Basic (09-02)

RS 02002.025 Government Employee Rule under the Australian Agreement


In general, nationals of a country who work abroad in the diplomatic or consular services of their country are exempt, under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, from Social Security coverage and taxes under the laws of the host country unless that exemption has been specifically waived. The Conventions, to which both the United States and Australia are parties, apply to:

  1. 1. 

    members of the staff of a diplomatic or consular mission, including the diplomatic, consular, administrative and technical staffs,

  2. 2. 

    dependents of members of those staffs,

  3. 3. 

    the domestic service staffs of those missions, and;

  4. 4. 

    under certain conditions, the private servants employed by members of such missions.


The agreement does not affect any coverage exemptions provided under the Vienna Conventions.

Government employees not covered by the Vienna Conventions who are sent temporarily to the other country are subject only to the laws of the sending country. There is no time limit that defines temporary (i.e., any transfer that is not permanent is temporary). Further, spouses that accompany the government worker to the other country are also subject only to the laws of the sending country if they subsequently accept employment with the government of the sending country.

EXAMPLE: James is an employee of the U.S. Government but not as a diplomatic or consular employee. He is temporarily transferred to Australia. As a temporarily transferred government employee, he is subject only to U.S. law under the agreement. He is accompanied by his wife, Mary. After arrival in Australia, Mary accepts employment with the U.S. Embassy in Australia. Under the agreement, Mary also is subject only to U.S. law.

NOTE: For purposes of applying this provision of the agreement, the term U.S. Government employee includes employees of the Federal Government or any of its instrumentalities.


U.S. citizens employed by foreign governments, RS 01802.050

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RS 02002.025 - Government Employee Rule under the Australian Agreement - 07/25/2003
Batch run: 07/25/2003