This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Foreign Service Consular Adjudicator - Chinese Mandarin

Department:Department Of State

Agency:Department of State - Agency Wide

Job Announcement Number:CALNA-CM-2013-0003

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$38,394.00 to $56,383.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Thursday, February 21, 2013 to Tuesday, March 05, 2013

SERIES & GRADE:

FP-1040-06

POSITION INFORMATION:

Limited Non-Career Appointment - Initially 18 months with possibility of periodic extensions, but not to exceed a maximum 5 years.

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

04

DUTY LOCATIONS:

MANY vacancies - China

WHO MAY APPLY:

Applicants must be U.S. citizens over 20 years of age (21 years of age to be hired), able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance, medical and suitability clearances, as well as be eligible for diplomatic privileges and immunities in the country of assignment. For more information on suitability, see www.careers.state.gov.

JOB SUMMARY:

Applicants for China must be available for all posts in China and must speak/read Mandarin Chinese at a 2/1 level.  Successful applicants must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).

A Limited Non-Career Appointment does not lead to further employment in the State Department or conversion to another form of employment.  Candidates may not apply more than once a year.  Since it has been a year since the last Vacancy Announcement, any former candidate may reapply.

The position is for Consular Adjudicators.  This is a Limited Non-Career Appointment.

 

Note: Series 1040 indicated above is for USAJOBS compliance only.

Duration of Appointment:

Limited Non-Career Appointment.  Initially these appointments are for 18 months, but they may be extended periodically up to a maximum of five years, based on satisfactory performance and the needs of the Service.

Promotion Potential is to FP-04.

Grade and Starting Salary Range:

FS-06:  Basic Range:  $38,394 - $56,383
FS-05:  Basic Range:  $42,948 - $63,071

Successful candidates will be hired at the FS-06 or FS-05 level, depending on education and professional experience, with the possibility of an administrative promotion to the FS-04 level.

Additional Benefits:

Tax Free Housing Overseas, Tax Free Educational Allowance for eligible family members, overtime compensation, Accrual of Annual and Sick Leave, Life Insurance, Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHB), Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), the possibility of Hardship Pay where applicable, etc.  Details on additional benefits can be found at careers.state.gov.  Not all benefits are available to LNA positions.  Student Loan Repayment, expedited naturalization and Language Incentive Pay programs are not offered under the LNA program.

Number of Vacancies:

Consideration will be for multiple positions in China.  The Department of State will maintain a rank-order list of eligible candidates to fill LNA Consular positions in China.  The total number of applicants to be hired depends on the needs of the Foreign Service.

Location:

After an initial period of training and orientation at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia, assignments will be to U.S. embassies and consulates in the People's Republic of China for a period of 1-5 years.  While Limited Non-Career appointments can be for up to five years, the initial appointment is for 18 months.  Appointments may be extended periodically based on satisfactory performance and the needs of the Foreign Service.  Those who remain in their appointment for four or five years should expect to serve in at least two different posts.

Applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at least 20 years old to apply and at least 21 years of age to be appointed.  Candidates must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret Security Clearance, including a country-specific authorization to serve in country or countries of assignment, an appropriate Medical Clearance, a suitability clearance, and be eligible for diplomatic privileges and immunities in the country of assignment.

If you have any questions regarding this opportunity, please visit the ENGAGE section of our website, careers.state.gov. -- click on the link to FORUMS/BLOGS and post your question(s) in the Consular Adjudicators Forum.  Questions will be answered quickly.  You may also address questions to the CA/LNA mailbox: CALNAInfo@state.gov. 

KEY REQUIREMENTS


    DUTIES:

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    DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES:  

    Working in the Foreign Service offers special rewards, including the pride and satisfaction of representing the United States and protecting U.S. interests abroad.  It may involve uncommon commitment and frequent hardship, as well as unique opportunities.

    Basic duties may include the following:

    1.  Obtaining information relevant to provision of consular services by interviewing individuals, reviewing on-line applicants' visa or passport application history, reviewing name searches for visa and passport applicants, and verifying information as necessary provided by applicants.

