Understanding Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE)

AmeriCorps VISTA Members

As an AmeriCorps VISTA member, you qualify for non-competitive eligibility (NCE) after the completion of your service. With NCE, a federal agency can hire you outside of the formal competitive job announcement process.


Your NCE lasts for one year from the date you complete your AmeriCorps VISTA service. Agencies may extend the period for up to three years after your completed service if you are:

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

NCE does not entitle you to a job within the federal government. You must still apply and meet qualification standards and additional requirements, such as a background investigation.

In addition to AmeriCorps VISTA service, completion of two years in the Peace Corps also qualifies you for NCE.

When applying for a job, include AmeriCorps VISTA and/or Peace Corps certification of service documents with your application and make sure to mention your NCE status on your resume and LinkedIn page.

Explore these resources to further understand this hiring authority from the employer and applicant perspective.

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