district in which the agency is located (see 2 FAM Exhibit 461).  In small posts, the supervisory consular officer is generally the chief of the consular section.  In larger posts, the consular chief can designate another officer to supervise the consular agent.  If delegated, this responsibility must be designated in writing.  In countries that have multiple consular agencies, the senior consular officer (generally a countrywide consular coordinator) may also designate a consular agency coordinator to oversee countrywide policy management and procedural guidance for multiple consular agencies. 

f.  Consular agents are not transferable and are appointed for specific duties at specific locations.

g. Consular agents, including citizens of the United States and non-citizens, are members of the Foreign Service as defined under section 103(7) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 3903).

3 FAM 8912  APPOINTMENT OF CONSULAR AGENTS

3 FAM 8912.1  Request for Recommendation

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

When a consular agent position is vacant, the supervisory post nominates a suitable candidate for the position to the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs (see 2 FAM 422.1-4).  Such nominations require the concurrence of the countrywide consular coordinator in countries where such an officer is present. 

3 FAM 8912.2  Standards for Employment and Ethics Requirements

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

Supervisory posts must apply the following standards in making recommendations to the Department for appointment of consular agents:

(1)  A properly qualified U.S. citizen is preferred for appointment over a noncitizen.  If a properly qualified U.S. citizen is not available for appointment, the post may recommend a properly qualified noncitizen for the position;

(2)  The person recommended for the position of consular agent must be of good reputation in the community, capable and reliable, with a clear concept of the nature of the work for which he or she will be responsible.  The supervisory post should carefully review the candidate’s other business, affiliations, and interests to determine whether such service could create a conflict of interest, and to ensure that the candidate would not derive any inappropriate personal benefit as a result of his or her service as a consular agent;

(3)  A person already employed in any other capacity by the United States, or who holds an office under a foreign government or any other public office, may not be appointed as consular agent while so employed.  Embassy or consulate locally employed (LE) staff may not be employed concurrently as a consular agent; and

(4)  The person selected must receive the new entrant ethics orientation as provided in 5 CFR 2638.703(a).

3 FAM 8912.3  Forms Required

(CT:PER-817;   06-01-2016)
(State Only)

When recommending a candidate for appointment as consular agent, the supervisory post submits electronically the following forms to CA/EX/HRD, or, in the case of forms related to security vetting, the local Regional Security Officer: 

(1)  Resume;

(2)  Form OF-612, Optional Application for Federal Employment;

(3)  Form SF-85-P, Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions and Form SF-85P-S, Supplemental Questionnaire for Selected Positions for Moderate Risk Public Trust Certification;

(4)  Form DS-4002, Disclosure and Authorization Pertaining to Consumer Reports (if applicant has a SSN);

(5)  Form FD-258, FBI Fingerprint Card (2 copies, with DOS in ORI Block);

(6)  Form DS-1143, Request for Security Clearance (to be completed by CA/EX/HRD upon receipt of the security and employment forms from post);

(7)  Verification of date of birth (copy of passport data page or birth certificate);

(8)  Form SF-144, Statement of Prior Federal Service;

(9)  Form SF-181, Ethnicity and Race Identification; and

(10) Form SF-256, Self-Identification of Disability.

3 FAM 8912.4  Completion of Security Processing

(CT:PER-817;   06-01-2016)
(State Only)

Executive Order 10450 (E.O. 10450) Security Requirements for Government Employment and Title 5 Code of Federal Regulations Part 731 (5 CFR 731) require applicants to undergo an investigation prior to employment.  Consular Agents, including temporary Consular Agents, may not be appointed prior to the completion of the investigation and suitability determination.