    2.  Processing visas or passports, including reviewing visa and passport issuance, report of birth, and other controlled records and supplies, determining and verifying required clearances prior to issuing visas or passports; and preparing visa revocations, security advisory opinions, and advisory opinions.

    3.  Making and reviewing decisions about visa or passport applications including adjudicating visa or passport applications by reviewing cases and applying relevant USG law, regulations, precedent, and relevant agreements, and cooperating with other agencies in applying laws and regulations related to visa applications.

    4.  Interacting with those applying for consular services, including explaining entry procedures to persons, dealing fairly but compassionately with all clients, including applicants refused visas, and communicating appropriately with visa applicants, their attorneys or congressional staff.

    5.  Investigating potentially fraudulent activities or claims, coordinating and cooperating with other agencies to prevent entry of ineligible aliens into the U.S., developing working relationships with appropriate in-country officials for the purpose of sharing and verifying information, providing documentation of consular decisions.

    6.  Using computers including Microsoft Office applications for word processing (Word), spreadsheets (Excel), e-mail (Outlook), and presentations (Power Point), and specialized consular computer systems.

    7.  Preparing written materials, such as memos and status reports, as requested.  

    8.  Communicating with and assisting Department of State colleagues, e.g., assisting colleagues on projects, serving rotationally as duty officer 24/7, attending meetings, and providing information on Consular activities and services as appropriate.

    9.  Managing Sensitive and/or Classified Information.

    Other responsibilities may include:

    -- Sharing day-to-day oversight of Locally Engaged Staff (LES) and/or Eligible Family Members (EFMs)
    -- Doing outreach, pro-actively representing the U.S. and U.S. policies abroad
    -- Participating on boards, committees, and task forces
    -- Interacting with foreign government officials
    -- Communicating with non-government groups
    -- Monitoring and reporting on developments of interest to the U.S. Government
    -- Evaluating policies and procedures

    -- Assisting with other consular activities, including American Citizen Services, e.g., helping U.S. citizens, as necessary.


    While overseas work with the State Department may appear glamorous with travel, government paid housing, and generous pay and benefits, working abroad can be challenging and sometimes dangerous.  Health and sanitation facilities may be limited, sporadic power and water outages may occur, and internet service may be unreliable and/or expensive.  We are looking for motivated individuals with sound judgment who can retain their composure despite sometimes stressful circumstances.

    The Foreign Service strives for diversity to show the best face of America abroad.  Diversity is one of America's greatest strengths.  In representing the United States to the world, the Foreign Service aims to reflect and respect our rich heritage and varied backgrounds in its workforce.

    SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

    The Department of State will place language-qualified U.S. citizen Consular Adjudicators serving in Limited Non-Career Appointments (LNA) in country-specific posts with high visa workloads.  These adjudicators will be fully professional members of consulate and embassy teams.  Limited appointments, however, cannot serve as special access or alternate entry to the Foreign Service or the Department of State, i.e., they do not lead to onward employment at the Department of State or with the U.S. government.  LNA Consular Adjudicators are welcome to apply to become Foreign Service Specialists or Generalists or Civil Service employees, but they must meet the applicable qualifications and complete the standard application and assessment processes.

    Service time and benefits earned as a Consular Adjudicator can be credited in any subsequent federal employment.

    Consular Adjudicators who subsequently enter the Foreign Service as Entry Level Generalists are still required to fulfill the consular service requirement.

    Periodic service rotating as duty officer requires a 24/7 commitment.

    Successful candidates who are given job offers must be able to pass the Basic Consular Training Course.  Failure to complete training successfully is grounds for separation.

    Candidates cannot have a bar to receiving privileges and immunities necessary to perform the work of Consular Adjudicator that are granted by the receiving country.

    Note:  Candidates must be able to obtain medical, security and suitability clearances, including a country-specific clearance for the country or countries of assignment.  Suitability may include a review of specific factors of an employee's appropriateness for assignment to a specific post, including, for example, whether the candidate has an immediate family member still residing in the country of proposed assignment, or whether the candidate's spouse, children, etc. have such a relationship.


