Indian Foreign Service (IFS) – Exam Date, Eligibility Criteria, Roles & Responsibilities, Notification & Vacancies, Application Form and Fee

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is part of the Central Services of the country. The IFS is a sought-after tag both for the monetary benefits and lifestyle a diplomat enjoys and also for the unique challenges it poses.

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is the role of administration, diplomat civil service under Group A and Group B. It is one of the Central Civil Services of the executive branch of the GoI. The members of the IFS Community represent the country in international territory. The IFS, unlike any other civil services, deals with the country’s external affairs like diplomacy, trade and cultural relations. The IFS is responsible for developing the Government’s foreign policies and management of Indian missions abroad.

Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Prelims Exam Date 2021

The UPSC has postponed the Indian Foreign Service Prelim exam due to Coronavirus. The IFS (Prelims) exam will be held on June 27, 2021.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Nationality: The nationality of a candidate must be either of the following:
    • Citizen of India
    • Subject of Nepal
    • Subject of Bhutan
    • A Tibetan refugee who came to India before the 1st of January, 1962, for permanent settlement in India.
    • Migrant from any of the following countries for permanently settling in India:
      • Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam
  2. Educational Qualification: Candidate should hold a degree from any of the recognized universities or must have an equivalent qualification
    • Skills Required:
      • Decision-making skills
      • Good communication and interpersonal skills
      • Excellent knowledge about International markets, foreign nations and current affairs
      • Leadership ability
      • Good analytical ability
    • Age Limit:
      • Minimum age 21 years
      • Maximum age 30 years as on the 1st of August in the year of examination.
  3. The number of attempts allowed: The maximum number of attempts allowed is as follows:
    • For General Category Candidates: Seven attempts
    • For Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) candidates: No restriction
    • Other Backward Class candidates: 9 attempts

Roles and Responsibilities of an IFS Officer

An IFS officer deals with diplomacy, trade and cultural relations of the country.


  • He/she should represent India in its embassies, high commissions, consulates and multilateral organizations.
  • They should protect India’s national interests in the country where the officer is posted.
  • They should improve and promote the friendship between India and the country that the officer is posted.
  • Including non-resident Indians or person of Indian origin.
  • It should be informative about the developments in the foreign country that could affect and benefit India’s policy by mutually helping each other.
  • The role of IFS officers is a very promising and challenging one, yet still, it attracts the business-minded people.
  • The candidate should be aware of the international markets and businesses to represent India professionally on international forums and platforms. In the countries, they are appointed, As an IFS officer is thus an essential thread for India who plays a very promising/influential role in shaping/developing Indian foreign policy and in building all diplomatic and economic relationships with other countries.
  • To handle and manage all diplomatic relationships between India and of the country they are appointed.
  • To create, co-create and maintain economic cooperation between India and other countries.
  • To continually keep updating the Indian MEA office, about recent developments.

UPSC IFS Notification and Vacancies

Indian Foreign Service 2021
IFS 2021 NotificationMarch 05, 2021
Organizing bodyUnion Public Service Commission (UPSC)
Exam modeOffline
Number of attempts6
Number of vacancies90 (approximately)
Starting date to apply onlineMarch 4, 2021
IFS Admit cardJune 1st Week, 2021
(3 weeks before the exam)
Last date to apply onlineMarch 24, 2021
Preliminary examJune 27, 2021
Preliminary resultTo be notified soon
IFS Main ExaminationSeptember 17, 2021
IFS Main resultTo be notified soon
IFS final resultTo be notified soon

IFS Application Form 2021

Candidates who are aspiring for the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) should apply only through the Civil Services (Preliminary). There is no separate IFS application form. However, there are a few essential points aspirants should know before IFS registration.

Candidates should satisfy the educational prerequisites set by the Commission to get eligibility for IFS. Aspirants should register for the Civil Services (Preliminary) examination and qualify in the screening test for going to the second stage of IFS (Main) examination.

The qualified candidates in the Preliminary will be eligible to fill a Detailed Application Form available on official site. The IFS Main Examination will be held from the 17th of September, 2021.

Note– Interested candidates are advised to visit the UPSC official site for IFS online application form 2021 detailed information. You can also go through the other details like- the exam fee, exam dates and additional essential information about the same.

Application Fee

Candidates applying (excepting Female/SC/ST/PwBD candidates who are exempted from payment of fee) for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination are required to pay a fee of Rs.100/- (Rupees One Hundred only) either by depositing the money in any Branch of SBI by cash, or by using net banking facility of State Bank of India or by using Visa/Master/RuPay Credit/Debit card.

Applicants who opt for “Pay by Cash” mode should print the system generated Pay-in-slip during part II registration and deposit the fee at the counter of SBI Branch on the next working day only. “Pay by Cash” mode will be deactivated at 23.59 hours of 02.03.2021, i.e. one day before the closing date; however, applicants who have generated their Pay in-Slip before it is deactivated may pay at the counter of SBI Branch during banking hours on the closing date.

Such applicants who are unable to pay by cash on the closing, i.e. during banking hours at SBI Branch, for reasons whatsoever, even if holding valid pay-in-slip will have no other offline option but to opt for available online Debit/Credit Card or Internet Banking payment mode on the closing date, i.e. till 18.00 hours of 03.03.2021.

How to Apply for the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Exam

Candidates are required to apply Online using the link for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination which will act as a screening mechanism for selection of candidates for the Indian Foreign Service (Main) Examination.

Candidates who wish to apply for Civil Services Examination also, [subject to their satisfying the prescribed eligibility conditions] have to apply once by appropriately indicating in the online application form that they intend to appear for both the Indian Foreign Service Examination and the Civil Services Examination.

Candidates, who will qualify for the Indian Foreign Service (Main) Examination, will have to fill in a Detailed Application Form subsequently as per further instructions to be provided to the candidates through the website ( of the Commission.

Note: Detailed instructions for filling up Online Applications are available here.


The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is the role of administration, diplomat civil service under Group A and Group B. The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is part of the Central Services of the country. The IFS is a sought-after tag both for the monetary benefits and lifestyle a diplomat enjoys and also for the unique challenges it poses.

Essential points covered in this article

  1. IFS Exam – Nature and definition
  2. Eligibility criteria –
    · Qualification, Nationality, Physical Standards and, Medical tests, etc.
  3. IFS exam syllabus
  4. Roles and responsibilities

Note: To get an overview of the exam’s nature and the eligibility criteria- click on the below-mentioned topic/link- UPSC CSE eligibility criteria.

P.S.: You can also create notes to remember all the critical aspects of the Indian Foreign Service Exam. You can also check the official UPSC IFS Exam notification with the help of below-mentioned link-