FAQs

50-plus

Is the applicant medical evaluation process different for older candidates?

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 health history and examinations to determine if their medical needs can be supported in our host countries.

I'm currently receiving Social Security retirement benefits. Will Peace Corps service affect these benefits?

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 $350 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. For more information, visit socialsecurity.gov or call 800.772.1213.


About Service

Do I get paid as a volunteer?

You will receive a monthly in-country living allowance that you will use to pay for expenses as a volunteer. You will also be accruing a monthly readjustment allowance which you will receive as a lump sum when you have completed your service.

How can I contact current or recently returned Volunteers to ask them about their experiences?

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 or put in you touch with a returned Volunteer who lives in your area.

If my partner/spouse or someone in his or her immediate family has a terminal illness or dies during service, will I be able to accompany them back to the United States?

Emergency leave may be authorized if a member of the Volunteer’s immediate family (a parent, spouse, sibling, child, or grandchild related to the Volunteer by blood, marriage/civil union/domestic partnership, or adoption) has a terminal illness or dies while the Volunteer is in service. A country director may authorize a Volunteer partner/spouse to accompany the Volunteer whose family member is affected.

I have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies. Will this affect my Peace Corps service?

There may be various challenges to maintaining your diet in many of the countries where Volunteers serve, including cultural norms and limited availability. Visit Countries to select a country where you want to serve and read more about Food and Diet in the Preparing to Volunteer section in each country. You can also contact a recruiter to learn more.

May my minor children accompany me during my Peace Corps service?

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.

What if a family emergency occurs while I am serving?

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. Volunteers may take leave and travel at their own expense for emergencies affecting extended family, with their country director's approval. Read more about staying in touch with friends and family by visiting the Family and Friends page.

What is housing like?

The Peace Corps requires you to live in Peace Corps-approved housing, which will vary by country. In most countries, Volunteers are required to live with a host family for pre-service training and, in certain countries, Volunteers live with host families for the duration of their service. Visit the Housing and Site Location in the Preparing for Service section of the Countries where you would like to serve, or contact a recruiter for more information.

Will I be the only Peace Corps Volunteer in my community?

Depending on your site placement, you may be the only Volunteer in your community, which will help foster integration. In many countries, Volunteers live with a host family during service. Typically, there are opportunities to see nearby Volunteers on weekends, holidays, and for training sessions and collaborative projects. Visit the Housing and Site Location in the Preparing for Service section of the Countries where you wish to service, or contact a recruiter for more.


Applying

Are there any costs associated with applying to the Peace Corps?

There are no application fees, and there are no fees associated with visas, passports, or plane tickets for candidates invited to serve. There are costs associated with mandatory medical screening for some applicants before being invited to serve, and all applicants who receive a formal invitation to serve. The Peace Corps provides modest cost sharing for some medical screening expenses incurred after candidates accept an invitation. More information about cost sharing is given to applicants at the time of invitation.

Can I serve with my unmarried partner?

Yes. The Peace Corps accepts unmarried couples in committed domestic partnerships. Couples who have been in a committed relationship for at least a year before they begin service are better able to adapt to the challenges of the Peace Corps. Unmarried couples seeking to serve as a couple must attest to their committed domestic partner relationship as part of their applications. 

See more information on how to apply as a couple.

Do I need a college degree?

Opportunities are available for individuals with a combination of relative job experience and education, though most opportunities require a four-year degree.

Do I need to speak a foreign language?

Language requirements vary by job opportunity, and any requirements will be listed in the job opening. Search the Volunteer Openings page for specific requirements.

How do I check the status of my Peace Corps application?

Log into the applicant portal and navigate to your application status page.

How many active applications can I have?

You can submit one application at a time, either for a specific position or to be considered for programs where you are needed most. You can also apply again for future programs if you are not selected for the position to which you applied. Search Volunteer Openings for Volunteer opportunities available now.

Peace Corps Response (PCR) applicants can have up to three active applications at the same time. If you are interested in both PCR and the Peace Corps Volunteer program, you can have three PCR applications and one Peace Corps Volunteer program application active at the same time.

I accidentally deleted or lost an email communication directing me to the next step in the application process. How do I find what I need to do?

Log into your applicant portal and navigate to the email history page. There, you'll see the next task you need to complete.

I have a question about a task in the Invitee Portal

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].

I'm having technical difficulties completing my application. What do I do?

Click on the “Help” tab in the applicant portal, or send an email describing your exact technical difficulties to [email protected]

Is there an age limit to serving in the Peace Corps?

