You can find Volunteer stories on the Stories page of our website. To connect with a returned Volunteer, contact your local recruitment office and speak with a recruiter. As almost all recruiters are returned Volunteers, they can talk with you about their personal experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer, put you in touch with a returned Volunteer who lives in your area, or connect you with a local Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) group.
In many of the countries where you might serve, maintaining a specific diet could be challenging. These challenges may come from cultural norms or limited diversity in foods available. A food allergy may impact your medical clearance for some countries. Visit the Countries page to select a country and learn about the typical food and diet of the region where you want to serve. You can also contact a recruiter to learn more.
Minor children are not permitted to accompany Peace Corps Volunteers. If you have dependent children, you must ensure that adequate arrangements have been made for their care and support during your Peace Corps service. You will be asked to submit a signed and notarized letter confirming who will care for them during your service.
If a serious illness or death occurs in your immediate family, the Peace Corps allows a two-week leave period and pays for your travel home. Immediate family is defined as spouse, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild. With your country director's approval, you may take leave and travel at your own expense for emergencies affecting extended family. Read more about staying in touch with friends and family by visiting the Family and Friends page.
The Peace Corps requires you to live in approved housing that meets our safety criteria. Types of housing will vary by country. In most countries, you are required to live with a host family for a number of months before living independently. In certain countries, you will live with host families for the duration of your service. In some countries, you will not live with host families because of COVID-19 prevention protocols. To learn more about typical housing and requirements for specific countries, visit the Countries page and look for the Preparing to Volunteer section of the country where you would like to serve. Alternatively, contact a recruiter for more information.
Depending on your site placement, you may be the only Peace Corps Volunteer in your community, which will help foster integration and language learning. In some situations, you may have at least one other Volunteer living in the same community, but that other Volunteer will not share the same job sector. Typically, there are opportunities to see nearby Volunteers on occasional weekends, holidays, and for training sessions and collaborative projects. For more information, visit the Housing and Site Location information in the Living Conditions section of the countries where you wish to serve, or contact a recruiter for more information.
Volunteers are responsible for registering to vote and obtaining their absentee ballot. The Peace Corps staff is committed to supporting Trainees and Volunteers who wish to vote. See Voting Assistance for further information.
There is no application fee to apply to the Peace Corps. Eligible expenses incurred during the medical clearance process are now fully reimbursable. See detailed information on medical reimbursements.
Once invited to serve, there are no fees associated with service. Costs for visas, passports, and plane tickets are covered by the Peace Corps for invited candidates or Peace Corps Volunteers.
Opportunities are available for individuals with a combination of job experience and education, though some opportunities require a four-year degree.
Language requirements vary by job opportunity and country. Overall, a willingness to learn new languages is an important trait for a Peace Corps Volunteer no matter where they serve. Search our Volunteer Openings for specific requirements.
Log in to the applicant portal and navigate to your application status page.
You can submit one application to become a two-year Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) at a time, either for a specific position or to be considered for programs where you are needed most. If you are not selected for your current application you can apply again for future programs when the time is best for you. Search Volunteer Openings for Volunteer opportunities available now.
Peace Corps Response (PCR) applicants can have up to three active applications at a time. If you are interested in both PCR and the two-year Volunteer program, you can have three PCR applications and one PCV program application active at the same time.
Log in to your applicant portal and navigate to the email history page. There, you'll see the next task you need to complete.
Email the respective contact for the activity or form you have a question about. If there isn't a specific contact email, send your question to [email protected].
You must be a minimum of 18 years old to serve, but there is no upper age limit.
Use the Reset Your Password link, just below the entry field for your login and password. You will need your username (your email address) and your candidate reference number to reset your password. If you attempt to login unsuccessfully more than six times, your account will be locked, and you will need to email [email protected] to have it unlocked. When contacting us, include your name and your seven-digit candidate reference number. Don't forget to make sure you are using the correct email address.
Yes. The Peace Corps accepts unmarried couples of all sexual orientations and gender identities in committed domestic partnerships. We have observed that couples who have been in a committed relationship for a year or more before they begin service are better able to adapt to the challenges of the Peace Corps than couples who have been together less than a year. Unmarried couples seeking to serve as a couple must attest to their committed domestic partner relationship as part of their applications.
DECLARATION OF DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP
To my knowledge, my partner and I:
- are each other’s domestic partner and intend to remain committed to one another indefinitely,
- share responsibility for a significant measure of each other’s common welfare and financial obligations,
- are not married to, joined in civil union with, or domestic partners with anyone else,
- are not related in a way that would prohibit legal marriage in the state in which we reside,
- agree to notify the Peace Corps of any dissolution of the domestic partnership not later than 15 days after the date of dissolution of the domestic partnership,
- understand that falsification of information within this declaration may constitute a criminal violation under 18 U.S.C. 1001 and may lead to disciplinary action, and
- have a common residence, and intend to continue the arrangement or
- would have a common residence, but are prevented from having one.
