How to Become an IFS Officer?

5 minute read

Indian Foreign Services (IFS) is among the sought-after positions as an IAS in the administrative setup. These services were specially created to handle the external affairs of the country in the Ministry of External Affairs. Indian Foreign Service [IFS] is a Central Service and the country’s primary foreign ministry. In this blog, we bring to you everything you need to know about how to become an Indian Foreign Service Officer. Read below to know more.

What Does an IFS Officer Do?

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is a Central Service and the country’s primary foreign ministry. An IFS officer plays a very important role for India in shaping Indian foreign policies and building all diplomatic and economic ties with other countries. The roles of an IFS Officer include: 

  • An IFS officer is in charge of the country’s external affairs, which involve diplomacy, commerce, and social traditions. 
  • IFS personnel are in charge of developing policies that regulate India’s interactions with overseas nations. 
  • They represent India in its embassies, high commissions, consulates and multilateral organizations 
  • Indian Foreign Service Officers also protect India’s national interests in the country where they are posted. They improve and promote friendship between India and the specific country.
  • IFS officers represent India on international forums and platforms where they handle and manage all diplomatic relations between India and the country they are appointed.
  • They also maintain and co-create economic cooperation between India and other countries.
  • They constantly keep updating the Indian MEA office, about the developments.

Read about the Life of an IAS Officer!

Eligibility Criteria 

Here are the eligibility criteria for becoming an IFS Officer:

  • Candidates must be a citizen of India, Nepal, or Bhutan.
  • The candidate must be 21 years old on the first of August of the examination year and not older than 30 years old on that day.
  • The candidate should hold a degree from any of the recognised universities or must have an equivalent qualification.
  • The upper age limit for OBC applicants would be reduced by three years, and for SC/ST candidates by five years. In addition, the higher age restriction is lowered in favour of Defense Services Personnel.
  • An applicant must have a diploma from an Indian university or a comparable certification to be qualified to become an IFS officer. 
  • When an applicant passes the UPSC Civil Service Exam dependent on the overall ranks, which include the written exam (UPSC Mains Exam) and interview marks, the individual is dedicated to a single service, such as the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). 
  • The Civil Services Exam is administered by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), and every applicant who wishes to become an Ambassador of India must pass it. 
How to Become an IFS Officer

IFS Exam Pattern (IFos)

How to Become an IFS Officer?

Here are the steps to becoming an IFS officer.

  • The candidate must get the “Application Form” together with the “Information Brochure” from either of the “Head Post Offices or Post Offices” located around the nation and mail the completed Application Form to:

Union Public Service Commission, 
Dholpur House, 
New Delhi – 110011

  • Candidates must sit for the “Preliminary exams” in May or June which consists of two papers.
  • Applicants who pass the “Preliminary examination” are ready to access the “Final Examination” conducted in November
  • The interview comes after you have completed the previous stages. During the interview, the applicants are interrogated in order to assess their temperament and intellectual acuity. 
  • Candidates who secure a good rank are subjected to a probationary term.

Also Read: How to Prepare for UPSC?

Training for Becoming IFS Officer

Apart from the exams and education, The training for an IFS is crucial for practical utility. The whole process of becoming a trained IFS takes nearly 36 months and includes various steps.

  • The session starts in Mussourie’s Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, wherein candidates from several top Indian public service organisations are enrolled. Upon finishing their first education at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, probationers attend the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi for additional training and affiliations with other government agencies.
  • Only at the end of the course, the officer is required to learn a foreign language (CFL). During a short tenure at the Ministry of External Affairs, the person is sent to an Indian diplomatic mission overseas in which the CFL is the native language. There, the member receives language instruction and is required to gain fluency in his CFL as well as pass an assessment before being discharged.
  • After completing three months of training, which involves activities such as hiking and horseback riding in the Himalayas, and so on, a Foreign Service Probationer/Officer student transfers to the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi for specialized studies.
  • Candidates accepted in the Indian Foreign Service as an IFS Officer are assigned for three years as a Secondary Secretary in Embassy’s departments such as Management, Societal, Trade, Diplomatic, Industrial, or Parliamentary.
  • The distinction between an embassy and a consulate is that embassies are located in a nation’s capital. A Consulate is located in another nation’s major city.
How to Become an IFS Officer

Also Read: Government exams after 12th Science

Average Salary

The Indian government has established set wage levels for IFS officers. However, things are always evolving with new pay. The Average Salary of an IFS Officer ranges between ₹15,600 to ₹39,100 with grade pay of ₹ 7,600. The Selection Grade level officer’s average salary ranges from ₹ 37,400 to ₹67,000. 

Please keep in mind that the levels merely give an indication of the wage levels. The salary rates for various branches of the military vary. Also, individuals within the same branch may be paid differently depending on the geographical region of assignment and the level of risk they have at any one moment


Is becoming an IFS officer difficult?

Keep in mind that becoming an IFS officer is undoubtedly a difficult as well as time-consuming process. You need to make sure you’re studying hard, developing essential skills, and achieving great academic marks to succeed.

Can I become IFS without UPSC?

You need to appear in the UPSC exam if you want to become an IFS officer in India.

Is IFS better than IAS?

Both IFS and IAS carry equal importance

That was all about how to become an IFS officer in India. If you find yourself too confused about your study abroad journey, you can take assistance from our experts at Leverage Edu. 

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    1. Hi Simran,

      Yes, the exams for both IAS and IFS are the same that is the UPSC Civil Services Examination.

    1. Hi Simran,

      Yes, the exams for both IAS and IFS are the same that is the UPSC Civil Services Examination.