No, there is no upper age limit to Peace Corps service. However, Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years old to serve.

I've logged into the Medical Applicant Portal before, but I forgot my password.

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.

I want to serve with my spouse/partner. How do we apply?

Couples are accepted in Peace Corps service programs. However, placement options and application time may vary for each. To place a couple we must first identify specific communities that can accommodate couples with adequate work to support two Volunteers, then match that couple with communities that have requested their skill combination. For these reasons, it is more difficult to find assignments and placement generally takes longer for couples than for individuals. 

  • 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/domestic partner. Couples should submit their applications at the same time. 
  • Peace Corps Response: Couples can serve together, but must apply to individual job postings separately. 

Contact a recruiter for more information.

The Medical Applicant Portal does not recognize my login.

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. If you have a different email address than the one on your resume, try that one as well.


Donate

What is the Peace Corps Partnership Program?

The Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) connects Volunteers and their communities with the private sector in the U.S. and around the world in order to fund community initiated and led projects.

Volunteers and their communities are invited to submit proposals to PCPP to obtain funding in support of these projects. In order to receive project funding through PCPP, the community must make a 25% 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.

PCPP is a proven mechanism for supporting small community-based grants.  Over the past ten years, PCPP has funded over 7,200 Volunteer projects in nearly every sector, totaling more than 19.8 million dollars in grant funds. Last year alone, PCPP funded 930 projects in 57 countries, touching the lives of 1.5 million people across the globe.

How much of my donation will go to a Volunteer Project?

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, as the PCPP office is supported by congressionally appropriated funds to the Peace Corps.

Is my donation to the Peace Corps tax-deductible?

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 will be sent, stating the amount of the donation, which can be used as a tax receipt. The name on the tax receipt will reflect the name submitted when making the donation. 

Peace Corps’ tax identification number is 52-1240194. 

Will I get a receipt to use for my taxes?

Yes. After a donation is made, a thank you letter will be sent, stating the amount of the donation, which can be used as a tax receipt. The name on the tax receipt will reflect the name submitted when making the donation.

I would like to search for a specific volunteer project. How do I do that?

The website allows you to explore and search for projects in a number of 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 issue.  

Additionally, there is a keyword search option that can be used to find projects by typing in words associated with a project. 

Why isn't the project I’m looking for showing up on the website?

There are a couple reasons a project may not appear on the website. Occasionally, projects have not yet been received by Peace Corps Headquarters and are not yet fundraising.  In other cases, projects may have already reached their fundraising goals and have been taken off the website.

If a project is not on the website or if you need any additional information, please e-mail us at [email protected] or call our office at 855.855.1961 x2170.

My child/friend/relative has a project that was funded. Why haven't they received their money yet?

After a project has been fully funded, Peace Corps staff work with the Peace Corps Budget Office to transfer the funds to the Volunteer. The entire process can take two to three weeks.

What happens if a project receives more than the requested amount?

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.  

What is the Global Fund?

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. 

What is an Issue Fund?

Issue funds allow donors to support Peace Corps Partnership Program projects worldwide that address specific issues, such as Agriculture, Health and HIV/AIDS, or Information and Communication Technology. Donations to issue funds are applied to projects that address the corresponding issue on a weekly basis by the Office of Gifts and Grants Management. You can learn more about the types of projects each issue fund supports on the funds’ individual webpages.

What is a Country Fund?

Country funds allow donors to support PCPP projects in a particular country. Every active Peace Corps Country has a country fund. You can learn more about the types of projects each country fund supports on the funds’ individual webpages.

What is a Peace Corps Memorial Fund?

A Memorial Fund is a special fund established by the Peace Corps 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 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 a Volunteer, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, or staff member. 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. 

What is the Peace Corps Fund?

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 activities, domestic or in countries where Peace Corps Volunteers serve, to further the mission of the Peace Corps.

The Peace Corps Fund can also be used as a mechanism through which Peace Corps posts can accept donations over $10,000. If you have any additional questions, please e-mail us at [email protected] or call our office at 855.855.1961 x2170.

I'd like to make a donation in honor of/in memory of someone. Is that possible?

Yes. If you are donating online, please select “I wish to donate in honor or memory of someone” under the Options section on the Giving Checkout 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 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. 

Are there other ways to donate other than online?

Although donating online is the fastest way for Volunteer projects to get funded, you may also donate by mail or over the phone.

You can send a check to:

Peace Corps Headquarters
Office of Gifts and Grants Management
1111 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20526

Please make checks payable to “Peace Corps Partnership Program” and complete this donation form. Please also note the Volunteer’s name or fund name in the memo section of the check. 