3 FAM 8912.5  Approval, Commission, and Exequatur

(CT:PER-1006;   07-08-2020)
(State Only)

a. After the approval of the recommendation for appointment and the satisfactory completion of the necessary security and suitability investigation, the supervisory post will initiate an electronic Form SF-52, Request for Personnel Action, to appoint the selectee as a consular agent.  The Department will transmit Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, to the supervisory post and the consular agent’s assignment commission to the embassy.

b. After receipt of the commission, post must apply for an exequatur or comparable host government document, which, upon receipt, is forwarded with the commission to the consular agent.

c.  Once the appointee has been converted to a full consular agent, upon authorization from the Bureau of Global Talent Management, Office of Presidential Appointments (GTM/PAS) (see 3 FAH-1 H-2432.1-4(2)), the supervisory post may annotate the regular, fee-paid passport of a U.S. citizen agent, designating the bearer as a consular agent: “The bearer is a Consular Agent of the United States resident in (city), (country).”  See Endorsement 15, 8 FAM 505.2-2.

3 FAM 8912.6  Effective Dates of Employment, Termination and Length of Appointments

3 FAM 8912.6-1  Employment

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

Upon notification of approval from the Department and notice of the provisional recognition of the consular agent’s accreditation from the host government, post should notify a newly hired consular agent that s/he may assume duties on or after one of the following dates, as applicable:

(1)  If the consular agency is being established upon the closure of a consulate, the closing date of that consulate; or

(2)  If the incoming agent is taking over the duties from another consular agent, the date of relinquishment of duties by the agent on duty.  See 2 FAM 422.1-4.

3 FAM 8912.6-2  Termination

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

The period of official duty of a consular agent terminates at the close of business on one of the following dates, as applicable:

(1)  The closing date of the consular agency or the date the agent is relieved of duties by the supervisory post, whichever is sooner; or

(2)  The date the agent relinquishes duties to another consular agent; or

(3)  Upon expiration or termination of a temporary or limited appointment that is not extended; or

(4)  At the discretion of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, in consultation with a supervisory post, where suitability, conduct or performance issues warrant removal.

3 FAM 8912.6-3  Length of Appointments

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

All consular agent appointments are limited appointments under Section 309 of the Foreign Service Act.  The initial limited appointment may be made for a period up to, but not in excess of, one year.  Service as a temporary consular agent may be counted towards the initial one-year limitation.  At the request of the supervisory post, and with the approval of the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Human Resources Division, the initial one-year limited appointment may be extended for a period of up to three years.  Thereafter, additional extensions may be made for a period of up to three years each.  The supervisory post will initiate an electronic Form SF-52, Request for Personnel Action, for each extension.  There is no statutory or regulatory limit on the number of limited appointment extensions for consular agents in good standing. 

3 FAM 8912.7  Forms Executed Upon Entry on Duty

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

a. The following forms must be executed by the consular agent and submitted to the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Human Resources Division immediately upon initial entry on duty:

(1)  Form SF-61, Appointment Affidavit;

(2)  Form OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment;

(3)  Form DS-1031-A, Biographic Data Sheet;

(4)  Form SF-1199A, Direct Deposit; and

(5)  Form W-4, Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate.

b. Form SF-61 must be executed before any salary payments are made (see 3 FAM 8914.4 a).  The effective dates shown on Form SF-61, Form OF-306 and Form SF-50 should all be the same. Noncitizens appointed as consular agents are not required to complete the Oath of Office (Part "A" of Form SF-61); when not used, this part should be stricken.

3 FAM 8913  APPOINTMENT OF TEMPORARY CONSULAR AGENTS

3 FAM 8913.1  Recommendation

(CT:PER-817;   06-01-2016)
(State Only)

a. Temporary consular agents are appointed in unusual circumstances:

(1)  An emergency situation requiring the temporary services of a consular agent; or

(2)  To provide for continuity of services during an extended absence of a consular agent.

    NOTE:  A temporary consular agent may be appointed by the Department by the same procedure as outlined in 3 FAM 8912.1 through 8912.3, including the completion of the investigation and suitability determination.

b. In the event of an emergency in which there is insufficient time for submission of the necessary appointment forms, and pending such submission, the supervisory post may make an electronic recommendation to the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Human Resources Division to appoint a temporary consular agent, as well as a recommendation for the length of that appointment.  The supervisory post will initiate an electronic Form SF-52, Request for Personnel Action, to appoint the temporary consular agent. 

