My Foreign Service Timeline

I gave a full outline of my three candidacy attempts in the post, My First Inkling to Become a Diplomat, so I’ll use this page to document my successful candidacy timeline, and upcoming milestones as I move through my Foreign Service Career. (I abandoned my first candidacy at the QEP stage to focus on a new job, and I abandoned my third candidacy at the FSOA stage after getting an A-100 offer on my second candidacy.)


Second Candidacy for the win!

6/14/11 – Registered for FSOT

10/8/11 – Took FSOT

10/27/11 – Notified I passed FSOT

11/16/11 – QEP Personal Narratives submitted

1/23/12 – Notified I passed QEP

1/30/12 – Invited to schedule FSOA

5/18/12 – Passed FSOA with 5.5/7.0 score

10/22/12 – Security Clearance granted

1/11/13 – Class 1 Medical Clearance granted

1/14/13 – Final Suitability Review completed

1/15/13 – Added to Consular Register

5/5/14 – Invited to join the 178th A-100 Generalist Class

5/19/14 – Salary Offer received

5/20/14 – Signed and returned “Agreement to Join the Foreign Service”

6/30/14 – 178th A-100 Start Date

8/1/14 – Flag Day (Tashkent, Uzbekistan!!!)

8/8/14 – Swearing-In Day

8/11/14 – Started Pre-departure Training

3/20/15 – Graduated from Russian Department

5/1/15 – Graduated from Consular Affairs

5/17/15 – Departed Virginia

5/20/15 – Departed the United States

5/21/15 – Arrived in Uzbekistan

5/22/15 – First Day at U.S. Embassy Tashkent

6/15/15 – First day as a visa line officer

6/16/15 – Received diplomatic accreditation from the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan

7/6/15 – President Obama confirmed my diplomatic nomination by the U.S. Senate

7/20/15 – Became Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) line chief

8/4/15 – Celebrated 10 Years of Federal Service

6/13/16 – Became Immigrant Visa (IV) line chief

6/14/16 – Class 2 Medical Clearance granted

6/29/16 – Received second tour assignment (Canberra, Australia!!!)

6/1/17 – Departed Uzbekistan for U.S.-based home leave, onward training, and consultations

7/29/17 – Arrived in Australia

7/31/17 – First Day at U.S. Embassy Canberra

8/11/17 – Received diplomatic accreditation from the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia

11/17/18 – Security Clearance renewal granted

11/17/18 – Received third tour assignment (Ciudad Juárez, México!!!)

12/20/18 – Received tenure

2/12/19 – Was notified of tenure decision

7/31/19 – U.S. Senate confirmed my tenure

8/2/19 – Departed Australia for U.S.-based home leave, onward training, and consultations

9/3/19 – Started Pre-departure training

2/21/20 – Graduated from Spanish Department

7/31/20 – Arrived in México

8/3/20 – First day at U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juárez

8/4/20 – Celebrated 15 Years of Federal Service

9/1/20 – Received diplomatic accreditation from the Government of The United Mexican States

11/1/21 – Received fourth tour assignment (Washington, DC!!!)

1/13/22 – Departed Mexico

3/9/22 – First day in the Office of Children’s Issues

5/18/22 – Marked 10 years since passing the Oral Assessment

9/2/22 – Received promotion

  10 comments for “My Foreign Service Timeline

  1. November 28, 2022 at 15:36

    So basically it can take two years from the time you get your conditional offer to actually getting the final offer? Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 30, 2023 at 22:54

      Absolutely, and sometimes even longer. Part of the reason is because it took several months after my May 2012 FSOA to receive both security and medical clearances before I even got added to the register. Another issue was that no one had been hired off the consular register with a 5.5 score for over a year. I was only a couple months from expiring off the 18-month register when I finally got “the call.” I’d already started another candidacy on which I’d been invited back to the FSOA but of course, I didn’t have to do it.

      By contrast, a couple of colleagues I studied for the FSOA with in 2012 had totally different stories. One was hired in 2012 because her clearances came quickly and the consular register wasn’t as full; the other person didn’t pass the FSOA, was super bummed, retested a year later, got on his register (I can’t remember which cone), and still got hired before me! Both of them are still in the FS too.

      Bottom line: the hiring timeline is very individual and impacted by many factors.


  2. Lorne Nettles
    March 14, 2023 at 04:25

    thanks for the timeline

    Liked by 1 person

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Sarah W Gaer

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