    INITIAL GRADE/ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION

     

    Successful applicants will be hired at the FS-06 or FS-05 level, depending on experience and education.

     

    The basic guidelines are:

     

    FS-06/Step 1:     Bachelor’s Degree

    FS-05/Step 1:     MA, JD, or a BA with three years work experience

    FS-05/Step 2:     Ph.D.

     

    In any category, additional steps will be granted for each two years of qualifying work experience, for a maximum of five steps.

    “Qualifying experience” can be in any field, but does not include clerical or wage-grade work, or any other work not usually requiring a bachelor’s or higher degree.  The employee’s primary duty must be, or must have been, the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment.  Advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.  Work performed by active duty U.S. military commissioned officers is considered “qualifying experience”; work performed by U.S. military personnel who are not commissioned officers is not considered “qualifying experience” unless it meets the above definition of ‘qualifying experience.

    The specific grade and step (and corresponding salary) within that level will be determined at the time a firm offer of employment is made.  FS-06 Consular Adjudicators who successfully complete 12 months will be administratively promoted to the FS-05 level.  All FS-05s will be administratively promoted to FS-04 after 18 months of satisfactory service in that grade.

    ORIENTATION/TRAINING/ASSIGNMENT:

    Orientation and in-processing will be held at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia.  Consular Adjudicators will receive consular training, security training, and other specialized training before leaving for their posts.

    During orientation, Consular Adjudicators will be notified of their initial assignment.  Consular Adjudicators must be available for every post in the country for which they were hired, and, if their appointment is extended, should expect to move to a second post approximately two years after completing their first assignment. 


    QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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    QUALIFICATIONS AND SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS:

    Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at least 20 years old to apply and at least 21 years of age to be appointed.  Candidates must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret Security Clearance, including country-specific authorization to serve in country or countries of assignment, obtain an appropriate Medical clearance, be found suitable by a final review panel, and be eligible for diplomatic privileges and immunities in the country of assignment.  Clearance reviews may include clearance for a specific post.  The candidate must hold a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, and demonstrate a strong command of the English language, including grammar, spelling and punctuation.  For China the required level for Mandarin Chinese is 2-Speaking, 1-Reading, as tested by the Foreign Service Institute.  Applicants who pass initial screenings will be asked to schedule a telephone test to determine if they meet minimum language qualifications.  Applicants who successfully complete the Consular Adjudicator selection process will be given an in-depth language test covering both speaking and reading abilities.  This test may last up to two hours.  Excellent language skills in both English and Mandarin Chinese are important considerations for this job.  If you wish to see what the Foreign Service Institute considers a 2/1 level, please see our website at careers.state.gov.

    Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that the foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for federal jobs.  To view how foreign education is evaluated for federal jobs, please visit http://www.opm.gov/qualications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.

    Applicants will also be asked to submit their work history for the last 10 years or since they left university whichever is the shorter period.


    Candidates must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.  Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that the foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for federal jobs.

     

    IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOUR TRANSCRIPT INCLUDE YOUR NAME, THE SCHOOL, THE DATE AND THE DEGREE AWARDED.  If you are in school in a higher level program, do not send an incomplete transcript assuming we will accept it in lieu of a completed undergraduate degree.  ANY TRANSCRIPT MISSING ANY OF THE KEY ELEMENTS ABOVE WILL NOT PASS THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND THE CANDIDACY WILL BE ENDED. 

    KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:

    The education, work experience, and other qualifications evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and other requirements have been identified as important to successful job performance as a Consular Adjudicator, based on extensive job analysis research.  Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.