3 FAM 8913.2  Approval and Provisional Recognition

(CT:PER-817;   06-01-2016)
(State Only)

a. Upon approval of the recommendation for a temporary appointment, the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Human Resources Division notifies the supervisory post promptly and transmits Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, to the supervisory post.

b. The supervisory post, if other than a diplomatic mission, immediately informs the diplomatic mission in the host country of the appointment of a temporary consular agent in order that the mission may request provisional recognition.

c.  A temporary consular agent does not receive an exequatur and is not commissioned by the Department.

3 FAM 8913.3  Forms To Be Executed Upon Entry on Duty

(CT:PER-737;   06-18-2014)
(State Only)

Temporary consular agents complete the forms required under 3 FAM 8912.7 upon entry on duty.

3 FAM 8913.4  Effective Dates of Employment and Termination

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

Upon receipt by the supervisory post of the Department’s approval of the temporary appointment and notice from the diplomatic mission that provisional recognition has been obtained, the appointee may assume duties as a temporary consular agent.  The official duty dates of employment and termination are the same as in the case of consular agents, as set forth in 3 FAM 8912.6.

3 FAM 8913.5  Forms Required if a Temporary Consular Agent is Appointed as a Consular Agent

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

If the appointment of a temporary consular agent is later converted to a full consular agent (see 3 FAM 8912.5), the supervisory post should ensure that all forms required under 3 FAM 8912.7 have been executed and transmitted to the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Human Resources Division.

3 FAM 8914  CLASSIFICATION AND COMPENSATION

3 FAM 8914.1  Classification

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

All consular agent positions are classified at class 06 of the Foreign Service Schedule.  The pay plan “FZ” is used for consular agents.  On official personnel documents, such as Form SF-52, Request for Personnel Action and Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Acton, class 06 will not be shown in the grade/class blocks.  Instead, the percentage, representing the average weekly workload, as calculated in 3 FAM 8914.3-1 below, will be shown.

3 FAM 8914.2  Salary Structure

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

Taking into account the workload of the consular agent and local prevailing wage rates, consular agents will be paid between 20 percent and 95 percent of one of the 14 step rates of class 06 of the Foreign Service Schedule.  (See 3 FAM 8914.3-1, paragraph b for a possible exception to the 95 percent limitation.)

3 FAM 8914.3  Determining Individual Pay Rates

(CT:PER-737;   06-18-2014)
(State Only)

A three-step procedure is used to set pay for individual consular agents.

3 FAM 8914.3-1  Step One: Determine Average Weekly Workload

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

a. Workload percentage:

(1)  The supervisory consular officer determines a percentage that represents the consular agent’s approximate average weekly workload.  This percentage is calculated by determining the actual average number of hours worked per week in the past year and/or by estimating the average weekly number of hours expected to be worked per week in the coming year.  The weekly average number of hours is divided by 40 to determine the percentage of full-time work performed.  All percentage calculations should be expressed as a multiple of 5 percent.  Amounts falling between a 5 percent interval should be increased to the next higher increment of 5 percent (e.g., 46 percent should be increased to 50 percent).  For example, if over the course of a year, taking into account seasonal variations, a consular agent works approximately 25 hours per week, 25 hours, divided by 40 hours, equals .625 (62.5 percent) or, rounded up, 65 percent.  Thus, the workload percentage calculated for step one will be 65 percent.

(2)  In calculating the consular agent’s approximate average weekly workload, the supervisory consular officer should take into account the hours to be worked by the agent, not solely the hours that the consular agency is open to the public.  However, activities of a primarily representational nature such as attending national day receptions and/or cocktail/dinner parties should not be included when calculating the workload of a consular agent.

b. Workload limitations:

It is Department policy that no appointment will be approved for a consular agent to work for an average of less than 8 hours per week (i.e., 20 percent) or for more than 38 hours per week (i.e., 95 percent).  However, under extraordinary circumstances warranting a 40 hour average workweek, the supervisory post may request an exception.  If approved by CA/EX, such approval will be noted in the remarks section of the Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.

