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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 or applying to a job opportunity announcement open to the public. An employee may transfer to a position at the same, higher, or lower grade level.

Eligibility Requirements

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, the qualification and suitability requirements for the position must also be met. If an employee’s current appointment is subject to a suitability investigation, that condition continues upon transfer. Written tests are not common but if one is required, arrangements will be made to take it.

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

The Application Process

Conduct a job search on USAJOBS to identify potential positions. Individuals usually apply to agencies in response to job opportunity announcements for merit promotion or status eligible applicants. Transfer eligibility does not guarantee a job offer. Hiring agencies have the discretion to determine the sources of applicants they will consider.

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 veterans’ preference. Generally, a non-veteran employee cannot be transferred to such positions if there are veterans available for appointment to them. This restriction does not apply if a non-veteran is already serving in a federal agency in a position covered by the same generic title. For example, a non-veteran who is serving in the position of guard may be considered for transfer to the position of patrolman, guard, fireman, guard-laborer, etc.
This page was last modified on 18 July 2013, at 22:20.

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