Noncompetitive Eligibility

Your edge for federal employment

Upon successful completion of Peace Corps service, you receive 12 months of noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government.

NCE makes it easier for federal agencies to hire returned Volunteers who meet the minimum qualifications of a given position, with three key advantages: 

  • Less competition
  • Faster application process
  • Strong interest from hiring managers

What is noncompetitive eligibility?

Under Executive Order 11103, a returned Peace Corps Volunteer is granted noncompetitive eligibility for 12 months upon successful completion of service. NCE allows U.S. federal government agencies in the executive branch to hire a returned Volunteer without having to go through the (lengthy) competitive hiring process.

How to extend noncompetitive eligibility?

A hiring agency may be able to extend the 12-month NCE period for 2 more years to a total of 3 years if the person, after the qualifying service, is:

  • In the military service;
  • Studying at a recognized institution of higher learning; or
  • In another activity which, in the agency’s view, warrants extension.

For more information, see Executive Order 11103.

Proof of NCE status

Country directors include an NCE certification in the final paragraph of the description of service for all Volunteers who receive this benefit. Volunteers who resign from Peace Corps service are not eligible for noncompetitive appointment regardless of how long they served. You can attach your description of service to a federal job application to provide proof of NCE. If you need a copy of your description of service, complete a certification request form and email it to [email protected].

Find an NCE job

Comprehensive video on noncompetitive eligibility and how it works (17 minutes).