For those that identify as LGBTQIA, please see the LGBTQIA FAQs for further information.
Emergency leave may be authorized if a member of your immediate family (a parent, spouse, sibling, child, or grandchild related to you by blood, marriage/civil union/domestic partnership, or adoption) has a terminal illness or dies while you are in service. A country director may authorize a Volunteer partner/spouse to accompany the Volunteer whose family member is affected.
Couples of all sexual orientations and gender identities are accepted in Peace Corps service programs. Placement options and application time may differ from individual applicants. In order to place a couple, the Peace Corps identifies which communities have project needs that necessitate two Volunteers with the skills that match those of the applicants. As such, there is a smaller supply of viable work sites for couples, as it is more difficult to find assignments, and placement generally takes longer for couples than for individuals. Additionally, due to local laws, some countries may not be able to safely accommodate same-sex couples.
- Peace Corps Volunteer: Couples should search for openings in the same country that match both of their skill sets and that accept couples. Couples need to submit individual applications and, in the application, indicate that they are applying to serve with their spouse/ partner. Couples must submit their applications at the same time.
- Peace Corps Response: Couples can serve together, but must apply to individual job postings separately. Notify your Recruitment and Placement Specialist if you have interest in serving as a couple. You will receive their contact information upon application.
Contact a recruiter for more information.
The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples are not placed in countries where LGBTQIA people are legally prosecuted for expressing their gender/sexual identities. When applying, please consult the Couples Information section of the job description or speak with a recruiter for more information. See the LGBTQIA FAQs for further information on how your sexual orientation or gender identity may impact your service.
The Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) connects Volunteers and their communities with the private sector in the U.S. and around the world to fund community-initiated and led projects.
Volunteers and their communities are invited to submit proposals to the PCPP to obtain funding in support of these projects. To receive project funding through the PCPP, the community must make a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline how the project will remain sustainable after funding has ended. The Peace Corps then posts the project online to raise the approved amount of funds.
The PCPP is a proven mechanism for supporting small, community-based grants. Over the past ten years, the PCPP has funded over 7,200 Volunteer projects in nearly every sector, totaling more than $19.8 million in grant funds. In 2019, the PCPP funded 930 projects in 57 countries, touching the lives of 1.5 million people across the globe.
Every penny! Your entire donation to the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) will be directed to a Volunteer project. No part of your donation will be used to cover staff or overhead costs. The PCPP office is supported by funds Congressionally appropriated for the Peace Corps.
Yes. All donations to the Peace Corps are gifts to the United States for exclusively public purposes within the meaning of section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code and are deductible as charitable contributions under section 170(a). After a donation is made, a thank you letter stating the amount of the donation will be sent. This letter can be used as a tax receipt. The name on the tax receipt will reflect the name submitted when making the donation. The Peace Corps’ tax identification number is 52-1240194.
Yes. After a donation is made, a thank you letter stating the amount of the donation will be sent. This letter can be used as a tax receipt. The name on the tax receipt will reflect the name submitted when making the donation.
The donate page allows you to explore and search for projects in several ways. If you would like to find a project being implemented by a specific Volunteer, you can sort by a Volunteer’s last name or by a Volunteer’s home state. If you would like to search for a particular project, you can search by project country or project sector.
Additionally, there is a keyword search option that can be used to find projects by typing in words associated with a project.
There are a few reasons a project may not appear on the website. Occasionally, projects have not yet been received by the Peace Corps Headquarters and so have not yet reached fundraising status. In other cases, projects may have already reached their fundraising goals and been taken off the website.
If a project is not on the website, or if you need additional information, please e-mail us at [email protected] or call our office at 202.692.2170.
After a project has been fully funded, Peace Corps staff work with the Peace Corps Budget Office to transfer the funds to the Volunteer who manages the project. The entire process can take two to three weeks.
Projects are only able to fundraise online up to the amount that a Volunteer requests. Donations made by mail after a project has reached its fundraising goal will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
The Global Fund allows donors to support the Peace Corps Partnership Program if they do not have a specific project, country, or issue in mind. The Peace Corps' Global Fund provides vital support to Peace Corps Volunteers and their communities as they engage in impactful projects around the world.
Sector funds allow donors to support the Peace Corps Partnership Program projects that address specific issues, such as Agriculture, Health and HIV/AIDS, or Information and Communication Technology. The Office of Gifts and Grants Management applies donations to sector funds on a weekly basis to projects that address the corresponding issue. You can learn more about the types of projects each sector fund supports on the funds’ individual pages.
