Frequently Asked Questions - Volunteer Abroad

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is looking for highly-skilled women and men with professional experience and academic qualifications or training, who are willing to contribute their time and expertise as international UN Volunteers, outside their own country. In addition to professional skills and qualifications, important attributes of a UN Volunteer include a commitment to volunteerism and the United Nations principles of ethics and integrity. Furthermore, a UN Volunteer needs to demonstrate flexibility, adaptability, emotional stability, cultural sensitivity, as well as a positive attitude towards change.

  • A university degree or higher technical diploma;
  • 25-years old minimum (no maximum age limit);
  • A minimum of two years of relevant work experience;
  • Good working knowledge of at least one of the three UNV working languages: English, French and Spanish.

In addition, you should be able to demonstrate:

  • A strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteerism;
  • The ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
  • The ability to adjust to difficult living conditions;
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills;
  • Prior volunteering and/or working experience in a developing country is an asset.

UNV sends professionals with specialized experience to serve in assignments with a variety of UN agencies worldwide to support peace and development. Volunteers receive support from the local host agency in their country of assignment so they can fulfill the duties stipulated in their description of assignment. The vast majority of assignments are based on six to twelve-month renewable contracts with the expectation that the UN Volunteer will serve a year or more. Assignments can involve contributing to technical cooperation with governments, community-based initiatives, humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and electoral and peace-building processes. For the list of sectors in demand click here.

You need to register your profile in the UNV talent pool, at . The registration process takes about 45 minutes to complete and consists of two parts.

Part 1: Familiarize yourself with essential information for potential UN Volunteers and submit basic information to create your account in the UNV candidate pool. You will automatically receive a message asking you to verify your email address. By clicking on the link provided in the automated message, you activate your UNV account.

Part 2: After the successful activation of your UNV account, you will receive a second message with a link to ‘MyProfile’. Here you enter all the required details regarding your skills, educational qualifications and experience. Click on the “Submit My Profile” tab to complete the registration process.

As confirmation of your successful registration, you will receive a third message with your registration number and other practical information for potential candidates. Your UNV profile will only be considered for upcoming volunteer assignments after completion of this second part of the registration process.

You can update your profile at any time on this website.

To make sure you receive our messages, please add the following email addresses to your list of contacts before you start registering:, and

The minimum age for UN volunteers is 25. There is no upper age limit.

You can create your UNV profile in English, French or Spanish. Bear in mind that registrations in French or Spanish will mainly be considered for UNV assignments in French or Spanish speaking countries respectively. If you are fluent in English, we recommend that you fill out the profile in English. Please note that UNV only keeps one profile per candidate in the talent pool. Please do not register more than one profile even if you are fluent in two or all three UNV languages.

The majority of assignments are filled from UNV’s talent pool. Based on the description of assignments provided by the host agency, UNV searches its talent pool for profiles that match the requirements listed therein. Identified candidates are contacted and assignment details are shared with them in order to confirm their interest and availability. Candidates are then short-listed for the final selection process which is conducted by the host agency.

Only difficult, highly specialized or high-volume assignments are advertised on the UNV website, social media and with professional associations. For posted assignments, candidates still need to be registered in the talent pool, if not already registered. The assignment code can then be selected in your profile to express your interest in the advertised assignment.

UNV strives to deploy volunteers within 4-6 weeks after initial contact with the candidate.

The vast majority of assignments are based on six to twelve month renewable contracts with the expectation that the UN Volunteer will serve a year or more. Maximum length of service is four years. Please refer to the Conditions of Service for international UN Volunteers for more details.

UNV accepts registrations from couples wishing to volunteer together. However, given that we are a demand-driven programme, it is very rare that couples are selected at the same time for the same duty station. In some cases, when a candidate accepts a UNV assignment in a family duty station, his/her legally recognized partner can accompany the UN Volunteer as a dependent. The partner can then look for volunteer opportunities locally, provided the authorities of the host country do not object.

It depends. The status of the duty station (family or non-family duty station) and the requirements of the assignment determine whether or not dependents can accompany the UN Volunteer. Factors considered are for example the nature of the assignment, security concerns or the availability of certain services.

No. In your profile, you can mention preferences for duty stations or countries you believe you are more suitable for. However, candidates are identified for UNV assignments primarily based on the best match between their skills and the specific requirements of the assignment.

The key benefit of being a UN Volunteer is the personal satisfaction the volunteer assignment brings you as you make a positive impact on peace and development. However, UNV supports you during your assignment in several ways, e.g. through a monthly volunteer living allowance, annual leave, and medical insurance. For more details, please refer the Conditions of Service for international UN Volunteers.

Yes, for further details on how to serve as a national UN Volunteer please click here. Another option is to volunteer over the Internet from home through the UNV Online Volunteering service

To meet the required security level, your password must be between 8 - 32 characters long and include at least 3 of the following character types:

  •     English alphabet uppercase letter (A-Z)
  •     English alphabet lowercase letter (a-z)
  •     Decimal digit number (0-9)
  •     Special characters such as ~!@#$%^&*_-+=`|\(){}[]:;'<>,.?/

Non-English alphabet letters (e.g. letters with accents such as è ñ ü) and a few special characters are not accepted and may cause errors. In this case, please try another password combination.
Here are a few example passwords: UNV-2016!   Colour&12345   321*aBc_80

Go to the login page and click on the “Forgotten password?” link. Please follow the instructions given on the site to reset your password. If you do not receive the automatic emails, please check your spam and/or junk mail folders for messages from and .

For more details, please see the step-by-step guide to reset your password.

You have created a UNV account but your UNV profile has not been completed. You need to return to MyProfile, fill in the mandatory fields and then click on the green "Submit My Profile" tab. Your profile will not be considered for an assignment unless it has been submitted.

If your profile status is "inactive", you will most likely not be contacted for UNV assignments. Profiles remaining inactive for two years or longer may be removed from the UNV database. To change the status of your UNV profile, go to "Account Settings" located in the upper-right corner of the MyProfile window. Click on the "Edit" button to change your Profile Status to "active", then click on "Update". Please ensure that all other sections of your profile are complete and up to date.

Please write to for any further questions you may have.

We remind you that UNV does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees). Applicants should be aware that scams in recruitment may lead to fraudulent actions if they have provided personal information. Unsolicited communications asking for fees are fraudulent. Please visit this page for more information.

The minimum age for service as international UN Volunteer specialists is 25 years of age and for national UN Volunteer specialists is 22 years of age. One has to be at least 18 years of age for consideration for both international and national UN Youth Volunteer assignments.