    1.  General knowledge of the United States, including customs and culture, society, trends, history, economy, government, political system, and constitution;

    2.  Skill in written and oral communication, including English grammar and usage, techniques for effective interpersonal communication, techniques for handling interviews, complaints, sources of information, and public speaking ability;

    3.  General skills in computers, including computer operations, common office software programs (e.g., Microsoft), e-mail systems, internet.  Successful applicants will receive training in specialized Consular software applications;

    4.  General subject matter, including psychology and human behavior, interacting with individuals undergoing stress.  Basic mathematics;

    5.  Required language fluency as outlined above.

    Skills Required:

    1.  Active listening
    2.  Judgment and decision making
    3.  Critical thinking
    4.  Social perceptiveness and interpersonal ability
    6.  Service orientation
    7.  Good time management
    8.  Strong reading comprehension
    9.  Active learning
    10. Persuasion
    11. Solving complex problems
    12. Learning strategies
    13. Superior Oral and Written Communication Skills:  In order to pass the assessment process, successful applicants must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).  Those who fall short of this standard will not be competitive.

    HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

    HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

    After reviewing applications to ensure candidates meet the basic requirements, candidates will be evaluated on their total background, including experience, education, and language ability, as well as awards, training and self-development as they relate to the position.  Candidates will be screened initially through a file review conducted by the Board of Examiners of the Foreign Service, and a language telephone test administered by the Foreign Service Institute.  Those who are successful will be scheduled for an oral assessment in Washington, DC that will consist of a personal interview, a writing exercise and an on-line subject matter test.  This assessment measures candidates’ skills in various dimensions as well as determines whether they have strong English speaking and writing ability.  Successful oral assessment candidates then take an intensive speaking and reading test in the language related to this announcement.  Those who successfully go through the selection process and obtain their medical, security and suitability clearances will be put on a rank-order register.  More information on the clearance process is available at careers.state.gov.  Selection for these positions will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications.

    Candidates can improve their standing on the register by obtaining additional points for qualifying military service.  With respect to these preference eligible candidates, veterans' preference points are added to their overall score when they are placed on the rank ordered register.  Candidates must document creditable veterans' service by submitting form DD 214.  In all cases, these points are added after the candidate passes the oral assessment.  Veterans will receive instructions on how to claim these points after a successful oral assessment.


    To preview questions please click here.


    BENEFITS:

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    Tax Free Housing Overseas, Tax Free Educational Allowance for eligible family members, overtime compensation, Accrual of Annual and Sick Leave, Life Insurance, Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHB), Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), the possibility of Hardship Pay where applicable, etc. Details on additional benefits are on the website, www.careers.state.gov. Student Loan Repayment, expedited naturalization, and Language Incentive Pay programs are not offered under the LNA program.

    OTHER INFORMATION:

    Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303, as amended, from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees may not be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

    The Department of State is committed to equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment for all without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, disabling
    condition, political affiliation, marital status, or prior statutory, or constitutionally protected activity.

    The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities.  Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department.  Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.



    HOW TO APPLY:

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    To apply applicants must first register on USAJOBS at www.usajobs.gov and create an online federal resume.  Your online resume must be typed or you may cut and paste an existing resume into the space provided.  Once you have completed the registration process select the 'apply-online' button to the right.  That button will transfer you to Gateway to State.

     

    Follow the 'apply online' instructions at Gateway to State by answering self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying.  When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the Gateway to State questions will become your application.  Your registration, resume, and responses to questions will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this job.  In addition, you must fax or upload some information to complete your application package.  This includes any certificate of equivalency for a foreign degree.

    Please note:  Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it.  You may interrupt your application process and return to it until you submit it.  

    If you have any questions regarding this opportunity, please visit the ENGAGE section of our website, careers.state.gov.  -- click on the link to FORUMS/BLOGS and post your question(s) in the Consular Adjudicators Forum.   Questions will be answered quickly.

     

    You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement.  Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration.

     

    Due to the volume of applications, fax lines can become jammed and documents may not successfully attach to your application on the final days/hours of the application announcement.  IT IS THE RESPONISBLITY OF THE CANDIDATE TO VERIFY THAT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ATTACHED TO THE APPLICATION PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. Applicants can do so by going back into your application and verifying that documents have been attached. Applications received without required documents will be deemed ineligible.  You are encouraged to submit your application early, and to go back into your application to confirm that your documents have been attached.

     

    Please be aware that the application time is short, so make sure that your application is complete and submitted on time.

     

    TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the helpdesk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing mgshelp@monster.com.



    REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

    As part of the online application, applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:

    A.  Supplementary Questionnaire:

    Purpose:  The purpose of the Supplementary Questionnaire is to allow you to describe examples of your experience that relate to the skills listed.  All supplementary questions are included inside the online application.

    Instructions:  Individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2000 characters) for each item.  You should answer all questions as completely as you can.  Do not leave questions blank.  Describe how you have used these abilities and/or knowledge, referencing the source from which the experience was acquired.  Your examples can be drawn from any part of your experience but they must describe things that you, personally, have done.  You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills required is the ability to write clearly and concisely.  You do not need to know anything about visa work to apply.

     

    1)  Substantive Knowledge:  What skills, knowledge and experience do you have that are applicable to performing the work of a Consular Adjudicator?

     

    2)  Intellectual Skills:  In the Foreign Service you will confront challenging situations that require identifying the problem, collecting relevant information, and formulating or advancing innovative solutions to resolve the problem.  Describe a time when you responded innovatively to unanticipated circumstances to solve a problem.  (What was the situation?  What steps did you take to think through the situation?  How did your action address the situation?  What were the results?) 

     

    3)  Interpersonal Skills:  In the Foreign Service, you will be called upon to interact effectively and diplomatically with people in difficult situations.  Describe how you have used your interpersonal skills in a specific situation to resolve a problem or achieve a goal.  (What was the goal or problem?  What specific steps did you take?  What was the result?)

     

    4)  Communication Skills:  Communication skills are critical to successful diplomacy.  Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills (either in English or another language) to further an aim or achieve a goal.  (What was the situation?  What steps did you take to deal with the situation?  What was the result?)

     

    5)  Management Skills:  Foreign Service Officers are often required to manage projects, demonstrating the ability to plan and organize, set priorities, employ a systematic approach, and allocate time and resources efficiently.  Describe a project you managed or helped to manage and how you sought to achieve the project’s goals.  (What was the project?  What steps did you take to manage the project?  What was the result?)

     

    6)  Leadership SkillsLeadership can be defined as motivating others, encouraging creative solutions, establishing positive team relationships, or significantly influencing the direction of the work.  Describe how you have demonstrated leadership, either on one particular occasion or over time.  (What was the situation?  What steps did you take to show leadership?  What was the result?)


    B.  A Narrative Autobiography (two-to-three page typed equivalent - no more than 4000 characters).  Please provide a narrative autobiography in which you address your background and work experience, highlighting any unique elements not raised earlier in your application.

     - personal background;
     - work experience;
     - personal interests, hobbies and travel; and/or
     - motivation for applying to this position.

    The request for the narrative autobiography is included inside the online application.

    C.  College Transcripts:

    All applicants must upload or fax a copy of their college transcripts in the initial application. These documents must be provided by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the closing date of this announcement.  Please keep a copy of all faxed material.

    If faxing, you will be prompted to print out a fax coversheet once you have successfully completed your application.  It is essential that you use this coversheet for all faxes, because it is bar-coded to link your fax to your application.  Without the required transcript (and equivalency certificate for any qualifying foreign degree), your application may be voided.

    OPTIONAL:  If you have any documentation showing you have a Foreign Service Institute score in Chinese please also provide that to us.

    Note:  For those uploading please remember that multiple pages must be sent as a single document.  Only the most recently uploaded documents will attach to your application.  The most recently uploaded document will replace previously uploaded documents.  Keep in mind that the only document required is a college transcript showing a Bachelor's Degree or higher (and an equivalency certificate for any qualifying foreign degree).

    AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

    Consultant
    Phone: 000-000-0000
    Fax: 000-000-0000
    Email: CALNAInfo@state.gov
    Agency Information:
    U.S. Department of State
    2401 E Street NW
    Washington, DC
    22502
    US
    Fax: 000-000-0000

    WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

    All applicants will be notified via e-mail of the outcome of their applications. Selected candidates will be invited to come for an oral assessment at the Department of State, Washington, D.C.

     

    Please note that all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the oral assessment are the responsibility of the candidate.


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    Job Announcement Number:

    CALNA-CM-2013-0003

    Control Number:

    338237900