3 FAM 8914.3-2  Step Two: Determine Step Rate

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

a. The second step is to determine the appropriate step rate of class 06 of the Foreign Service Schedule.  Class 06, step 1, will generally be used for initial appointments.

b. However, a higher annual salary may be granted when the prevailing wage rates in the locality where the consular agency is located are such that a higher annual salary rate is necessary to properly recruit, retain or otherwise compensate consular agents for their service.  In such a case, the supervisory post should recommend and justify an appropriate higher step to the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs.  CA/EX will advise the supervisory post of the approved grade and step, and the supervisory post should note on the Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, that “grade/step x is authorized on the basis of local prevailing wage rates.”

c.  Please note that an individual's highest previous rate (HPR) related to prior U.S. government service does not apply to consular agent appointments.

3 FAM 8914.3-3  Step Three: Calculate Per Annum Rate

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

a. A consular agent’s final per annum pay rate is calculated by multiplying the percentage of the full-time work week times the appropriate step rate of class 06 (e.g., 65 percent of step 3 of class 06).  This information must be recorded in the grade/level and step/rate blocks of the Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (e.g., FZ-65-03).  The resulting per annum rate is entered in the salary block of the Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.  The supervisory post should pay particular attention to these sections when documenting the Form SF-52, Request for Personnel Action.

b. For payroll purposes, the per annum salary rate is divided by 2087 (i.e., the standard payroll divisor) and the consular agents are paid on a biweekly basis as if 80 hours of work were performed.  Note, however, that since the per annum salary rate has been adjusted by a percentage of the full-time workweek, the actual biweekly pay represents the average consular agent workweek and not a full-time workweek.

3 FAM 8914.3-4  Personnel Actions and Official Personnel Folder

(CT:PER-1006;   07-08-2020)
(State Only)

a. When a consular agent’s pay level is approved by CA/EX, CA/EX/HRD will prepare a Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, to establish a consular agent’s rate of pay.  CA/EX/HRD is responsible for preparing all personnel actions needed to carry out any pay or personnel changes unless automatically done as a systems change by GTM/EX/SOD.

b. An Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) for each consular agent is established and maintained with Records and Information Management (GTM/EX/RIM).  All personnel information initiated at posts and by bureaus must be sent to both CA/EX/HRD and GTM/EX/RIM for insertion in the eOPF.  If a consular agent has prior service, GTM/EX/RIM will request documentation to verify and credit service.  The eOPF is held for one year after termination of the appointment.  If not reappointed within the year, the eOPF is transferred to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis.

3 FAM 8914.3-5  Consular Agent Pay Adjustments

(CT:PER-1006;   07-08-2020)
(State Only)

After the initial annual salary is established, consular agents may later receive pay adjustments as follows:

a.   Individual pay adjustments:

(1)  Consular agents may receive periodic pay adjustments through step 14.  CA/EX/HRD will approve such increases upon receipt of a request from the supervisory post and an annual performance appraisal (see 3 FAM 8917.2) that is “satisfactory” or higher.  The minimum waiting period for a pay adjustment is 52 consecutive weeks in employment status up to step 10.  Thereafter, the minimum waiting period is 104 consecutive weeks;

(2)  If the average workload changes for a significant period of time and is expected to continue to change or stabilize at a rate at least 10 percent above or below the currently authorized rate, the consular agent’s average weekly workload percentage should be adjusted to reflect the changing work situation.  This is done when the current appointment expires or by converting the current appointment before it expires, thus creating a new appointment with a new rate of pay.  Supervisory posts should forward requests to adjust a consular agent’s percentage to CA/EX for review and, if appropriate, approval.  See 3 FAM 8915; and

(3)  In rare circumstances after the initial appointment, the supervisory post may recommend to CA/EX an adjustment in step level within class 06 of the Foreign Service Schedule in order to adjust for changes in the prevailing wage rates in the respective country of the consular agency.  CA/EX will determine whether a step level adjustment is warranted.

b.   Automatic pay schedule adjustments:  Consular agent pay rates are automatically adjusted at the same time and by the same percentage as other Foreign Service Schedule pay rates for class 06.  GTM/EX/SOD will make these changes to the personnel system.

