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Apply to the Peace Corps

The application process begins by selecting a service model and finding an open position.

Peace Corps Volunteer
2 years, 3 months
Log in/check status
Peace Corps Response
Up to 12 months
Log in/check status
Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
Log in/check status

Let us help you find the right position.

If you are flexible in where you serve for the two-year Peace Corps Volunteer program, our experts can match you with a position and country based on your experience and preferences.

Serve where you’re needed most

Medical Clearance

Volunteer health and safety are the agency’s top priority. After accepting your conditional invitation to serve, you must complete a medical clearance process to determine whether we can support your medical needs in your potential country of service.

Learn about medical clearance

The Peace Corps is responsible for your health care during service and will provide necessary and appropriate care for your medical needs. The medical clearance process carefully considers your medical status, history and the healthcare available in the specific country, location, and assignment for which you have applied. You must complete your medical and legal clearance tasks and be cleared to serve before you can depart.

Understand that our goal is for as many potential Volunteers as possible can depart for a healthy and productive Peace Corps service.

In some cases, we may not be able to support certain medical conditions due to specific factors in each country, the medical care available, and the conditions in which you could be living and working. In those cases, the Peace Corps may offer you an assignment in a different country if your medical needs cannot be met where you were initially invited to serve.

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Watch this video to learn about the medical clearance process.

Health History form

Do I have to put everything on my Health History Form?  

For us to support your medical needs during service, it is critically important that we know your complete and accurate health history.

Your medical information is kept confidential. The information you share on your Health History Form will be used for the medical clearance process and to make sure you have access to the necessary and appropriate medical treatment and support needed during your service.

Failure to provide an accurate and complete health history during the application process can disqualify you from service.

Medical clearance process

How does the medical clearance process work?

Your medical review is individualized and is based on your health history form and medical records including immunizations, current medical conditions, and ongoing treatments.

Each invitee is assigned a Peace Corps Pre-Service Nurse who leads a careful review of your individual medical history. In situations where an invitee’s case warrants a higher-level review, a physician or behavioral health professional also may be involved in the medical clearance process.

The medical clearance process is extremely thorough to ensure your safety and well-being once you are in service abroad. The process may take months to complete so be sure to allow enough time to complete your assigned tasks and for any necessary follow-up appointments.

The process, specific tasks, number of tasks required, and timing are different for every person depending on your medical history, country of invitation, and service assignment/work sector.

The Peace Corps will reimburse you for required medical, dental, and mental health examinations, vaccinations, and diagnostic tests you receive as part of the clearance process. Learn more about medical reimbursements below.

Note: You can be removed from service if you fail to disclose medical information during the medical clearance process.

Medical review step-by-step

After you’re invited, the Office of Health Services (OHS) will process your medical review as follows:

  1. OHS will assign medical and dental tasks that need to be completed for medical clearance. The tasks will appear in your secure medical portal at various times, requesting exams and specialist evaluations as applicable. All assigned lab and health screening tests are mandatory.
  2. Depending on your medical history, OHS may first ask you to complete a personal statement and in some cases, specialist evaluations before asking you to complete the full medical exam. This information helps us determine if the Peace Corps can safely care for you during service and provide necessary and appropriate medical support.
  3. You will complete the required medical exams and documentation and submit that information in your medical portal.
  4. OHS will review your submissions and contact you if additional information is needed.
  5. OHS will then provide one of the following determinations:
  • clear you for service to your selected country
  • help you secure an invitation to another country that can better support your medical needs, or
  • determine that you cannot be medically cleared for service at this time and withdraw your invitation. If you are not cleared for medical reasons, you may request a review of this decision by the Pre-Service Review Board.

If, after clearance, you become ill, undergo surgery, add to or change medications, undergo therapy or treatment, or develop any condition for which you seek medical assistance, you must notify OHS immediately, as any significant change in your health may affect your medical clearance.

