U.S. State Dept. Changes FS Applicants’ Medical Standard

Department of State

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce changes to its minimum medical qualification standard for career Foreign Service applicants to further advance its commitment to hire a workforce representative of all segments of society and in support of the Secretary’s modernization agenda. These changes will provide persons with disabilities with more opportunities to pursue Foreign Service careers at the Department of State.

Pursuant to the terms of the Meyer class action settlement, which received final approval on Friday, March 17, 2023 (subject to available appeals), and as part of our broader efforts to reduce barriers to service, the Department has adopted a revised minimum medical qualification standard for Department career Foreign Service applicants that replaces its previous requirement for a Class 1 medical clearance, otherwise known as a “Worldwide Available” medical clearance.

The revised minimum medical qualification standard will be used only to determine whether an applicant is medically qualified for hire and will not be used to define or limit the universe of posts at which the applicant can serve. There are no other changes to existing qualification standards for Department Foreign Service applicants nor are there any changes to the Department’s directed assignment policy for entry level employees.

The revised minimum medical qualification standard is consistent with the Secretary’s unequivocal commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at the Department and is an important step in reducing barriers to serve in the Foreign Service. The Department will continue to examine areas in which policies can be designed or updated to reflect the Secretary’s modernization agenda, which includes attracting and retaining top talent that reflects our nation’s diversity.

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