A Memorial Fund is a special fund established by the Peace Corps. Memorial funds are set up at the request of the family of a Volunteer who has passed away during service or of a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer or staff member who has made a lasting impact on the Peace Corps as an agency or who has died in distinguished service to the United States. Creating a Memorial Fund allows friends, family, and others to donate to the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) -- or any other aspect of the Peace Corps' mission -- to honor the life and service of the Volunteer, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, or staff member who the fund is named after. Your entire donation to a Memorial Fund will directly support PCPP projects and other aspects of the Peace Corps mission that honor the legacy of the Volunteer, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, or staff member.
The Peace Corps Fund was established so that donors could donate to the broader Peace Corps mission. Donations to the Peace Corps Fund are allocated at the discretion of the Director of the Peace Corps, and can support any agency activities that further the mission of the Peace Corps, either domestically or in countries where Peace Corps Volunteers serve.
The Peace Corps Fund can also be used as a mechanism for Peace Corps posts to accept donations over $10,000. If you have any additional questions, please e-mail us at [email protected] or call our office at 202.692.2170.
Yes. If you are donating online, please select “I wish to donate in honor or memory of someone” under the Options section of the Checkout screen on the Giving page. Here you will be able to note the person you are making the donation in honor of/in memory of. If you would like the Peace Corps to send a letter to the person (or family of the person) who you are honoring, please include their name, address, and any message you would like to share.
If you are going to mail a check, you may include this information on the donation form. If you are donating over the phone, you can provide this information to the person you speak with.
Although donating online is the fastest way to fund Volunteer projects, you may also donate by phone or mail.
Call the Peace Corps Partnership Program office at 202.692.2170 to make a donation. We can only accept credit card donations over the phone.
-- or --
You can send a check to:
Peace Corps Headquarters
Office of Gifts and Grants Management
1275 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20526
Please make checks payable to “Peace Corps Partnership Program” and complete this donation form [PDF]. Please also note the Volunteer’s name or fund name in the memo section of the check.
It may take your check up to six weeks to be processed, so it's possible that, by that point, the project will be fully funded. If this occurs, your gift will be contributed toward another approved PCPP project.
In-kind donations to the Peace Corps are considered on a case-by-case basis. All donations must support the mission of the Peace Corps Act and be accepted by the Office of Gifts and Grants Management at Peace Corps Headquarters or by a Country Director. Additionally, the Peace Corps should not incur a cost burden when accepting an in-kind donation. If you have a question regarding an in-kind donation, please email [email protected].
The easiest way to make a donation from outside the United States is on our website. Online donations can be made via credit card or ACH. In very rare circumstances, you may encounter issues with address verification. If this happens, you can also make a donation by mail or over the phone. For more information, please see Are there other ways to donate other than online?
If you wish to include the Peace Corps as a beneficiary in your will, we recommend that you include in the document, “Peace Corps, agency of the United States government.” Because the Peace Corps enters and leaves countries periodically, and because the sectors in which Peace Corps Volunteers serve sometimes change, we recommend that bequests be as general as possible (e.g., “supporting Volunteer projects”). If you wish to specify the sector or country in which you would like your bequest to be used, we recommend you include language to allow for any possible changes in Peace Corps programming. For example, “If my bequest cannot be used to support the specific projects I have identified, I authorize the Peace Corps to use the bequest for other activities that further the mission of the Peace Corps.”
If you have any additional questions about bequests, please e-mail us at [email protected] or call our office at 202.692.2170.
The Peace Corps welcomes the support of its large donors whose gifts exceed $10,000 or more in a calendar year. The Peace Corps works with its donors to support approved PCPP projects through an established framework. The framework is defined in the PCPP Donor Terms and Conditions [PDF]. These terms and conditions ensure that the Peace Corps can safeguard its Volunteers and ensure that the donor experience is relevant and uniform to all PCPP donors.
Any unused restricted funds will be redirected to support the Peace Corps’ mission and initiatives.
Our materials are free to use, copy, and distribute without permission. However, you cannot reproduce and sell Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools resources for profit.
There are certain states in which Peace Corps service can be used to count towards certification requirements. Each state has its own policies, which can be found in State and Territorial Teaching Certification Benefits [PDF].
Most Volunteers successfully complete service without experiencing an evacuation, but in some instances, Peace Corps may need to withdraw Volunteers from the country due to unforeseen circumstances.
Reinstatement means returning to your original country of service, regardless of how long you previously served, for a term of service defined by the Peace Corps and the host country. Re-enrollment involves starting another full term of service (generally two years) including training in either your original country of service or a new country of service.
Volunteers who were granted Close of Service (COS) status due to COVID-19 may be eligible for reinstatement and re-enrollment regardless of their length of service prior to evacuation, as long as the Volunteer is willing to commit to the new length of service time requested by the post.
Your term of service for reinstatement -- and, correspondingly, your new COS date -- will be based upon programmatic needs in country as a result of the Peace Corps’ coordination with the host country government and partners. It will not be based on the time you would have had remaining in service, although it is possible your reinstatement term of service may coincide with the number of months you had left. In most cases, the term of service for reinstatement will range between six months and two years.
