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An Official Web Site of the United States Government
Friday, December 13, 2019

Become a PMF

Eligibility

Citizenship

Opportunities for Federal employment for non-United States citizens through the PMF Program are extremely rare. By law, most Federal agencies are prohibited from paying anyone who is not a U.S. citizen for positions in the continental United States. There are certain exemptions to this restriction. A non-citizen may be eligible for employment if the individual is:

  1. Eligible to work under U.S. immigration laws. and
  2. Eligible for and pursuing U.S. citizenship or appointed by a Federal agency permitted by that agency's appropriation act or agency-specific statutes to hire and pay non-citizens.

The PMF Program Office does not maintain a list of those Federal agencies that are permitted to appoint non-U.S. citizen Finalists to PMF positions as this is agency-specific.

If a non-U.S. citizen Finalist is appointed as a PMF by a Federal agency and does not possess full U.S. citizenship by the conclusion of the two-year PMF fellowship, by Executive order, the non-U.S. citizen Fellow cannot be converted to permanent career or career-conditional employment, including conversion to a term appointment. The employing agency is under no obligation to retain a Fellow who is not eligible for conversion upon completion of the PMF fellowship. The appointment will expire and the PMF will be separated from Government service. The PMF Program Office cannot extend a PMF's fellowship to meet citizenship requirements for conversion.

Fellows who complete the program requirements (including certification of completion) may be non-competitively converted to a term or permanent position in the competitive service. Per 5 CFR Part 7, §7.3, (a) No person shall be admitted to competitive examination unless such person is a citizen or national of the United States. (b) No person shall be given any appointment in the competitive service unless such person is a citizen or national of the United States. This restriction on citizenship is applicable for conversion to either a term or permanent appointment in the competitive service.

All applicants will be asked to provide the last 4-digits of their Social Security Number when applying to the PMF Program's annual application for selection of Finalists. Non-U.S. citizen applicants who meet the eligibility requirements and wish to apply to the PMF Program must contact the PMF Program Office to request an alternative 4-digit number to use for the Social Security Number field during the application process; if not already in possession of a Social Security Number. This number will serve throughout the process as a unique identifier.  NOTE:  This is only applicable during the application cycle.

When contacting the PMF Program Office to make a request, please send an email to pmfapplication@opm.gov with the following information:

  • Your first and last Name
  • The email address you plan to use to apply
  • The name of your college/university of your qualifying advanced degree
  • The personal mailing address you plan to use when you apply
  • If you are outside of the United States, provide your City/State/Territory and Country

Requests are only accepted on or around the annual application open period. Please review the Application Process webpage on adding our email address to your "safe" list.

If a non-U.S. citizen Finalist obtains U.S. citizenship (e.g., naturalization) and a permanent Social Security Number, supporting documentation must be provided to the PMF Program Office to update our records. In such cases, the Finalist should notify the PMF Program Office and send supporting documentation via email to pmfapplication@opm.gov 

For information on U.S. immigration laws, student visas, and U.S. citizenship, including non-U.S. citizen students and visa holders, go to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' website at www.uscis.gov External Link Icon . There, non-U.S. citizens can learn about eligibility and how to pursue U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S.

Additional information can be found on the USAJOBS website under the topic of Employment of Non-citizens.

NOTE: The PMF Program Office cannot answer specific questions about citizenship and employment eligibility; the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is the governing authority on these topics.

UPDATED: 10-31-2019