To view the current bilateral labour agreement between the United States and a given country, click on the country that starts from the OLF`s bilateral documentation list. The Family Liaison Office monitors the success of bilateral labour agreements and the status of de facto labour agreements and works with U.S. embassies currently negotiating new agreements. E-mail a member of the FLO employment team for general questions about bilateral employment contracts and de facto labour agreements under FLOAskEmployment@state.gov. There are currently more than 100 bilateral labour agreements between the United States and abroad. The process of developing a bilateral labour agreement begins with a recommended text on which the two countries must agree. The text of each bilateral agreement is negotiated and, therefore, neither is the same. Whatever the final language, both countries must comply with the text. In addition to the requirements of the agreement, each country establishes a procedure for applying for a work permit. The on-site human resources administrator or manager should be able to explain the process. In countries where there are no bilateral labour agreements, family members can still obtain work permits. When a host country grants a work permit to a family member of a USG member assigned to that mission abroad, the precedent is set and the country is placed on the list of de facto labour agreements. On the basis of the reciprocity created by a precedent, members of the diplomatic family of this host country can apply for a work permit in the United States.

De facto agreements are constantly monitored by mail and the status is indicated in the Family Employment Report (FAMER). Foreign nationals seeking employment in the local economy abroad, whether they are interested in international affairs, teach at a local school or practice a professional profession, are aware of the conditions of work permits in their host country. For USG family members affiliated with a U.S. mission abroad, working on the local economy offers opportunities with related challenges. One of the challenges is to understand the process of obtaining a work permit. Note: For the purposes of bilateral labour agreements, “family members” refer to persons who are included on the orders of the USG employee. Please check the bilateral agreement with a particular country to see who is entitled to a work permit. In order to increase employment opportunities for family members of USG workers assigned to an embassy or consulate abroad, bilateral labour agreements are concluded through a formal exchange of diplomatic notes between the United States and a single country. Such agreements help speed up the work permit process for our family members in the host country. And because these agreements are reciprocal, family members of diplomats from that country, currently serving in the United States, can obtain work permits to work on U.S. soil. In summary, the United States has bilateral labour agreements with more than 100 countries and de facto agreements with 43 other countries.

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