Upon reinstatement, you will get credit for time served prior to evacuation and begin accruing readjustment allowance at the applicable rate given your months of service. Once you reach 24 months of service from your original oath date (adding the number of months you served before the evacuation plus the number of months in service past reinstatement), your accrual rate will increase to the extended Volunteer rate according to Peace Corps policy. Reinstated Volunteers will not be eligible for special leave unless they extend for another 12 months beyond the term of service for reinstatement.
Current/past engagement in counseling alone is not a reason for medical non-clearance to Peace Corps service, and the assessment is the same for both new applicants and evacuated Volunteers. For more information, see our Medical and Health FAQ.
The medical review process will be streamlined for evacuated Volunteers, since their records were already collected by the Peace Corps for the purpose of their prior application and during their service.
We will request and review information related to any updates provided in your new health history responses and based on updated clearance requirements related to COVID-19. We will also review prior pre-service and in-service medical records, personal statements and/or mental health evaluations. We will not routinely request further information related to concerns that were addressed in the evacuee's prior application.
Get full details on how application of NCE differs for evacuated Volunteers, Peace Corps Response Volunteers, and Trainees who want to return to service.
Peace Corps Volunteers earn a monthly stipend. The specific amount of the stipend will vary by country, and is determined by a number factors. The stipend is intended for Volunteers to live at a level similar to the people in their community. The Peace Corps will arrange local banking services for Volunteers upon their arrival in country.
Yes. You can serve in the Peace Corps with outstanding financial obligations if the debts can be managed and/or paid in a timely way during service. Candidates are expected to take responsibility for their financial obligations throughout their service.
You are responsible for your student loans during service. Depending on the type of loan you have, there may be benefits available to you, including income-driven repayment, deferment, partial cancellation, or forgiveness. Learn more about student loan information.
Contact your lender to find out when they will accept your application for a deferment. If your lender says you must wait until the grace period expires to send in your application for deferment, wait until that time. Bring the paperwork with you to service and submit at the right time from there, or leave the paperwork with your power of attorney to submit on your behalf.
To renew your loans for deferment, you will need to submit a new deferment application with your loan provider shortly before the deferment expires. This application will also need a certification letter from the Peace Corps. You can request this certification letter from Peace Corps staff in country or by emailing [email protected].
In some cases, yes. Check with your lender to discuss what will happen with your loans once they are deferred. Volunteers might have to pay interest on unsubsidized loans during service, including Stafford Loans, Federal Consolidation Loans that include unsubsidized loans, and Federal Direct Loans.
Two months before your departure, you will have the opportunity to download and print Peace Corps service certification letters. You can also request certification during service from your in-country staff or you can email [email protected].
You may request an allotment or multiple allotments of up to 75 percent of your monthly readjustment allowance to make payments on bills during service. These allotments must be paid directly to the company that holds the debt. These allotment payments do not go into effect until you have completed training and have sworn-in as a Volunteer, so you will need to plan accordingly. Two months before your departure, you will have the opportunity to set up such allotments, or you can set them up once you are in-country. For more information on Volunteer allowances, see Benefits or About Service FAQs.
Two months before your departure you will have the opportunity to designate a financial point of contact. This gives the Peace Corps the ability to discuss and release financial information to the designated individual while you are serving as a Volunteer. This is different from a power of attorney. A third party, like a lender, may need you to assign a power of attorney so that someone can speak to them on your behalf.
Your readjustment allowance and a portion of your monthly in-country living allowance are considered taxable income. You will receive W-2 forms in country. You can file your taxes yourself or have someone else file them. Two months before your departure for service, you will have the option to designate a financial point of contact to whom the Peace Corps would release a copy of your W-2. Consult a tax adviser for additional information.
Please refer to Legal Information for Applicants.
The Peace Corps strives to create spaces where Volunteers can openly express all their identities if they so wish. Different countries and local communities and customs have different understandings of and responses to the LGBTQI+ community. Because of these cultural differences, it is important that Volunteers approach these identities with care. It is also important for LGBTQI+ applicants and Volunteers to prepare themselves for a wide range of possibilities, which may include having to avoid openly discussing this aspect of their identity for extended periods of time. The Peace Corps will provide country-specific information once you are invited to serve, and Peace Corps staff will provide additional information and training once you arrive in-country.
Information about individual experiences can be found in the Peace Corps stories.
Once Volunteers are in-country, Peace Corps staff will provide them with guidance for maintaining their safety and well-being, as appropriate. To ensure productive, healthy, and safe experiences for Volunteers, the Peace Corps reviews work and housing sites in advance, collaborates on project development with local communities, and develops and tests plans for responding to emergencies. Field staff also receive training to support LGBTQI+ Volunteers. This training addresses safety and security issues, host family preparation, job assignments, and additional resources (including host country LGBTQI+ organizations where available). Volunteers also often create formal and informal support groups at their post. Currently, many posts have support groups for LGBTQI+ Volunteers, Volunteers who identify as women, and Volunteers of color.