-or-

Call the Peace Corps Partnership Program office at 855.855.1961 x2170 to make a donation. We can only accept credit card donations over the phone. 

Does Peace Corps accept in-kind donations?

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, 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]

I would like to donate, but I don't live in the United States. How can I donate?

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?

How do I make a bequest to Peace Corps?

If you wish to include the Peace Corps as a beneficiary in your will, we recommend that you include, “Peace Corps, agency of the United States government.” As Peace Corps enters and leaves countries periodically, and as the sectors in which Peace Corps Volunteers serve change, we recommend that bequests be as general as possible (e.g. “supporting Volunteer projects”). If you wish to specify in which sector or country you would like your bequest to be used, we recommend that 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 855.855.1961 x2170.

How should large donors to the Peace Corps Partnership Program interact with Peace Corps?

The Peace Corps welcomes the support of its large donors whose gifts exceed $10,000 or more in a calendar year. Peace Corps works with its donors to support approved PCPP projects through an established framework which is defined in the PCPP Donor Terms and Conditions [PDF]. These terms and conditions ensure that Peace Corps can safeguard its Volunteers and ensure that the donor experience is relevant and uniform to all PCPP donors.


Educators

Is there a charge for Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools materials?

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.


Finance

Can I have debt of any sort (e.g., tuition for my children, credit card debt, mortgage) and still serve in the Peace Corps?

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.

Can I pay bills with my Peace Corps allowance during service?

You may request an allotment or multiple allotments of up to 75% 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 in-country. 

For more information on Volunteer allowances, see Benefits or About Service FAQs.

How do I designate a financial contact to whom Peace Corps can release financial information?

Two months before your departure you will have the opportunity to designate a financial point of contact. This gives Peace Corps the ability to discuss and release financial information to the designated individual while you are serving as a volunteer.  However, this is different from a power of attorney. A third party, like a lender, may need you to assign a power of attorney for someone to speak to them on your behalf.

I need a letter certifying that I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer. How can I get that?

Two months before your departure, you will have the opportunity to download and print certification letters. You can also request certification during service from your in-country staff or you can email [email protected]

Will I owe taxes on my Peace Corps allowances? How will I pay my taxes?

Your readjustment allowance and a portion of your monthly in-country living allowance are considered taxable income and W-2 forms will be sent to you in-country. You can file your taxes yourself or have them filed by someone else. Two months before your departure, 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. 

What are my options for managing student loans during 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 deferment, partial cancellation, income-driven repayment, or forgiveness. Learn more about student loan information.

Can interest accrue on deferred student loans?

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. 

I am still within my grace period for my student loan and haven't started making payments. Should I send in the deferment request now or wait until the grace period is over?

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.

My lender told me I need to reapply for deferment of my student loan after one year. What do I need to do?

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 Peace Corps. You can request this certification letter from your Peace Corps staff in country or by emailing [email protected]


LGBTQ

Can I serve with my same-sex partner?

Yes. The Peace Corps accepts same-sex couples. Both you and your partner must apply at the same time and qualify for assignments in the same country. The Peace Corps will only consider you as a couple, and will look to place you at the same site. Because of this, couples sometimes experience longer application periods. Couples who have been in a committed relationship for at least a year before they begin service are better able to adapt to the challenges of the Peace Corps. Unmarried couples seeking to serve as a couple must execute an affidavit attesting to their committed domestic partner relationship as part of their applications. Same-sex couples placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements.

See more information on how to apply as a couple.

Can you put me in touch with LGBTQ Volunteers?

Yes. Speak with a recruiter, who can put you in touch with current or returned LGBTQ Volunters. Additionally, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Peace Corps Alumni offers resources for applicants and prospective Volunteers, including a mentor program, an email listserv, and a quarterly e-newsletter.

How will same-sex couples be supported by in-country staff?

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 same-sex couples that addresses safety and security issues, host family preparation, job assignments, and resources for same-sex couples (including host country LGBT organizations where available). Volunteers also often create formal and informal support groups at their post. Currently, many posts have support groups for LGBT Volunteers, women, and Volunteers of color.

What documents do transgender individuals need to provide when applying for a Peace Corps passport?

Transgender applicants are required to provide: 1. A social security card; 2. A passport or birth certificate. If your documents have not been updated with your new gender, you will need to submit a physician’s certificate for your passport application validating whether your gender transition is in process or complete. Learn more about requirements for transgender applicants for U.S. passports.

Where can same-sex couples serve?

The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized.