3 FAM 8914.3-6  Obligation of Funds and Local Tax Obligations

(CT:PER-737;   06-18-2014)
(State Only)

The salaries of both citizen and noncitizen consular agents are charged against allotments for the salaries of U.S. citizen employees.  U.S. citizen agents and permanent resident alien agents (if any) are subject to Federal and state income tax withholdings as required by law.  Consular agents may have tax obligations under local law, and they are individually responsible for the payment of any taxes imposed by the government of the host country.  (Also see 4 FAH-3 H-540.)

3 FAM 8914.4  Effective Dates for Salary

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

a. Salary is paid as of the official date the consular agent assumes duty, as established by 3 FAM 8912.6, or as otherwise determined by the principal officer of the supervisory post under the provisions of 3 FAM 8915, provided that no salary is paid until the Form SF-61, Appointment Affidavit has been executed.  (See 3 FAM 8914.7 regarding temporary consular agents.)  On initial appointments or conversions, this date and the effective date shown on the Form SF-50 should be the same.  (See 3 FAM 8912.7.)

b. Consular agents’ salaries must be adjusted automatically by statutory adjustments authorized for class 06 of the Foreign Service Schedule.

c.  Salary terminates on one of the following dates, as appropriate:

(1)  In event of death in service, on the date of death;

(2)  In event of separation, on the last day of active duty, as stated in the appropriate Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action;

(3)  In event of absence from duty, without immediate replacement by another consular agent, on the last day of duty prior to the period of absence, unless otherwise determined by the principal officer of the supervisory post under 3 FAM 8915(f);

(4)  In event of relinquishment of duties to another consular agent, on the date of such relinquishment; or

(5)  Upon expiration of a temporary or limited Foreign Service appointment that is not extended.

3 FAM 8914.5  Social Security Coverage

(CT:PER-817;   06-01-2016)
(State Only)

a. U.S. citizen and U.S. permanent resident alien consular agents are subject to FICA tax deductions and earn eligibility for Social Security Retirement, Survivors, Disability and Health Insurance (RSDHI) benefits.  Noncitizen agents who are not U.S. permanent resident aliens are not eligible for such benefit.

b. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations does not exempt consular agents from the social security provisions in force in the host country.  Therefore, consular agents may be required to participate in the host country social security system.

3 FAM 8914.6  Limitations on Compensation and Benefits

(CT:PER-1091;   04-22-2022)
(State Only)

Due to the nature of their temporary or limited appointments, intermittent work schedules, recruitment at posts abroad, authorization of pay based on local prevailing rates, etc.; consular agents are usually exempt from additional federal compensation and benefits programs.  The following summarizes entitlements to benefits:

(1)  Annuitants—If a retired U.S. government employee is appointed as a consular agent, he or she becomes a reemployed annuitant and is subject to the requirements of the retirement system from which he/she retired and to all laws relating to dual compensation or other similar prohibitions;

(2)  Health Insurance

(a)  Agents who are expected to work 130 hours per month (FZ-75 or higher) and for more than at least 90 days are eligible to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program with a full government contribution.  Former federal employees who were covered by the health insurance program and then hired as a consular agent without a break in federal service of more than three calendar days are also eligible to participate in the FEHB program.  For additional information, visit the OPM healthcare website. 

(b)  According to FEHB eligibility rules, consular agents working fewer than 130 hours per month (FZ-70 and below), or for less than 90 days (as in the case of temporary agents), are not eligible to participate in the FEHB program.  These agents are, however, eligible for reimbursement of up to 70 percent of their health insurance premium, not to exceed a maximum specified amount; this reimbursement is intended to provide a benefit equivalent to the share of FEHB premiums that the U.S. Government pays for other employees.  Consular agents eligible for FEHB may opt to seek reimbursement for a share of their own private insurance plan rather than receive FEHB benefits. 