All individuals can select the gender marker (M,F, or X) that they wish to have printed on their U.S. passport, even if the selected gender does not match the gender on supporting documentation, such as a birth certificate, a previous passport, or a state ID. No medical documentation is required to select the gender marker on your Peace Corps passport. As non-binary passport options become available, the Peace Corps will update our process accordingly.
Please refer to the Medical and Health FAQs.
Yes. Speak with a recruiter, who can put you in touch with current or returned LGBTQI+ Volunteers.
Life After the Peace Corps
Returned Volunteers are not eligible for unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor has ruled that individuals enrolled in the Peace Corps are Volunteers who perform services under terms and conditions that do not rise to the legal relationship of employer and employee and, therefore, are not considered in employment covered under Title II of the Emergency Jobs and Unemployment Assistance Act of 1974, Public Law 93-567.88, Stat. 1845.
The SF-50 is a "Notification of Personnel Action," and serves as a permanent record of a federal employee's promotions, pay-grade increases, or other administrative matters. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you were not a federal employee and therefore do not have an SF-50. You can submit your description of service as a performance appraisal. If you need a copy, log in to the RPCV Portal and submit your request.
Generally, returned Volunteers must have successfully completed a full 27 months of Peace Corps service to receive noncompetitive eligibility. Country directors may choose to issue this certification to a Volunteer who, for reasons beyond their control, does not complete service, but who has satisfactorily served for a sufficient duration (normally at least 12 months) to demonstrate the capability to serve a full term. Volunteers who resign from Peace Corps service are not eligible for noncompetitive eligibility regardless of how long they served.
Peace Corps Response Volunteers who complete 12 months of service in a 24-month period are eligible for noncompetitive eligibility for Peace Corps employment. PCR Volunteers who complete two consecutive years of service receive noncompetitive eligibility for employment opportunities at the Peace Corps and other Federal agencies as they determine.
Learn more about noncompetitive eligibility and how it can help you get hired by federal agencies.
To make your request, download and complete the Authorization for Release of Medical Information Form [PDF]. Send the completed form to Office of Health Services, Medical Records at [email protected]. For additional questions or concerns, contact the Office of Health Services, Medical Records at 202.692.1540.
OWCP uses a schedule of maximum allowable medical charges. Providers agree to comply with the OWCP medical fee schedule. You do not have to pay the difference between the maximum charge set by the schedule and the charge made by the provider.
The description of service (DOS) completed by you and signed by your country director is considered your job description. If you did not complete a DOS, contact the desk officer for your country of service to initiate the process. If you completed a DOS but have not received a copy, log in to the RPCV Portal and submit your request.
Returned Volunteers are eligible for three months of coverage by a private health insurance called Short-term Health Insurance for Transition and Travel. The Peace Corps pays the first month’s premium and you have the option to purchase two additional months for yourself and for any qualified dependents. If you have service-related conditions that need an evaluation, your medical officer or the Office of Medical Services at the Peace Corps’ Headquarters will provide an authorization form for this evaluation. If an illness or injury was related to your Volunteer service, you may be eligible for benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) through the Department of Labor. If you require ongoing medical treatment due to a service-related injury, the Post-Service Unit will assist you in filing a claim for FECA benefits. All entitlement decisions rest with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) and not with the Peace Corps.
In accordance with the federal regulations of the Peace Corps Act of 1961, treatment of Peace Corps-related medical and dental conditions for Volunteers who have closed service falls under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act as administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP). The Peace Corps does not have the legal authority to pay for or provide health care for Returned Volunteers. If you require ongoing medical treatment due to a service-related injury, the Post-Service Unit will assist you in filing a claim for FECA benefits. All entitlement decisions rests with OWCP and not the Peace Corps.
Medical and Health
Yes. Just as the Peace Corps requires other vaccines to help protect the health of Volunteers, host country staff, and host communities, the COVID-19 vaccine and any boosters as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are required for medical clearance for service.
If a Volunteer gets COVID-19 during service, the Peace Corps medical officer, with support from the Office of Health Services, will provide all necessary care. We require all Volunteers to be vaccinated in order to serve in order to reduce the risk of contracting the disease or developing serious health issues as a result of infection.
The Peace Corps provides necessary and appropriate health care to Volunteers during their service. Visit Medical Care During Service to learn more. After service, the Peace Corps pays for one month of health care coverage under Short-term Health Insurance for Transition and Travel. Returned Volunteers may purchase up to two more months of additional coverage. Federal retirees may suspend federal employee health benefits during service (talk with your retirement office to ensure that the suspension is done in a way that permits re-enrollment). For individuals with Medicare, check with your Medicare office to find out if payments will continue to be deducted from your Social Security payment while you serve. As long as you submit the re-enrollment form prior to your close of service, you can cancel Medicare Part B (so you don’t have to pay the monthly premiums during your service) and re-enroll without penalty when you return to the U.S.