Will same-sex couples be allowed to serve openly?

Communities in different countries respond differently to same-sex couples, and the environment may be different from what you are accustomed. 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 on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Returned Peace Corps Volunteers website. For more information, contact a recruiter.

Will same-sex couples receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples?

Yes, the benefits provided by the Peace Corps will be the same for all couples.


Life After Peace Corps

Am I eligible for unemployment as a returned Peace Corps Volunteer?

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. 

A prospective federal employer is asking for an SF-50 form and/or a performance appraisal. What do I do?

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.  

How do I know if I qualify for noncompetitive eligibility?

Generally, returned Volunteers must have successfully completed a full tour of Peace Corps service to receive this eligibility. Country directors may choose to issue this certification to a Volunteer who, for reasons beyond his or her 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 appointment 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 within the Peace Corps. PCR Volunteers who complete two consecutive years of service receive noncompetitive eligibility for agencies outside the Peace Corps. 

Learn more about what noncompetitive eligibility is and how it can help you get hired by federal agencies. 

How do I obtain a copy of my description of service?
I have questions about the PC-127C form.

For questions about using your PC-127C form, visit the RPCV support page. To request a replacement PC-127C form, contact the Post-Service Medical Unit at 855.855.1961 ext. 1540 or 202.692.1540. Or, email the Post-Service Medical Unit at [email protected]

I need a copy of my medical and vaccination records.

To make your request, download and complete the Authorization for Release of Medical Information Form. 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 855.855.1961 ext. 1502 or 202.692.1502.

My health-care provider did not receive full payment from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) and now I am being billed. What do I do?

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 U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) is asking me for a job description for my Peace Corps service. What do I do?

The description of service (DOS) completed by you and signed by the 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.

What about my medical coverage and insurance after my Peace Corps service is over?

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 for you and you have the option to purchase two additional months for yourself and pay for any qualified dependents. If you have service-related conditions that need an evaluation, your medical officer or the Office of Medical Services at 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 through the Department of Labor. 

Why can’t the Peace Corps provide treatment for my service-related conditions after I finish my service?

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 & Health

I have a specific medical condition. Will it impact my ability to serve or where I am placed?

It may. Peace Corps Volunteers serve around the world in physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging environments where medical resources and local transportation services may vary significantly from those in the U.S.  Each applicant’s medical history is considered individually to ensure Peace Corps is able to safely meet their medical needs in their country of service. To learn more about medical considerations, including conditions that may disqualify a person for Peace Corps service, read Important Medical Information for Applicants. Additionally, each job opening lists specific medical considerations for that country. If you apply, you must fully disclose your medical history so Peace Corps can consider your health needs. 

What is involved in the medical review process?

The medical review will require a dental and physical evaluation, lab work, and selected immunizations. Depending on a person's age and gender, the medical review may also include an ECG, colon cancer screening, Pap smear and/or a mammogram. We require that all necessary dental work be completed (wisdom teeth extracted (if recommended), cavities filled, braces removed) in order to give final clearance to serve abroad.  For more information, please go to the Medical Information for Applicants page.

Does the Peace Corps pay for costs incurred during the medical clearance process?

The Peace Corps provides a small cost-sharing contribution toward medical expenses incurred during the medical qualification process: $60 for dental, between $125 and $290 for physical exams (depending on age and gender), and, if requested, $12 for eyeglass prescription and $150 for the yellow fever vaccination if it is required for a Volunteer's country of service. Costs above these amounts are the applicant’s responsibility. We encourage applicants to research for lower cost alternatives (e.g., National Association of Free Clinics, VISION USA, and International College of Dentists). Local health departments may provide reasonably priced immunizations.

What immunizations do Volunteers need?

Peace Corps requires proof of routine childhood immunizations, which may be shot records or blood tests, to include tetanus/diphtheria, chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps and rubella. Depending on a Volunteer’s country of service, yellow fever vaccination may also be required. Vaccines necessary for a specific country of service will be given by Peace Corps medical staff when a Volunteer arrives in-country. Should a Volunteer choose to get any additional immunizations it is his or her responsibility to pay for them. For information on recommended immunizations by country please refer to http://www.cdc.gov/.

I have received an invitation to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer; does this mean I'm medically cleared to serve?

No, invitations to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer are contingent on final medical clearance. A nurse will review your health history and your medical considerations and determine if you can be medically cleared. Please respond to all requests for information and activities by any deadlines so that your clearance process is not delayed.

How can I appeal a medical determination of not being medically cleared for service?