For more information, contact OHS using your Medical Applicant Portal (MAP) to contact your assigned Pre-Service nurse. You may also call 202.692.1504 or email [email protected].

Medical reimbursements

Will the Peace Corps cover the cost of my medical clearance?

The Peace Corps reimburses necessary medical expenses incurred during the medical clearance process. The number of tasks that are requested of you during the medical clearance process varies based on your medical history and host country requirements.

There are some dental expenses that may not be covered by the Peace Corps.

You may also generate expenses that were not specifically requested by Peace Corps, or that were completed prior to the start of the medical clearance process. In addition, any treatments you may be receiving are not covered as part of Peace Corps medical screening reimbursement. These expenses are your responsibility.

Which medical services are reimbursable?

Services covered are typically any evaluation or vaccine required by Peace Corps (not treatments). For questions about medical or dental reimbursement, email [email protected].

Common medical questions

Please do not be discouraged from applying for service if you take medication for, or have, a pre-existing medical condition. Many Volunteers have successfully served while taking routine medications or managing pre-existing health conditions.

Getting therapy or other mental health care does not disqualify you from Peace Corps service.

We understand that sharing details of your mental health isn’t easy. Please know that we keep all aspects of your medical history confidential and do not automatically disqualify applicants because they received the care necessary for them to be mentally healthy.

We evaluate mental health as part of your medical history, recognizing that Peace Corps service is stressful, so it is important for your well-being that your health is assessed comprehensively. As part of the process, we consider how the stress of service, whether physical or mental, might impact any medical conditions you might have.

Additionally, we consider whether your mental health needs are able to be met during service. Mental health supports may be limited where Peace Corps Volunteers are assigned.

Your body mass index (BMI) can affect your ability to be cleared, but it is one of many factors considered.

We want to grant medical clearance to as many potential Volunteers as we can so that they can depart for a healthy and productive Peace Corps service.

Dental health is a critical part of your overall health. Dental care options may be limited where you have been invited to serve with the Peace Corps, so it’s important that you address any non-reimbursable dental treatment needs before entering Peace Corps service. In some countries, even basic dental care might require you to be evacuated to another country.

The Peace Corps remains committed to protecting the health and safety of our Volunteers, host country partners and staff, and host communities. Based on the latest evidence, we have decided that it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our Volunteers, staff, and the countries we serve to have our incoming Volunteers obtain the COVID-19 vaccination and appropriate boosters before beginning  service. This is a requirement of medical clearance.

Before you depart the United States for Peace Corps, invitees are required to have proof of immunity to, or vaccination against, the following diseases:

  • COVID-19 and appropriate boosters
  • Hepatitis A (hepatitis A vaccine or hepatitis A antibody level)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) – Exempt if born in U.S. before January 1, 1957
  • Pneumococcal – for those 65 and older, and with certain medical conditions
  • Polio (childhood series plus booster after age 18). The booster is 100% reimbursed.
  • Tetanus (childhood series, plus a current Tdap booster received within the previous 7 years)
  • Varicella (chicken pox) – Exempt if born in U.S. before January 1, 1980
  • Yellow fever vaccine may also be required for some countries prior to service because it is required to enter the country of invitation or required for transit. Your yellow fever vaccination must be documented in the WHO International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card). Yellow fever vaccine is 100% reimbursed.

Other than COVID-19 and yellow fever, these are vaccines you should have had as a child, or have immunity to because you had the disease.

If you do not have access to your childhood vaccination records, positive antibody titers (a blood test which checks for immunity) for MMR and varicella can be submitted in lieu of vaccination. Attestation that childhood polio vaccinations were received is acceptable for some cases in lieu of vaccination.

If you are not medically cleared, you have the right to appeal the decision by requesting an additional review and clearance determination from the Pre-Service Review Board, which is made up of providers clinicians who were not involved in your original clearance determination.

For more information, contact the Office of Health Services by calling 202-692-1504. Alternatively, email [email protected] or email your nurse through the Medical Applicant Portal.