Additional Volunteer Registration questions can be directed to 1-800-AFS-INFO Option 4 or AskAFS@afsusa.org.
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, potential impact, either positively or negatively, on program participants.
- Any individual acting as an agent of the organization. For example, an interviewer for potential program participants or host families.
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
- Complete all application requirements and submit the application.
- Include valid email addresses for your references. Inform them you are listing them as references and ask them to watch for the email from AFS-USA. (An automated email will be forwarded to your references when your application is reviewed).
Once your application has been reviewed by AFS staff:
- Follow the directions sent to you via email that will direct you to the secured encrypted site where you will begin your background check.
- Respond to a request to schedule an interview by local volunteers for the required in-person or phone interview as soon as possible.
- Complete the online New Volunteer Orientation. Instructions will be sent to you via email and should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
- Notifications will be sent to you, your Team Development Specialist, your Team Chair and Volunteer Coordinator informing them of your completed registration.
- Upon completion of your registration you will be able to use the same User Name and password from your application to access MyAFS and Global Link.
For more detail about applying to volunteer visit the Volunteer Registration 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, current partner, or current roommates.
- Criminal Background Check
- New Volunteer Orientation Training (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 email@example.com 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 from Volunteer Resources staff.
- You will contacted by volunteers in your team or chapter.
- Some volunteer positions may require you to take trainings for your volunteer role. These trainings are all conducted online and AFS staff will send out the necessary links. 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.
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.