Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is one of the 32 main civil services. It is an important career choice and offers attractive positions, career growth and remuneration. Indian Foreign Service personnel get to visit various foreign countries as the representative of Government of India. They get to know people from different countries of the world and interact with them to enhance the image of the country. Indian Foreign Service promote and protect the Indian Government interests across the globe.


Indian Foreign Service is associated with the country’s External and Foreign Affairs Ministry. It is responsible for maintaining and regulating the Indian embassies/ consulates in various countries of the World.

Procedure to Join Indian Foreign Service

Aspirants can join for the Indian Foreign Service mentioned above by applying for the Civil Services Examination on the UPSC website on advertisement of vacancies. To check the eligibility conditions, syllabus and pattern of the Civil Services Examination please click here.

There are three stages of the examination:-

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Main Examination
  • Interview

The competition for entry into the IFS is tough and only top few in the merit make it to the IFS.


On selection the candidates undergo foundation training followed by orientation.

Career Prospects

The career and rank structure of the IFS officers is as follows:-

            (a)       At an Embassy

  • Third Secretary (Entry Level)
  • Second Secretary (On confirmation in service)
  • First Secretary
  • Counsellor
  • Minister
  • Deputy Chief of Mission/Deputy High Commissioner/Deputy Permanent Representative
  • Ambassador/ High Commissioner/ Permanent Representative

            (b)       At a Consulate

  • Vice Consul
  • Consul
  • Consul General

            (c)       At the Ministry of External affairs

  • Under Secretary
  • Deputy Secretary
  • Director
  • Joint Secretary
  • Additional Secretary
  • Secretary

For more information about Indian Foreign Service jobs please visit Union Public Service Commission website

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