(c)  The Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA/EX), Consular Agency Coordinator, with concurrence from the Bureau of Consular Affairs Comptroller’s Office (CA/C), determines each year the maximum reimbursement amount.  This amount is based on the average government contribution for all Non-Postal Fee-For-Service Plans offered under the FEHB.  As of calendar year 2022, the maximum amount that can be reimbursed is $5,582 for a self-only policy and at $13288 for a family policy.  A family includes a spouse, unmarried child(ren) up to age 26, and disabled children of any age if they live with and are dependent on the parent. 

(d)  Agents seeking reimbursement must present to the supervisory post’s financial management office a paid receipt showing the amount paid for a full-year policy, together with a copy of the policy.  In lieu of a full-year premium paid receipt, an agent may submit twelve monthly or four quarterly receipts which, when grouped together, constitute verification of payment for a full-year policy.  The supervisory post will reimburse the consular agent from post’s MRV allotment.

(e)  Reimbursement is only for private health insurance.  Premiums for national health insurance program may not be reimbursed.  Premiums for private insurance intended to supplement a national government health insurance program may, however, be reimbursed. 

(f)   Reimbursement is for insurance policies in the name of the consular agent, not for a spouse’s policy under which the agent is covered.  Agents covered under a spouse’s policy may request deletion from that policy.  Alternatively, the spouse’s policy may be canceled, with the agent taking out a family policy including his/her spouse.  If a pre-existing condition prevents the consular agent and or their dependent from changing to a policy listing them as the primary policyholder, the consular agent may request a waiver of this requirement, which would be subject to the approval by both the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Consular Agency Coordinator and the Comptroller’s Office.

(3)  Allowances—Consular agents are not eligible to receive allowances and post differentials authorized by the Standardized Regulations, per 3 FAM 3211;

(4)  Incentive Awards—Consular agents are covered by the Incentive Awards Program described in 3 FAM 4800.  Supervisory posts should follow the guidance and procedures outlined in that regulation;

(5)  Leave—Consular agents do not accrue and are not charged annual leave, sick leave, etc. because they are neither full-time employees nor part-time employees with an established regular tour of duty.  (See 3 FAM 3300 and 5 U.S.C. 6301);

(6)  Life Insurance—Consular agents are not eligible to participate in the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program due to their intermittent work status except for a former federal employee who was covered by the program and then hired as a consular agent with a break in federal service of less than three days and who is expected to return to the former position.  See 5 CFR 870.302(b)(3);

(7)  Premium pay—Consular agents are not covered by either the premium pay (e.g., overtime, compensatory time off, night pay, Sunday pay, holiday pay) benefits of Title 5, U.S.C., nor by the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (see 3 FAM 3130).  If an agent consistently works more hours than reflected in their FZ scale, post can, however, propose to change their salary rate to a more appropriate level;

(8)  Retirement—Consular agents are not eligible to contribute to or earn credit toward the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System, the Foreign Service Pension System, the Civil Service Retirement and Disability System, or the Federal Employees Retirement System, or to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan except those who are U.S. citizens whose appointments as consular agents are made without a break in continuity of service of more than three days from positions in which they were covered by the Civil Service Retirement and Disability System or the Federal Employees Retirement System.  See 22 U.S.C. 4043, 22 U.S.C. 4071b, 5 CFR 831.209(a)(9) and 5 CFR 842.105(a);

(9)  Work Injuries—Consular agents are covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act for compensation for injuries sustained in the performance of duty, including disability and death benefits.  This program is administered by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.  In the event of a work injury, the consular agent should immediately contact the Office of the Executive Director , Bureau of Consular Affairs, HR Division  (see 3 FAM 3630 and 3 FAH-1 H-3630, and 5 U.S.C. 8101, et. seq.); and

(10) Death Benefits—Survivors of any consular agent who dies as a result of injuries sustained in the performance of duty outside the United States may be eligible for payment of certain death benefits as provided under 3 FAM 3650.