You may appeal this decision to the Peace Corps by sending a message requesting an appeal through your Medical Portal. Please let us know within 5 calendar days of receiving the decision if you are requesting an appeal. Less than 10% of appeals are reversed and the decision may not occur before your departure date. 

Upon receiving your request, an “appeal task” will be posted on your portal. At that time, you will have up to 30 days to upload relevant and new information about your medical condition you would like considered in connection with your appeal. If you do not submit new information by the deadline, your request for an appeal will be withdrawn and your case will be closed.

Please be aware that, even if your appeal is successful with respect to the medical condition for which you were not medically cleared, you may have other medical conditions that we have not yet fully evaluated that might preclude you from being medically cleared for Peace Corps service. Additionally, it is likely that the appeal process will conclude after your scheduled departure date. If this is the case you would have to apply again. 

The Peace Corps deeply appreciates your commitment to service. If you are interested in other service options, you may wish to visit www.serve.gov. This website is a comprehensive clearing house of volunteer opportunities to serve across the country and the world. Serve.gov is managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

How do I log into the Medical Portal?

Before logging in, be sure you've registered here. After you register, you can log in through the regular link here. If you're using the correct username and your candidate reference number without success or your account is locked, email [email protected] and let us know. When contacting us, include your name and your seven-digit candidate reference number.

Do Volunteers get health insurance during Peace Corps service?

The Peace Corps provides appropriate and necessary 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 and 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. 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., as long as you submit the re-enrollment form prior to your close of service.


Peace Corps Response

How do I check the status of my Peace Corps Response application?

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.

I already submitted an application for the two-year program. Can I use the same one for Peace Corps Response?

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. 

I don't see any Peace Corps Response openings that match my skills. What should I do?

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

I am a currently serving Peace Corps Volunteer interested in transitioning to a Peace Corps Response assignment after I complete my current service. What should I consider?

Search the Peace Corps Response positions three to four months before your close of service date for openings that match your interest and experience. Submit your application at least 45 days before you close service. All Peace Corps Volunteers must complete their two-year service before starting a Peace Corps Response position; the Peace Corps Response assignment must begin within 60 days of your close of service. If you were unable to finish your service due to circumstances beyond your control, but finished in good standing, you may be considered. Your federal noncompetitive eligibility will be deferred until your Peace Corps Response assignment is complete.

What kind of training will I receive as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer?

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.

Can Peace Corps Response Volunteers extend their 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.

As a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, will I receive a readjustment allowance at the end of service?

Peace Corps Response Volunteers accrue a readjustment allowance of $450 for each month of service completed. 


Safety

I'm worried about my safety overseas. How can I find out more about risks and crime in countries where Volunteers serve?

The Peace Corps takes Volunteer safety and security very seriously and every single 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 the website, read Peace Corps' Annual Statistical Report of Crimes Against Volunteers [PDF], or review country-specific sections on preparing to Volunteer.

I was a victim of a sexual assault, stalking, or other crime. What are my options?

First, make sure you are safe and not in immediate danger. As soon as you are safe, contact the duty officer for 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 (call/text) 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

I'm a returned Peace Corps Volunteer. How do I update my contact information?

Returned Volunteers should update their contact information through the RPCV portal. If you encounter any problems submitting the form, contact [email protected]

I want to purchase Peace Corps memorabilia such as T-shirts, bumper stickers, patches, etc.?

The National Peace Corps Association is the only organization authorized to sell Peace Corps-branded items. To learn more, visit peacecorpsconnect.org.

I would like to contact a specific returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

Due to the Privacy Act, the Peace Corps is not permitted to disclose personal contact information for returned Volunteers.


University Programs

Can I serve abroad as a Peace Corps fellow?

All Peace Corps Coverdell fellows are required to complete an internship in an underserved American community within the U.S. Because of the U.S. government's relationship with some other countries, an internship abroad may satisfy the requirement. Go to the Office of Insular Affairs at the Department of the Interior for a list of included jurisdictions. 

Will serving as a campus ambassador help me get into the Peace Corps?

Serving as a campus ambassador will not directly increase your chances of being selected for Peace Corps service. It can, however, indirectly support your application for future service. As a campus ambassador, you will work closely with a Peace Corps recruiter who can review your résumé and advise you before you submit an application. And, having Peace Corps campus ambassador on your résumé can help you stand out in a competitive applicant pool.

Will the Coverdell Fellows Program give me money to go to the university of my choice?

The Coverdell Fellows Program isn't a scholarship program. The program includes financial support for fellows, but the partner university decides the type and amount of assistance. Visit the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program to learn more.