Helping at home
Would you like to contribute to your own country and work with others like yourself who have a desire to accelerate your nation’s development and promote peace? As a national UN Volunteer serving with a United Nations agency you will make a positive impact on your homeland while working alongside people from around the world, including international volunteers and other United Nations professionals.
  • There is no typical profile for a national UN Volunteer. Each national UN Volunteer assignment is unique, and each has its own specific requirements.
    National UN Volunteers are entrusted with a wide variety of roles and their duty stations range from capital cities to small villages.
    The minimum age for a national UN Volunteer is 22 and there is no upper age limit. A minimal level of higher education and professional competency is necessary.
    becoming a national UN Volunteer is also possible for non-nationals residing legally in the host country with status of refugees or stateless persons (if allowed under national laws).
    National UN Volunteers receive a volunteer living allowance to sustain a basic, adequate and safe lifestyle. This allowance varies from one location to another depending on local living costs.
    However, all national UN Volunteers in the same location receive the same allowance, regardless of age, qualifications and experience.
    A one-time settling-in-grant helps the volunteer meet initial expenses upon arrival at their duty station.
    Travel and shipment allowances are paid on a case by case basis, depending on the location of the duty station.
Are you ready to become a national UN Volunteer?
Would you like to contribute to your own country and work with others like yourself who have a desire to accelerate your nation’s development and promote peace? Apply now!

Frequently asked questions

Why become a national UN Volunteer?

Becoming a UN Volunteer is a unique opportunity to enrich personal and professional experience, and it benefits both the individual volunteer and society at large. UNV sends professionals with specialized experience to serve in assignments with a variety of UN agencies to support peace and development. UN 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.

Together with international UN Volunteers and other UN project personnel, national UN Volunteers contribute to programmes and projects, to the neutrality and visibility of the United Nations, with the institutional back-up of the UN system. Compared with other UN personnel, national UN Volunteers add value with their knowledge of local languages, cultural, social and economic characteristics, and their capacity to work at the local level. National UN Volunteers are particularly well-placed to nurture capacities at the community level, fostering local ownership and sustainability. Assignments can involve contributing to technical cooperation with governments, community-based initiatives, humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and electoral and peace-building processes.

Who can become a national UN Volunteer?

National UN Volunteers are volunteers mobilized by UNV at the request of a programme country to support peace and development programmes in that country. They are citizens of the country.

Non-nationals can serve as national UN Volunteers if they reside legally in the host country, are recognized as stateless or refugees, and if such service is in compliance with national law of the host country. Non-nationals may also serve as national UN Volunteers where programmes are run outside the beneficiary country, for example, due to security reasons. Non-nationals other than those in the situations described above cannot serve as national UN Volunteers.

Where UN Volunteers have more than one nationality, they must choose one. It should also be noted that UN Volunteers cannot serve in the same country under first one nationality and then the other.

What are the minimum requirements?
  • A higher technical diploma, university or Master’s degree;
  • 22-years old minimum (no maximum age limit);
  • A minimum of two years of relevant work experience;
  • Good working knowledge in at least one of the 3 UNV working languages: English, French and Spanish;
  • Good working knowledge of one or more of the local languages;
  • Strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteerism;
  • Respect for diversity and willingness to work in a multicultural environment;
  • Ability to adjust to changing and, at times, difficult living and working conditions.
Can I apply if I’m under the age of 22?

You can apply to national UN Youth Volunteer assignments open to youths from 18 to 29 years of age. You can see vacancies for national UN Volunteers on our website.

How long can I serve as a national UN Volunteer?

Assignments of national UN Volunteers can be with an initial contract of 3-12 months, generally with a possibility to extend to maximum 4 years. Short-term assignments of three months and less are also required from time to time by UNV’s partners based on particular needs in their projects and programmes.

The UN Youth Volunteer initiative offers assignments from 6 months to a maximum of 24 months.