3 FAM 8914.7  Compensation for Temporary Consular Agents

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

An appointed temporary consular agent receives compensation at the annual rate under the same rules that govern the payment of consular agents.  Compensation for temporary consular agents begins and terminates in accordance with the dates of official duty and termination under the provisions of 3 FAM 8912.6.

3 FAM 8915  HOURS OF WORK AND ABSENCE FROM DUTY

(CT:PER-1086;   03-25-2022)
(State Only)

a. Consular agent positions are not intended to be full-time permanent positions.  The salary schedule established by the Department is structured for intermittent work schedules with seasonal variations that average less than full-time work performance.  It is Department policy that no appointment will be approved for a consular agent to work for an average of less than 8 hours per week (i.e., 20 percent) or for more than 38 hours per work (i.e., 95 percent).  However, under extraordinary circumstances warranting a 40-hour average workweek, the supervisory post may request an exception.  If approved by CA/EX and the appropriate regional bureau, such approval will be noted in the remarks section of the Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.

b. Any claims by consular agents that an average work week of more than 30 hours (i.e., 75 percent category) is required on a continuous basis must be documented by the supervisory consular officer.  Supervisory posts must justify the need for a consular agent with an average workweek of more than 30 hours in conjunction with each renewal of the agent’s appointment.  Such evaluation should include a summary of the actual work hours worked by the agent over the previous appointment period, and must be submitted to CA/EX at the same time as a request for renewal of the appointment.  Activities of a primarily representational nature such as attending national day receptions and/or cocktail/dinner parties should not be included when calculating the workload of an agent.

c.  As intermittent employees, consular agents are not required to adhere to regularly scheduled office hours or a fixed schedule of days or hours of duty.  The nature of their work requires attention at irregular times beyond the control of the Department and the individual consular agent.  Thus, consular agents’ salaries are fixed on a per annum basis.

d. Absences from the agency of more than a week must be requested in advance by the consular agent to the supervisory consular officer.

e. If the consular agent is absent for a significant period of time (and whether or not a temporary consular agent is available and appointed by the Department to provide continuity of service), the consular agent’s regular salary must be discontinued during the prolonged absence.  In general, absences of more than four  weeks per calendar year are considered significant.  At the discretion of the supervisory consular officer, the consular agent’s salary may be withheld for a part or for all of the period of such absence.  The supervisory post must notify CA/EX/HRD of the consular agent’s absence in a non-pay status, report the number of days absent for purposes of discontinuing salary, and report the agent’s return to duty.  The supervisory post shall send an email to discontinue pay and later submit a second request to adjust the consular agent’s service computation date (SCD) to reflect the period of absence.

f.  Nothing in these regulations should be interpreted as limiting the number of hours, which may be spent by a consular agent in providing urgently required protection for the rights and welfare of U.S. citizens in distress or precluding assistance in an emergency.  No separate additional compensation beyond the per annum salary (such as allowances, night-pay differentials, overtime, Sunday, or holiday pay) is paid to consular agents.

3 FAM 8916  TRAINING

(CT:PER-1021;   10-28-2020)
(State Only)

a. The supervisory post is responsible for providing newly hired consular agents with the regulations and instructions required for the consular agent to perform his or her duties.  Newly hired consular agents must successfully complete several distance-learning courses within six months of receiving their temporary appointment: PC103 – Nationality Law/Consular Procedures; PC104 – Overseas Citizens Services; PC418 - Consular Fees: Training for the Consular Agent; PC417 - Accounting for Consular Fees: Training for the ACO; PA318 Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (biennially); and PA451 - Ethics Orientation for New Employees.  By December 31 each year, the consular agent should complete Diplomatic Security’s required online course EX250 “Annual Counterintelligence and Insider Threat Awareness Training.”  Consular agents also should participate in the first available offering of PC107 (Consular Agents’ Workshop) at the Foreign Service Institute, ideally within one year of entering duty.  The supervisory post is responsible for ensuring the agent is enrolled in PC107, with funding provided by the Bureau of Consular Affairs. 

b. In addition, supervisory posts should ensure that newly hired consular agents receive an ethics orientation (see 3 FAM 8912.2(4)).

c.  See 13 FAM 301.1 for mandatory training for all Department employees.

