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22 U.S. Code § 3941 - General provisions

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(a) Citizenship requirement

Only citizens of the United States may be appointed to the Service, other than for service abroad as a consular agent or as a foreign national employee.

(b) Examinations
The Secretary shall prescribe, as appropriate, written, oral, physical, foreign language, and other examinations for appointment to the Service (other than as a chief of mission or ambassador at large).
The Secretary shall ensure that the Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service annually offers the oral assessment examinations described in paragraph (1) in cities, chosen on a rotating basis, located in at least three different time zones across the United States.
(c) Veteran or disabled veteran

The fact that an applicant for appointment as a Foreign Service officer candidate is a veteran or disabled veteran shall be considered an affirmative factor in making such appointments. As used in this subsection, the term “veteran or disabled veteran” means an individual who is a preference eligible under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of section 2108(3) of title 5.

(d) Career and noncareer appointments
Members of the Service serving under career appointments are career members of the Service. Members of the Service serving under limited appointments are either career candidates or noncareer members of the Service.
Chiefs of mission, ambassadors at large, and ministers serve at the pleasure of the President.
An appointment as a Foreign Service officer is a career appointment. Foreign Service employees serving as career candidates or career members of the Service shall not represent to the income tax authorities of the District of Columbia or any other State or locality that they are exempt from income taxation on the basis of holding a Presidential appointment subject to Senate confirmation or that they are exempt on the basis of serving in an appointment whose tenure is at the pleasure of the President.
Editorial Notes

2021—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 117–81 designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

1987—Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 100–204 inserted sentence at end relating to exemption from income taxation.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 1987 Amendment

Pub. L. 100–204, title I, § 179(b), Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1363, provided that:

“The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply with respect to tax years beginning after December 31, 1987.”
Study of Foreign Service Examination

Pub. L. 101–246, title I, § 153(g), Feb. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 44, required the Secretary of State to enter into a contract with a private organization for a comprehensive review and evaluation of the Foreign Service examination related to cultural, racial, ethnic, and sexual bias issues, and no later than 18 months after Feb. 16, 1990, submit a report to Congress containing the findings of the review and evaluation, together with the comments of the Secretary and measures which the Secretary has initiated to respond to any adverse findings of such review.