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Transfers Overview

Transfers Overview

A career or career-conditional employee of one agency may transfer, without a break in service of a single workday, to a competitive service position in another agency without competing in a civil service examination open to the public. A transfer eligible may apply under vacancy announcements open to status candidates. An employee may transfer to a position at the same, higher, or lower grade level.



Who is Eligible To Transfer?


Present Federal employees who are serving in the competitive service under a career or career-conditional appointment have eligibility for transfer to a position in the competitive service.

To transfer, you must meet the qualification requirements for the position. Written tests are not common but if one is required, arrangements will be made for you to take it.

Employees must be found suitable for employment in competitive service positions. If your current appointment is subject to a suitability investigation, that condition continues after you transfer.

Generally on transfer, a career employee remains a career employee, and a career-conditional employee remains a career-conditional employee.


How Do I Apply for Transfer?


You must conduct your own job search. Transfer eligibility does not guarantee you a job offer. Hiring agencies have the discretion to determine the sources of applicants they will consider.

Individuals usually apply to agencies in response to vacancies announced under the merit promotion program. Some agencies accept applications only when they have an appropriate open merit promotion announcement, while others accept applications at any time. If you are seeking a higher grade or a position with more promotion potential than you have previously held, generally you must apply under a merit promotion announcement and rank among the best-qualified applicants to be selected. Status applicants include individuals who are eligible for transfer.


Probationary Period


An employee is not required by the civil service rules and regulations to serve a new probationary period after transfer. However, the employee continues to serve the remainder of any probationary period which he/she was serving at the time of transfer. In most cases, an employee must wait at least three months after his/her latest non-temporary competitive appointment before he/she may be considered for transfer to a position in a different line of work, at a higher grade, or to a different geographical area. OPM may waive the restriction against movement to a different geographical area when it is satisfied that the waiver is consistent with the principles of open competition.


Positions Restricted to Veterans


Some positions in the competitive service such as guard, messenger, elevator operator, and custodian have been restricted by law to persons entitled to preference under the veteran preference laws. Generally, a nonveteran employee cannot be transferred to such positions if there are veterans available for appointment to them. This restriction does not apply to the filling of such positions by the transfer of a nonveteran already serving in a federal agency in a position covered by the same generic title. For example, a nonveteran who is serving in the position of guard may be considered for transfer to the position of patrolman, guard, fireman, guard-laborer, etc.

Source: Office of Personnel Management


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