Terms and conditions of employment

The United States of America - LES Terms and Conditions 2023 are based primarily on Australian government and best practice employment conditions. However, the terms and conditions comply with labour laws specific to the United States.

The Embassy offers LES an attractive remuneration package based on an eight-tier salary scale according to the work level standard of the position and generous benefits. Benefits include 14 public holidays, 22 days recreation leave and 18 days personal leave per annum, heavily subsidised medical insurance plans, and flexible leave (where eligible).

Non-US citizens working for an embassy or consulate-general in the United States who are US lawful permanent residents (green card holders), or ‘A’ or ‘G’ class visa holders who are applying to become lawful permanent residents, must execute CIS Form I-508 to waive diplomatic rights, privileges, exemptions and immunities, including an exemption from paying US income taxes, or risk losing their US permanent resident status.

Locally engaged benefits and compensation

Current LES Salary Scales

Chicago - USA - LES Salary Table (as at 1 July 2023) (PDF)

Honolulu - USA - LES Salary Table (as at 1 July 2023) (PDF)

Los Angeles - USA - LES Salary Table (as at 1 July 2023) (PDF)

New York - USA - LES Salary Scale (as at 1 July 2023) (PDF)

Washington DC - USA - LES Salary Table (as at 1 July 2023) (PDF)

*All salaries are annual and are paid in US dollars.


Staff are entitled to 22 days recreation leave (accruable to a maximum of 44 days) and 18 days personal leave each year (prorated for part time employment). The Embassy observes 14 public holidays each year.

Working hours

The standard working day is 7 hours and 30 minutes.

Health insurance

Health insurance is offered to staff employed for a continuous period of at least three months, who work a minimum of 30 hours per week. Medical plans are generously subsidised by the Embassy.


Taxation is a personal responsibility for all Locally Engaged Staff (LES) and individuals should confirm their taxation obligations before considering an offer of employment with the Embassy or Consulates-General.

For Australians considering employment at the embassy, ensure you assess your tax status with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Please note that the embassy is required to report to the ATO the earnings for those staff considered to be Australian residents for taxation purposes. It is also important to review information about the Australian-US tax treaty on double taxation.

If you have a taxation obligation to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States it is important to read the US Tax Guide for Aliens.

Dependants of A-based with employment authorisation are required to file tax returns with the IRS in order to renew their employment authorisation cards. This includes returns for those applying treaty exemptions, those with nil earnings, and those employed outside of the embassy. This does not remove the obligation to file tax returns with the Australian Taxation Office.


Please note that there is no relocation allowance given to a successful candidate of a locally engaged position. See Living in the greater Washington DC area for possible sources of information on accommodation, transportation and cost of living in Washington DC and its surrounds.

See the full terms and conditions of employment for Locally Engaged Staff (LES) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC terms and conditions.

Eligibility for Employment - Visa and Citizenship Information

Please note the following important information in terms of who can work at a foreign mission in the US.

Eligible applicants must be:

  • A United States citizen, or
  • A United States lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder), or
  • Already in possession of an Employment Authorization Document or eligible to apply for one*, or
  • Already in possession of an A2 visa or eligible to apply for one**.
  • Note: Accompanying dependants of LES on an A2 visa are not eligible for work authorisation in the United States. If successful in obtaining full time, long term employment, dependents of LES must apply for their own A2 visa.

*Employment authorisation documents can take 3 to 5 months to obtain or to extend and a valid EAD is required to remain in employment. If an EAD is not renewed before it expires, the employee will have to stop working until the new EAD is issued.

** A class visas have a maximum validity of five years.