Registering as a New Volunteer
- To ensure the continuation of our quality programs.
- To demonstrate the commitment of AFS-USA to protecting our participants, volunteers and the organization.
- To comply with the requirements of AFS-USA’s liability coverage that all volunteers be registered.
- To comply with the requirements of CSIET (Council on Standards International Educational Travel) and the Department of State regulations that require all volunteers of intercultural exchange programs to be registered and undergo a criminal background check.
- To provide individuals with a clearer sense of expectations, responsibilities and rewards that comes to an AFS-USA volunteer.
Who is required to register?
Anyone volunteering for AFS-USA must be registered with AFS.
- Any individual who is in a position to have a substantial impact on program participants.
- Any individual acting as an agent of the organization. For example, an interviewer for potential program participants or potential host families.
- AFS-USA volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Any concerns about this age requirement can be sent to AskAFS@afsusa.org.
What if I don’t register?
- People who are not registered cannot volunteer with AFS-USA.
How Do I Register as a Volunteer for the First Time?
- Go to: https://usa.afsglobal.org/volunteer/.
- Create an account by clicking the Sign Up (or log in to an existing account)
- Complete all application requirements including valid email addresses for your references, completion of a background check, an interview with an AFS volunteer, and an online New Volunteer Orientation. For more details about volunteer registration, visit the Understand the Volunteer Registration Process page.
What does the Initial Registration Process Include?
The following are pieces of the registration process:
- Volunteer Application
- Three References (two must respond). Please note that references may not be related to you, nor can they be your current partner or current roommates.
- Criminal Background Check (Not required for volunteers under 18)
- New Volunteer Orientation (Online)
- In-person or phone interview with a local volunteer or AFS staff member
How Long Does it Take to Complete the Initial Registration Process?
- Typically, the entire process should take no more than three weeks to complete.
Who is Required to Complete an International Background Check?
- Volunteers who do not have a social security number are required to complete the International Background Check. The forms are sent to the volunteers by staff of the Learning and Volunteer Resources Department and must be returned promptly to firstname.lastname@example.org to be processed.
Note: The International Background Check may take up to six weeks to process.
Once I am Fully Registered to be an AFS Volunteer, What Will Happen Next?
- You will receive a confirmation email.
- You can access MyAFS and Global Link and begin working directly with your team or chapter.
- Some volunteer positions may require you to take trainings for your volunteer role. These trainings are all conducted online and you can find the necessary links in MyAFS and/or via email. For example: Liaisons must complete three separate trainings before they can meet with their student. Training required of each volunteer role can be found on the Training Requirements article.
Re-Registering as a Volunteer
How Often do I Need to Re-Register?
- The re-registration process occurs once every year.
- Reminder emails begin going out 30 days before registration expires.
How Long Does it Take to Re-Register?
- Typically re-registration is very quick but may take up to five business days to process.
What Does the Re-Registration Process Include?
- The re-registration process occurs every year and includes updating the online application, the background check and re-signing of the volunteer agreement.
- References, the Volunteer Registration Interview and New Volunteer Orientation will NOT have to be completed again.
- For more detail about re-registration please visit the Re-register as a Volunteer page
General Registration Questions
Will volunteer applicants, who are currently hosting, have to do another background check if they want to register as a volunteer?
- Yes, the timeline that background checks are valid is different for volunteers and host families.
- The State Department mandates that AFS and other exchange organizations keep hosting, volunteer and participant files separate and with distinct requirements.
Will people who are presently, or have been host families, be required to submit additional references?
- Yes, references must be entered in the reference form of the volunteer application the first time anyone registers. We cannot transfer references. However, host families can list the same reference contact info in the Volunteer Reference form.
- Hosting reference forms and volunteer reference forms are of different length and ask different questions specific to each AFS role.
Will people who are presently, or have been host families, require an interview to become a volunteer?
- Yes, interviews are required for all new volunteers.
Is Training Part of the Registration Process?
- Training is separate from registration and may be done at any time during the year.
- Not all volunteer roles require additional training
- Training required of each volunteer role can be found on the Training Requirements article.
Is a Social Security Number Required to Become a Volunteer?
- If you have a Social Security Number you must provide it to First Advantage, the company that runs our background check, to complete the background check.
- If you are here from another country and do not have a Social Security Number we can run an International Search that does not require a Social Security Number instead. It can take up to six weeks to complete.
Is the Background Check Mandatory?
- Yes, all volunteers and staff must complete a background check yearly per State Department regulations. However if an applicant is under 18 years of age at the time of the application, they will not be required to complete a criminal background check until they turn 18.
How do I find all registered volunteers in my team?
- Please visit this page to find all registered volunteers in your team.