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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

Eligibility requirements vary for different types of service, but core expectations are the same for every Volunteer.

Eligibility

Who can serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer?

You must be a U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years old to serve. Recent college graduates, working professionals, and retirees can serve, committing to 2 years of service, plus 3 months of training.

After being conditionally invited to serve, applicants must be medically and legally cleared for service. This requires them to be generally healthy, vaccinated, and ready to work. There are a few limitations that exist for individuals with military obligations or intelligence connections.

Is there an age limit to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer?

Anyone can serve boldly—as long as you’re a U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years old, we welcome you to apply.

Do I need a college degree to serve?

Most Peace Corps positions require a 4-year degree, but some Volunteer opportunities are open to people with a combination of job experience and education.

What language skills do I need to serve in the Peace Corps?

Language requirements vary by opportunity and country. As a Volunteer, you will participate in a 3-month-long pre-service training where you begin to learn the language.

What if I’m married or in a serious relationship?

You can serve with your partner if you both apply and qualify for assignments in the same country. If you’re invited, you’ll have to provide a copy of your marriage certificate or attest to your committed partnership.

Can I serve if I’m responsible for a dependent?

Dependents may not accompany Volunteers. If you have a legal dependent, you’ll need to submit a notarized letter affirming that:

  1. arrangements are in place for their care and support during your service,
  2. your responsibilities to your dependent/s are not expected to disrupt your service, and
  3. you are not applying to serve in an effort to reduce, diminish, or avoid obligations to your dependent/s.

What does it take to succeed?

Volunteers must be culturally conscious, collaborative, flexible, curious, and humble. If you’ve made serving others a priority in your life, and you’re ready to take it to the next level, we have a place where you belong.

Additional eligibility questions

To be eligible for the Peace Corps, you must be a U.S. citizen prior to receiving an invitation. Citizenship is established either by birth or by naturalization. The State Department will require proof of citizenship before issuing a Peace Corps candidate a no-fee U.S. passport for Peace Corps service.

Can naturalized citizens serve?

All applicants for the Peace Corps Volunteer and Peace Corps Response programs who receive an invitation to serve must obtain a no-fee U.S. passport. In order for a naturalized citizen to obtain a no-fee U.S. passport, they must either submit their personal U.S. passport or their certificate of naturalization/citizenship to the Peace Corps. If you are a naturalized citizen, please make sure that you have available all of the documents required to obtain the no-fee U.S. passport.

What if I’m a dual citizen?

The United States does not recognize dual citizenship. An applicant to become a Peace Corps Volunteer or a Peace Corps Response Volunteer who indicates they have dual citizenship must submit their U.S. passport when they apply for a no-fee passport. Applicants who are dual citizens are NOT required to renounce their foreign citizenship, but may face challenges if considering service in their country of citizenship and should speak to a Peace Corps placement officer.

What if my citizenship status is pending?

Applicants for overseas service can submit an application if they are in the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship; however, an applicant cannot be conditionally invited to serve until AFTER they have sworn their “Oath of Allegiance” and become a naturalized citizen. We only consider applicants for programs with a “know by” date after their naturalization date.

Can I serve if I’ve been arrested before?

The existence of an arrest or conviction record will not automatically exclude an applicant from consideration for service. When evaluating an applicant's arrest or conviction information, we consider the nature of the offense(s), how long ago the offense(s) occurred, the nature of the position in question, and other relevant facts or indicia of rehabilitation.

Any applicant rejected because of a past arrest or conviction can appeal the decision and/or reapply at a later date.

What if I have a drug-related offense on my record?

An applicant with any drug-related conviction or with a conviction for public intoxication, driving under the influence (DUI), or driving while intoxicated (DWI), with a conviction for reckless driving after having been initially charged with DUI or DWI, or who has a similar alcohol-related conviction, will not have their application for service considered until 12 months have passed from the date of the incident. The Peace Corps may deem an applicant unsuitable for service due to drug abuse, problem drinking, and/or alcohol abuse.

Can I apply if I’m a veteran? What if I’m on active duty or in the reserves?

We welcome veterans and active military personnel who are interested in Peace Corps service after completing their military service to apply.

However, before accepting an invitation for overseas Peace Corps service, applicants should verify that it will not interfere with any reserve obligations that they may have and that, except in case of war or national emergency, their presence will not be required for active or reserve duty for the duration of their Peace Corps service. Applicants with remaining reserve obligations are urged to obtain written confirmation of this from their commanding officer.

Why are intelligence connections a limiting factor?

At the Peace Corps we greatly value the open, trusting relationships we share with our host country partners. These bonds are built on time and transparency, and we take great care to avoid actions that might compromise these relationships. Sending a Volunteer with connections to the intelligence community would be such an action.

Can I apply to serve if I have worked in intelligence?

It is our goal to clear as many people as possible for safe and productive service, and each applicant is uniquely considered based on their connection to intelligence activity.

The only automatic disqualification from Peace Corps service is for those who have been employed at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including as a contractor or intern. In this instance, you are indefinitely disqualified from Peace Corps service.

Anyone currently or formerly employed by other intelligence agencies is ineligible for Peace Corps Volunteer service for at least 10 years from the last date of such employment. After that time, we welcome you to connect with a recruiter to learn more and apply.

What if my intelligence connection isn’t through my employment?

Applicants may be disqualified for service because their background or history discloses a substantial connection with an intelligence activity or related work other than through employment. Even family relationships with an employee of an intelligence agency may be considered a disqualifying connection.

The duration of any such disqualification will ordinarily not exceed 10 years and will depend upon the nature of an applicant's involvement in or relationship to intelligence activities or agencies

Questions about applying?

Get answers from a Peace Corps recruitment expert.

Core expectations for Volunteers

As members of the Peace Corps community overseas, Peace Corps Volunteers and Peace Corps Trainees are responsible for fulfilling and sustaining the highest ethical standards of the Peace Corps and of the broader communities in which they serve.

We ask every Volunteer to abide by the following commitments with integrity and dedication to equity and intercultural understanding.

  1. Prepare my affairs to keep my commitment to serve the full term of my assignment.
  2. Build relationships and work alongside community members on locally prioritized projects that promote knowledge exchange and contribute to a lasting impact.
  3. Serve where the Peace Corps places me with the flexibility needed for effective service.
  4. Collaborate with the local community members on sustainable development work and spend most of my time respectfully integrating into the host community and culture.
  5. Accept that during service I am responsible for my personal conduct and professional performance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  6. Honor diversity, advance equity, champion inclusion, and treat every human being with dignity and respect.
  7. Adhere to the policies and rules of the Peace Corps and the local and national laws of the country where I serve.
  8. Exercise judgment and personal responsibility to protect the health, safety, and well-being of myself and others.
  9. Recognize that during service I represent the people, cultures, values, and traditions of the United States of America.
  10. Promote a better understanding of other cultures by intentionally and ethically sharing my Peace Corps experience with family, friends, and the American public during and after service.
Ready to serve boldly?

There are places where you can help make a lasting impact— browse openings and find the place where you belong.