Skip to main content

Before You Start

Please review "Onboarding Process for Selectees" prior to accepting the tentative offer or logging into your USAJOBS account.  This document provides some navigational information that will be useful as you proceed through the USAS Onboarding Application.  To begin, you will continue to your USDAJOBS account to authenticate your response.

Initial login to the USA Staffing Onboarding system should occur via the unique login link included in your offer letter.

If you do not have a USAJOBS account, you will need to:

  1. Create a account for access to USAJOBS.
  2. After you’ve created a account and completed your USAJOBS account [or profile], locate the first email your HR point of contact sent you (tentative offer).  This email will include a link to Onboarding, click on the link.
  3. Login to USAS Onboarding through using your USAJOBS account username and password

You will need to log into the system multiple times throughout the onboarding process so make sure to keep your login information handy!

Forms to complete

Forms are assigned based on your appointment type (e.g. permanent, temporary, etc.). Read the instructions carefully to determine which forms, documents and tasks are submitted electronically and which you need to PRINT and bring with you when you report for your first day. You will not be able to move forward in the process until all assigned tasks are complete and all forms/documents are received.

Complete electronically within USAS Onboarding before you report for your first day

  • Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306)
  • Statement of Prior Federal Service (SF-144)
  • Self-Identification of Disability (SF-256)
  • Ethnicity and Race Identification Form (SF-181)
  • Direct Deposit (FMS 2231)
  • Verification of a Military Retiree’s Service in Non-Wartime Campaigns or Expeditions (SF-813)
  • Federal Employee Withholding Allowance (W-4)
  • State Tax Form(s) or Waivers

Upload into USAS Onboarding before you report for your first day

  • Information Security Awareness (ISA) and Rules of Behavior Certificate of Completion--All employees who are new to USDA must provide proof of course completion. Instructions and testing is available at the ISA Portal. If you have already completed this year’s requirement in AgLearn, simply upload your certificate into the USAS Onboarding portal  
  • Official Transcripts (if requested)
  • Official transcripts will need to be sent directly from the school(s) in a sealed envelope addressed to the Human Resources representative who signed your tentative offer: USDA APHIS MRP-BS HRD Staffing, 250 Marquette Ave, Suite 410, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Electronic official transcripts will also be acceptable if emailed directly to your HR Representative through an authorized college transcript vendor such as eScrip-Safe
  • Pathways Agreement (if requested)
  • Resume

Send via FedEx or UPS to Human Resources before you report for your first day

All appointments in the Federal Service require some level of background investigation, screening, and/or security clearance. A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) is required for all USDA hires and must be rendered by the agency as favorable in order to secure Federal employment.

You must immediately contact your new Supervisor to find out about that Hiring Office's specific fingerprinting process.

Fingerprint cards, photocopies of your acceptable identification documents and the HRO-1197 must be returned as quickly as possible to:

250 Marquette Ave, Suite 410
Minneapolis, MN 55401
ATTN: Personnel Security Section (PSS)

Please ensure all documents are returned using FedEx or UPS with a tracking number.

If there is not a Live Scan location near you, your Hiring Office or new Supervisor will provide you with two fingerprint cards (SF87) and ask you to locate a Police Station where you can be scheduled for fingerprinting. You also must provide a completed HRO-1197 Background Investigation Supplement. Your Hiring Office or new Supervisor can answer any questions about the HRO-1197.

Any delay in keeping your fingerprinting appointment will push back your Entry on Duty (EOD) date. Please note that a small non-refundable fee may be charged by the Police Station for completing the fingerprinting.

You will be required to submit/present two (2) acceptable forms of identification several times during the onboarding process. In an effort to streamline these processes and avoid unnecessary delays, choose two (2) acceptable forms of identification and use these same two forms throughout the onboarding process. These Identification documents must have matching information on them.

  1. Must be submitted with the HRO 1197 Supplement Form & Fingerprint cards
  2. Must be submitted/presented to obtain a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Credential
  3. Must be submitted/presented for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) processing

NOTE: In order to be deemed, "Acceptable", it is imperative that the identity source documents have matching information (for example, if you have had a name change recently, the documents must be updated) and they are not expired.

Your in-depth background investigation will be conducted after your Entry on Duty (EOD) date via the Electronic Questionnaire for Investigative Processing (e-QIP). The Human Resources Division Personnel Security Section will send you separate e-mails with instructions on completing these tasks. A comprehensive resume is required to begin this in-depth background investigation. You must ensure that there are complete addresses and dates for ALL work entries and ALL education entries.

You will be notified via email once a determination has been made on your suitability for this position and the next steps in the employment process.

Bring when you report for your first day of work

  • Appointment Affidavit (SF-61)
    • Note: You must PRINT this form. Do not sign it. You will sign the SF-61 with an ink signature after the Oath of Office is administered on your first day of work.
  • Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9)
  • Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306)
    • Note: You will electronically sign this form as the Applicant (1st signature) early in the onboarding process. Please ensure that any questions where your answer was “Yes” contain a full and complete description of events. Your HR point of contact will return this form to you for corrections (if needed) after an initial suitability review. The form will eventually be returned to you awaiting your signature as the Appointee (2nd signature). DO NOT TAKE ANY ACTION on this form within the Onboarding application. You must PRINT this form. Do not sign it. This form along with the SF-61 and the I-9 will be signed with an ink signature on your first day of work. If there have been any changes to your initial answers on the OF-306, please be prepared with a full and complete description of those events.  

Benefits selections are a personal choice

Eligibility for employee benefits depends upon your type of appointment and your tour of duty. Refer to the Benefits Page found in the related links box for additional information. Refer to the due dates identified for each of the forms.

  • Health Benefits Election Form (SF-2809)
  • Life Insurance Election (FEGLI) (SF-2817)
  • Thrift Savings Plan Enrollment (TSP-1)
  • TSP Catch-Up Contribution (TSP-1-C) (if applicable)
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Dental and Vision Insurance
  • Federal Long Term Care Insurance

Note: Beneficiary forms can only be accepted via hard copy and must be mailed to the appropriate office. Please follow the instructions found on each of the forms. Beneficiary forms are only necessary if you choose NOT TO follow the established Order of Precedence.

User guides


When you have finished the above forms:  Continue your Orientation

Note to Orientation Facilitator or new employee's supervisor: Click here for instructions


Complementary Content