Image by Don Hankins via FlickrSee, I was a tad cranky last week about job opportunities for diplomatic spouses (aka eligible family members) in the State Department and was told this:
That there is a need for MANY more low-level visa adjudicators in the so -called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, China and India). Some can be filled by EFMs, but not all, even if all EFMs wanted to do so. They have to be filled by language-qualified applicants, they have to be filled full time, and filling them cannot depend on the availability of EFMs. The word out there is that EFM employment opportunities will not be reduced. Where language-qualified EFMs are available, they will be used.
Okay, I get that but I still have not heard anything from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, re: inquiry about the ConGen training request roller coaster ride that make EFMs throw up. Go take a long nap, this will be a while, like 2016 thereabouts....
The State Department is recruiting twenty (20) visa adjudicators at this time. Presumably Russian and Hindi speakers will also be recruited at some future time. For now, applicants for China must be available for all posts in China and must speak/read Mandarin Chinese at a 2/1 level. Applicants for Brazil must be available for all posts in Brazil and must speak/read Portuguese at the 3/3 level.
According to the State Department, the role of visa adjudicators is "critical to America's national security; you will serve on the front lines of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, conducting one-on-one interviews and reviewing supporting documentation to determine if a foreign national meets the requirements for entry into the United States. This requires sound judgment and the ability to maintain your composure under stressful circumstances." See more here and here.
Anyway, after I posted this, I got the best suggestion ever from Consul-at-Arms that I felt darn compelled to pass along:
"Obviously, the thing to do is require unmarried FSOs to chose English-fluent spouses from one of the BRIC countries until further notice."
Oh, yeah! I am so looking forward to a BRIC-dating service sponsored by the Consular Affairs Bureau ...
Well, aren't you?
Didn't you know that these four countries, combined, currently account for more than a quarter of the world's land area and more than 40% of the world's population? Apparently, Goldman Sachs has argued that, since the four BRIC countries are developing rapidly, by 2050 their combined economies could eclipse the combined economies of the current richest countries of the world.
So, if Goldman Sachs is right on this, a BRIC-matching/dating service now, would be an excellent investment for the future of consular affairs!