NOTE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, VISTA members have the option to teleserve up to full time starting from their first day of service, as needed. Please visit the AmeriCorps VISTA COVID-19 FAQs for the latest details.
**This information is adapted from VISTA Member Handbook: Ch. 14.
A fundamental assumption of AmeriCorps VISTA service is that members serve in a low-income community at the sponsor’s location and project site. Under limited circumstances, the CNCS Regional Office may approve a VISTA member's request to perform service with a project under a teleservice agreement where they can perform project-related duties from home. Members who request to serve under a teleservice arrangement under the auspices of a reasonable accommodation request are excluded from this policy, as those requests are covered under other laws and policies.
Requests for episodic teleservice, not to exceed two days per pay period (a pay period is 14 continuous days), may be considered after a member has been serving satisfactorily at the project site at least three months. Both the supervisor and the CNCS Regional Office must agree that the following VISTA service requirements are fully satisfied:
- The member knows the organization and the people within it well enough to effectively build capacity within the organization
- The member lives near and serves the people in the community, and knows the community and people sufficiently to serve them well;
- The member has proven to the sponsor/supervisor to be a reliable team member (punctual, motivated, professional, thorough, etc.)
- The member understands that VISTA service is not a 9-5 assignment; that it demands flexibility and availability in one’s schedule
- The supervisor acts as a coach and mentor and goes beyond the responsibilities of a supervisor to an employee
- The member has access to reliable internet and phone to be able to teleserve and be contacted as needed
In addition to the prerequisites above, the member’s VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) must lend itself to teleservice by including tasks that can be completed from home.
To apply for an episodic teleservice arrangement, a member must (1) download the Teleservice Application form (PDF or Word version, below) or request a copy from the Regional Office; (2) complete the form and obtain the VISTA supervisor’s approval and signature; and (3) submit the form to the Regional Office. The Regional Office must also approve the requested teleservice arrangement. A member cannot engage in teleservice unless the member gets the written approval of both the VISTA supervisor and the CNCS Regional Office. At the discretion of the CNCS Regional Office, a teleservice arrangement for a member can be revoked at any time, without prior notice.