How to become an IFS Officer – Detailed Guide


With an increase in the number of UPSC aspirants, there is hope for an increase in the number of Indian Foreign Service Officers in India. It’s a demanding job that necessitates travelling to different nations and negotiating opportunities on a global scale. 

In this blog, we will discuss how to become an IFS Officer. As elitist as it may sound, a candidate for the IFS position should have a keen interest in international politics, a thorough understanding of other cultures, economics, and commerce, intellectual curiosity, and diplomatic skills.

Do you desire to advocate for India’s interests abroad, while making a positive impact on those policies? Perhaps you should consider working as an Indian Foreign Officer! We have done our best to educate you on how to become an IFS Officer in India. 

Who Is An Indian Foreign Service Officer?

An IFS Officer will be in charge of the administration and activities of Indian missions around the world, as well as the formulation and implementation of the government’s foreign policy. Indian Foreign Service (IFS) provides extensive exposure to various cultures, ethnicities, and political and social settings all over the world.

An IFS Officer can be assigned to one of India’s 160 embassies and missions around the world. They can also be given to organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the World Bank, SAARC, and others. They could be assigned as Passport and Visa Officers at various locations in India.

Learn more: How to become a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

How To Become An IFS Officer? [Step by Step]

Step 1: Stream Selection

If you want to know how to become an Indian Foreign Service Officer, one of the most important things you need to know is which stream is suitable for you. After 10th, you can opt for any stream you like.

Step 2: Certificate and Project Courses

To become an IFS Officer, one of the essential steps for you will be to clear the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Exam. Therefore, you need to start preparing for it as soon as you realize that you want to join the Civil Services. 

So, in this section, we will discuss how to become an Indian Foreign Service Officer and how you can join the Civil Services. 

  1. To begin, the aspirant must obtain the “Application Form” as well as the “Information Brochure” from any of the “Head Post Offices or Post Offices” located throughout the country.
  2. After completing the form, you must take the “Preliminary examinations.” Two papers are included.
  3. Candidates who pass the “Preliminary examination” are eligible to take the “Final Examination.”
  4. The interview comes after you have completed the previous stages. During the interview, the candidates are grilled to assess their personality and mental capacity. 
  5. The final list of successful candidates is then prepared, with candidates who have achieved a very high rank out of 400-450 (approx.) selected candidates undergoing a probationary period.

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Also read: SAT Exam Sample Papers & Practice Papers – How to prepare

Step 3: Educational Qualifications

How To Become An IFS Officer After 10th?

If you are determined to join the Civil Services and discovered your passion early in life, now is the best time to begin preparing for the UPSC Exams. After you finish 10th grade, you can pursue any interest you have.

How To Become An IFS Officer After 12th?

As far as the educational requirements are concerned, the minimum eligibility criteria for you to join the IFS is to have at least a Bachelor’s degree. The eligibility criteria for IFS are the same as IAS

  • Undergraduate Courses In India To Become An IFS Officer

If you want to become an IFS officer, a Bachelor of Arts degree is unquestionably the best option. Humanities subjects such as history, political science, sociology, and international relations are available to you during your graduation.

  • Top Colleges In India
  1. Hindu College, University of Delhi
  2. Miranda House, University of Delhi
  3. Lady Shri Ram College of Women,  University of Delhi
  4. Hansraj College, University of Delhi
  5. MCC- Madras Christian College
  6. Loyola College
  7. Christ University, Delhi NCR Campus
  8. Gargi College, University of Delhi
  9. Ramjas College, University of Delhi
  10. Mithibai College, Mumbai

Step 4: Job Preparation

Make thorough preparations for your UPSC exams. Maintain current knowledge of political, international, and general affairs. After passing all three stages of the UPSC Exams, you will be required to undergo training.

The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussourie is where members of many elite Indian civil service organisations begin their training.

After completing their initial training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, probationers join the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi for additional training, attachments with various government bodies, and tours both in India and abroad. The entire training process for an IFS takes nearly 36 months.

At the end of the training, the officer is required to learn a foreign language (CFL). Following a brief stint at the Ministry of External Affairs, the officer is assigned to an Indian diplomatic mission abroad where the CFL is the native language.

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Skills To Become An Indian Foreign Service Officer

  1. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  2. Analytical abilities
  3. International relations interest and knowledge
  4. Diplomacy
  5. Decision-making abilities
  6. Leadership
  7. Adaptability to different environments and cultures
  8. Other-culture sensitivity

Read more: How To Become A Chief Revenue Officer – A Detailed Guide

How Much Do Indian Foreign Service Officers Earn?

If you want to know how to become an IFS Officer, you should know that this is a highly rewarding job. The total IFS salary, including all benefits and allowances, is around 60,000 per month. However, this salary varies depending on the candidate’s posting; for example, if the selected candidate is posted in a foreign country, he or she may receive a salary of 2.40 lakhs under the special foreign allowance.

That’s all you needed to know about the Indian Foreign Services. We hope to have helped you find all the answers to the questions you had regarding how to become an IFS officer, what you need to study and much more. Good luck!

How to Become an IFS Officer

FAQs about how to become an IFS Officer

What is the qualification for Indian Foreign Service?

Candidates for IFS officers should have a graduate degree or a degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from any recognized university.

How to become an IFS officer after 12th?

Understand the educational qualification
Start preparing for UPSC Exam
Join a Coaching Centre
Be up-to-date with Current Affairs
Check the age limit
Develop communication and people managing skills
Learn from successful candidates

How many years does it take to become an IFS officer?

The entire process of becoming a trained IFS takes nearly 36 months and consists of several steps. The session begins at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussourie, where candidates from several top Indian public service organizations are enrolled.

Is IFS better than IAS?

Though the majority of UPSC candidates prefer IAS over IFS, this is due in part to the IFS’s limited number of vacancies. The service profiles of IAS and IFS differ for the majority of their careers, but both are equally important for the government’s operation.

What is the salary of an IFS officer?

An IFS Officer’s total salary, including all perks and allowances, would be around 60000 INR.

What is the Indian Foreign Service?

The Indian Foreign Service is the administrative diplomatic civil service that falls under Groups A and B. It is one of the Central Civil Services of the Government of India’s executive branch.

What does an Indian Foreign Service officer do?

Reporting accurately on developments in the posting country that are likely to influence policy formulation in India; negotiating various agreements with the authorities of the receiving state; and Extending consular services to foreigners and Indian nationals traveling abroad.

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