All Peace Corps applicants are given an individualized medical clearance assessment. Depending on current CDC guidance, scientific evidence, and host country health resources and COVID-19 vaccination rates, applicants who have one or more conditions that place them at high-risk for serious COVID-19 disease may not be medically cleared to serve at this time. This reflects guidance from the CDC that older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for being exposed to COVID-19, which includes avoiding crowds, non-essential air travel, areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, and close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
Please see the following from the CDC to see if you fall into a high risk category, or for information on risk of severe illness from COVID-19 by age:
It may. Peace Corps Volunteers serve around the world in a wide variety of environments where medical resources and the ability to access medical services can vary significantly from those in the U.S. The medical history of each applicant is individually assessed to determine the ability of the Peace Corps to safely meet the medical needs of that applicant in their country of invitation.
If you apply, you must fully disclose your medical history so that the Peace Corps can consider your health needs.
Current/past engagement in counseling alone is not a reason for medical non-clearance for Peace Corps service. Just as with medical conditions, each applicant will have an individualized assessment to determine if their mental health needs can be supported during Peace Corps service.
Yes. The Peace Corps reimburses you for medical clearance requirements that your personal medical or dental insurance does not cover. During your medical screening process, you will be given a reimbursement form that lists medical clearance expense categories such as physical exam, dental exam, mental health exam, and others. Follow those directions and submit your reimbursement claims to our health care benefits center. The Peace Corps also has a medical billing inbox ([email protected]) to provide assistance to invitees, Volunteers, and Returned Volunteers.
It is important to understand that you will only be reimbursed for expenses that are required for your medical clearance process. This does not include treatment, just evaluations that the Peace Corps requires to conduct your medical screening and eligibility determination.
The number of tasks that are requested of you during the medical clearance process varies significantly based upon your individual medical history and the requirements from the host country where you have been invited to serve. Vaccinations that are required prior to departure for service are fully reimbursable. The Peace Corps will provide all other necessary vaccinations upon your arrival in country.
The medical review will require a dental and physical examination, lab work, selected immunizations, and, when indicated, a mental health assessment. We will also request personal statements related to individual conditions so we can better understand your health needs. Depending on a person's age, sex, medical and mental health conditions, the review may also include additional tasks such as a mental health evaluation, an ECG, screening for osteoporosis, cervical, breast, and/or colon cancer, as well as specialty evaluations. We generally require that all necessary dental work be completed (e.g., wisdom teeth extracted, if recommended, cavities filled, braces removed) in order to give final clearance to serve. For more information, please go to the Medical Information for Applicants page.
If you have medical questions, please message your nurse through the Messages feature in your Medical Portal. Your nurse is the individual most familiar with your medical history and will be able to give you the best answer to your questions. If you are experiencing technical difficulties, please contact the Pre-Service Admin Team by emailing [email protected] or calling 202-692-1504.
No. Invitations to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer are contingent on medical clearance. The Office of Health Services takes a comprehensive review of your individual health history and medical considerations and determines if you can be medically cleared. Please respond to all requests for information and activities by the required deadlines so that your clearance process is not delayed. Please do not make big life changes such as quitting your job or selling your home before you are notified of your medical clearance.
Your HHF usually does not expire if you are applying within a year of the date of submission. If you are applying within this timeframe and you have medical updates, you may provide them via the Medical Portal.
As for your medical tasks, your medical exams should satisfy your medical clearance requirement as long as you are re-invited to another program that starts within six months of the completion date. When you reapply, please contact your nurse for questions regarding your medical clearance status through the Medical Portal.
The best way to submit documents for review is to upload them to your Medical Portal when your tasks have been provided. If you are having a hard time uploading your documents, please check out our Upload Tips [PDF]. If you continue to experience technical difficulties, you may contact us at [email protected] or at 202-692-1504.
It is possible to complete your medical and dental clearance forms abroad. However, the process can be more complicated. Please consider these guidelines when completing your forms:
- All reports and information must be submitted in English by a doctor who writes in English. If you cannot find a doctor who writes in English, you must have the results of your exam translated. Only certified translations will be accepted, and you are responsible for the cost associated with translating the information.
- U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Peace Corps Medical Officers (PCMOs) in Peace Corps countries may be able to make a referral to appropriate physicians or lab facilities for you to complete your tasks. PCMOs are not authorized to perform applicant physical exams.
- Just as with domestic applicants, it is your responsibility to proofread all forms in order to ensure accuracy and completeness. All completed exams, lab reports and X-rays can be uploaded into your Medical Portal. If you are having a hard time uploading your documents, please check out our Upload Tips [PDF].
