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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

What does it mean when the vacancy announcement's Who May Apply section says "all sources" or "status applicants" and/or "reinstatement eligibles”?

These are groups of individuals the agency may identify as groups from which it will accept applications to compete for its vacancy.

When a vacancy is open to “all sources”, it means anyone may apply. While there are no restrictions on the groups of candidates who may apply to these types of announcements, in most cases, U.S. citizenship is required. In rare cases, agencies may hire certain non-citizens when there are no qualified U.S. citizens available, unless the appointment is prohibited by statute. In addition, Congress frequently restricts agencies’ ability to hire non-citizens into the excepted service as well, through appropriations provisions.

“Status applicants” refers to those individuals who are current or former Federal civilian employees who hold or held non-temporary appointments in the competitive service, not the excepted service.


NOTE: Certain veterans eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) may also apply and be considered under vacancy announcements limited to status candidates. For information on VEOA eligibility, please visit:


Reinstatement eligibility refers to the ability for those individuals who previously held a career or career-conditional appointment to apply for jobs in the competitive Federal service open to status applicants. There is no time limit on reinstatement eligibility for those who either have veterans' preference, or acquired career tenure by completing 3 years of substantially continuous creditable service. For more information on reinstatement, please visit:

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