3 FAM 8917  PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

3 FAM 8917.1  Annual Agency Assessments

(CT:PER-817;   06-01-2016)
(State Only)

a. As noted in 3 FAM 8911(e), consular agents work under the direct oversight of a supervisory consular officer at the embassy or consulate responsible for the consular district in which the agency is located.  In addition, multi-post missions may designate a countrywide consular agency coordinator.  Either the supervisory consular officer or the countrywide consular agency coordinator must assess the operation of each consular agency under their jurisdiction within 12 months of the prior assessment.  This assessment is certified in conjunction with the Annual Certification of Consular Management Controls.  These assessments are of the agency and its operations as a whole, beyond the performance of the agent (see Management Controls Oversight and Checklist).  The resulting report should focus on such areas as internal controls, whether work hours are documented and appropriately reflected in the agent’s salary, effectiveness of support staff (if applicable), and appropriateness/condition of agency office space and equipment.  Copies of the trip assessment report should be sent to both the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Consular Agency Coordinator, and Human Resources Division either by front-channel cable or by forwarding to the ConsularAgent@state.gov email box. 

3 FAM 8917.2  Written Agent Performance Evaluations

(CT:PER-817;   06-01-2016)
(State Only)

The agent’s supervisor must prepare an annual performance evaluation using the Employee Performance Report (EPR) for Not Ordinarily Resident Employees (NOR), Form JF-57 EPR.  The annual evaluation performance rating cycle is March 15 through March 14, and evaluations are due no more than 30 days following the close of the rating period.  Employees must also be evaluated (1) when they vacate their position or (2) when their supervisor changes, unless the appointment was for less than 120 days or a performance evaluation was completed within the past 120 days.  Employees who do not receive evaluations because they have not served a minimum of 120 days in a position are considered to have performed at a satisfactory level.  Supervisors must submit EPRs in a timely manner so that consular agents may promptly receive any periodic pay adjustments for which they may be eligible (see under 3 FAM 8914.3-5 paragraph aNote that some posts may require that agent evaluations go through a review panel, similar to officers.  Consular agent annual appraisals must be submitted to the Office of the Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Human Resources Division, and the Consular Agency Coordinator via the ConsularAgent@state.gov email box. 

3 FAM 8918  SEPARATION OF CONSULAR AGENTS

3 FAM 8918.1  Resignation

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

The supervisory post must promptly report the resignation of a consular agent or temporary consular agent to CA/EX/HRD and to the Consular Agency Coordinator in CA/EX/PAS. 

3 FAM 8918.2  Termination of Appointment

(CT:PER-817;   06-01-2016)
(State Only)

Section 613 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 4012) provides that the “Secretary of State may terminate at any time the appointment of any consular agent in light of the criteria and procedures normally followed in the locality in similar circumstances.”  This provision refers to unexpected termination of an existing limited appointment and does not refer to the following conditions:

(1)  The termination of a limited appointment on the expiration date that was specified as a basic condition of employment on Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action at the time the appointment was made;

(2)  Termination of salary payment based on conditions specified in 3 FAM 8915 for significant absences;

(3)  Voluntary separation of the consular agent; or

(4)  An adjustment in salary due to a significant change in workload under 3 FAM 8914.3-5 (a).

3 FAM 8918.3  Separation for Cause

(CT:PER-802;   01-08-2016)
(State Only)

a. The supervisory post may recommend to the Department the separation of a consular agent or temporary consular agent in a case of less than fully satisfactory performance of duties, misconduct, or malfeasance.

b. The supervisory post may suspend the agent from further performance of the agent’s duties and notify CA/EX/HRD and the Consular Agency Coordinator in CA/EX/PAS by email, giving complete details.  The Bureau of Consular Affairs will make the final decision and notify the supervisory post, which will inform the agent of dismissal or restoration to duty.

3 FAM 8919  UNASSIGNED

UNCLASSIFIED (U)