- When using the cost-share form, please convert all costs from foreign currency to U.S. dollars.
Please complete your tasks as soon as possible. If you do not complete your tasks by the deadline, you may not be able to depart with your training class, or you may be withdrawn from the application process. If you are worried you may not meet your deadline, please message your nurse through the Medical Portal so they can see if you can depart with a later class. Please note that an extension is not guaranteed.
You may appeal this decision to the Peace Corps by sending a message requesting an appeal through your Medical Portal. You must let us know within five calendar days of receiving the official decision if you are requesting an appeal. Please be advised that, due to the comprehensive and individualized nature of our initial assessments, less than 10 percent of decisions are reversed upon appeal. Additionally, the decision may not occur before your departure date. In this case, should the decision be reversed, a new country and program of service would need to be identified.
Upon receiving your appeal request, an “appeal task” will be posted in your portal. At that time, you will have up to 30 days to upload relevant and new information about your medical condition that you would like considered in connection with your appeal. We strongly recommend submitting a provider letter or medical documentation that addresses the reasons noted in the medical non-clearance letter that you received. If you do not submit new information by the deadline, your request for an appeal will be withdrawn and your case will be closed.
The Pre-Service Review Board (PRB) is a panel of Peace Corps medical professionals, including at least one physician and two other health care professionals. These panel members are knowledgeable about the nature of the countries in which Peace Corps Volunteers serve, the scope of medical care available in those countries, and the conditions under which Volunteers live and work. They consider each individual case before them to determine whether the individual applicant is able to meet the Peace Corps’ medical status eligibility requirements.
The PRB meets on a weekly basis. On the date scheduled to review your case, the PRB will review your individual medical information, including the documentation you submitted with your original application. They will perform a close examination of your supplemental appeal information, and carefully consider it in the context of your overall medical history and physical findings.
Please be aware that even if your appeal is successful with respect to the medical condition for which you were originally not medically cleared, you may have other medical conditions not yet fully evaluated that might also preclude you from being medically cleared for Peace Corps service. It is likely that the appeal process will conclude after your scheduled departure date. If this is the case, the Placement Office would work with you to identify a new program of consideration.
The Peace Corps does not exclude healthy applicants because of their age. The Peace Corps values the knowledge, skills, and work place experience that older Volunteers bring to service. The medical evaluation process is the same regardless of an applicant’s age. All applicants undergo a comprehensive medical and dental assessment based on their personal health history and examination results. This information is used to determine if their medical and/or dental needs can be supported in the host country where they are invited to serve.
If you suffer a medical condition that cannot be treated in-country, the Peace Corps will pay to have you transported to another country or the U.S., and will provide all necessary and appropriate care during your medical evacuation. For more information, see Medical Care During Service.
The medical evaluation process is the same regardless of an applicant’s age. All applicants undergo a comprehensive and personalized medical and dental assessment based on their health history and examination results. This information is used to determine if your individual medical needs can be supported in our host countries.
Only the Social Security Administration can determine whether, or how, your benefits will be affected while you serve as a Volunteer. As a Volunteer, both your readjustment allowance (accrued at the rate of $375 per month and paid at the end of service) and a small percentage of your monthly living allowance constitute earnings for Social Security purposes. Social Security and Medicare tax payments are deducted from your monthly readjustment allowance.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it shall not continue Social Security payments to recipients who live in certain countries where the Peace Corps serves (including Kyrgyz Republic and Moldova) unless they appear personally before a U.S. Consular Officer. During service, fulfilling these SSA requirements will not always be feasible, and cannot be guaranteed. Applicants to these countries will receive more detailed information during the application process. For more information, visit socialsecurity.gov or call 800.772.1213.
Peace Corps Response
You can check your application status at any time by logging into your account and clicking on “Job Submission Status,” then checking the “HR Status” column.
No. There are separate application processes and applicant portals for the two-year program and Peace Corps Response. Visit the Response Openings page to explore and apply to Peace Corps Response opportunities.
If you don't see an opening now that matches your skills, you should continue to monitor open positions, as new opportunities are posted daily. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive information about featured openings
You will receive a short orientation upon arrival to your country of service. Technical and language training is minimal; it is expected that you already possess the skills needed to successfully complete your assignment.
Assignment extensions are based on the needs of the host partner organization. There's a formal approval process, which is managed by the country director. Visit Peace Corps Response to learn about positions needed now.
Peace Corps Response Volunteers accrue a readjustment allowance of $500 for each month of service completed.
Yes, but separate assignments must exist in the same country for each person. Apply separately to the respective openings.
Peace Corps has taken the steps to reduce the likelihood that Volunteers will contract or spread COVID-19. In some cases, we’re limiting the use of public transportation where social distancing and/or mask use is not enforced. As a result, some communities may not be available to serve in at this time if private transportation options are not available.
The Peace Corps takes Volunteer safety and security very seriously. Every Volunteer receives extensive training to reduce risks as much as possible. To find out more about the Peace Corps’ approach to safety, check out the Health & Safety section of our website, read the Peace Corps' Annual Statistical Report of Crimes Against Volunteers, and review country-specific sections on preparing to volunteer.
If you are a current Volunteer, first, make sure you are safe and not in immediate danger. As soon as you are safe, contact Peace Corps’ staff (the safety and security manager or medical officer) at your post to report the incident.
The Office of Victim Advocacy provides victim advocates for current and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have been victims of sexual assault, stalking, and other crimes. To report or discuss any crimes, contact the Office of Victim Advocacy at 202.409.2704 (by call or text message) or by email at [email protected]. Victim advocates are available 24/7. For anonymous crisis information for victims of sexual assault, you can contact the PC Saves hotline at pcsaveshelpline.org (online chat or call-back); for calls outside the U.S., dial 001.408.844-HELP(4357); for calls in the U.S., dial 408-844-HELP(4357).
Staying in Touch
Due to the Privacy Act, the Peace Corps is not permitted to disclose personal contact information for Returned Volunteers.
All Peace Corps Coverdell fellows are required to complete an internship in an underserved American community within the United States and/or U.S. territories allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as Volunteers.
Virtual Service Pilot
The Peace Corps Virtual Service Pilot (VSP) is a virtual service opportunity whereby Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs), as private citizens and if they so choose, are able to donate time and voluntary services to the agency to engage virtually and contribute to the requests of interested Host Country Partners for support. The multi-phase pilot began in October 2020 and is currently being tested in a number of Peace Corps host countries. View current engagements.
Virtual service engagements are between 12-27 weeks long, depending on the request of the Host Country Partner. VSPPs engage synchronously and asynchronously for approximately 5-15 hours per week on tasks outlined in their engagement. VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts identify mutually agreeable meeting times given the difference in their respective time zones and schedules.
No. Virtual service is distinct from Peace Corps Volunteer service and Peace Corps Response service. Virtual Service Pilot Participants contribute to the mission of the Peace Corps as private citizens while maintaining their other commitments such as work and school.
In developing virtual service engagements, Peace Corps staff confirm that Host Country Partners have consistent access to a computer, internet, and/or a mobile phone and are comfortable engaging in a virtual setting. Navigating time zones and schedules can be a challenge. Past participants exercised flexibility and found creative ways to connect with their Host Country Counterparts. This includes using messaging and video platforms, email, and phone calls. Discussing these potential challenges and establishing regular check-in times with Host Country Counterparts at the beginning of the engagement were identified as best practices..
VSPPs engage in activities that span the agency's six program areas: agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, and youth in development. VSPPs and Host Country Partners may also choose to celebrate local holidays and exchange cultural traditions which contribute to deepening relationships and fostering important parts of the Peace Corps mission.
Participating in the pilot is a unique opportunity. VSPPs may potentially pave the way for future participants. Through virtual service, VSPPs will gain more experience with overseas organizations and continue as private citizens to support the mission and goals of the Peace Corps.
VSPPs can request to receive a one-time amount of $250 during their engagement to cover start-up costs (such as internet connectivity, phone charges) directly associated with virtual engagement.
VSPPs are responsible for access to and availability of a computer, internet, and/or telephone in order to enable direct virtual engagement with the Peace Corps office overseas and their Host Country Counterpart.
Each VSPP will be assigned to a specific Peace Corps post staff point of contact who will conduct check-ins with the VSPP on a regular basis.
VSPPs will be provided with an official “Description of Engagement” document which will describe the tasks accomplished during the period of engagement.
VSPPs are donating their time as private citizens, which is distinct from Peace Corps Volunteer service. Pilot participation does not count toward months of Volunteer service or NCE.
It is possible that some VSPPs may engage with the same organization or community to which they were previously assigned as Peace Corps Volunteers. Other VSP engagements have been developed specifically for the pilot.
Each VSP engagement is unique. Several engagements are open to all RPCVs while others are only open to RPCVs who previously served in that country.
At this time the pilot is only open to RPCVs and returned Peace Corps Response Volunteers (RPCRVs).
Yes, orientation to the VSP will be provided during the first week of the engagement by Peace Corps post staff. An overview with the Host Country Partner, and introductions and expectation setting with the Host Country Counterpart and other staff will also be provided.
Current engagements can be viewed on the Peace Corps website. The expression of interest form will take 10-20 minutes to complete. Interested individuals should be prepared to upload a current resume, a reference, and answer short essay questions.
Interested individuals can submit up to three expressions interest.
We will be using the pilot to evaluate Host Country Partner and RPCV interest and experience with virtual service and use these outcomes to determine if or how we might move forward with a more comprehensive virtual service program in the future.