Duration of the assignment
International UN Volunteer assignments are usually an initial contract of 6 to 12 months, sometimes with a possibility to extend for one to two years. Short-term assignments of three months or less are also requested from time to time by our partners.
- A person younger than the United Nations retirement age may serve for a maximum of four years under the international UN Volunteer modality, irrespective of the time served under other UN Volunteer modalities.
- If ten years have lapsed since completion of the first international UN Volunteer assignment, a person may serve again (once) for another maximum of four years.
- Those older than the United Nations retirement age and retired United Nations staff do not face any maximum service restrictions.
The purpose of allowances is to enable international UN Volunteers to sustain a modest and secure standard of living at the duty station. The allowances are in no way to be understood as a compensation, reward or salary in exchange for the volunteer work.
Allowances provided are:
- volunteer living allowance: a monthly allowance intended to cover basic living expenses (this is not a salary)
- travel expenses: for travel to duty station upon appointment and for repatriation at the end of the assignment
- settling-in-grant: a grant calculated on the duration of assignment, paid at the beginning of the assignment
- insurances: life, health and permanent disability insurance
- resettlement allowance: calculated based on the duration of assignment, paid upon satisfactory completion of the assignment.
Living conditions vary from stable environments to very changing and dynamic ones. Be aware that many UN Volunteers work in remote, isolated duty stations where basic comforts may be limited. Many other UN Volunteers work under routine conditions, such as capital cities, with all modern conveniences available. Our assignments are categorized as “family” or “non-family” duty stations, depending on the nature of the assignment and the security context.
Allowances & Benefits home
For the purpose of payment of the additional non-family hardship allowance, a duty station shall be designated as "non-family" by the Chair of the International Civil Service Commission when the United Nations Department of Safety and Security decides that for reasons of safety and security all eligible dependents are restricted from being present at the duty station for a period of six months or longer.
The additional non-family hardship allowance is payable to eligible internationally recruited staff members who are assigned to duty stations designated as non-family, for the duration of their assignment to those duty stations. If there is a change in the designation of the duty station (from family to non-family or the reverse) during the course of a staff members appointment to the duty station, an appropriate adjustment shall be made to the staff members salary to account for the amount payable or for discontinuation of the allowance, as of the effective date of the change in the duty station designation.
The Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) periodically issues a list of duty stations which qualify for the additional non-family hardship allowance. Please download the current approved list of non-family duty stations.
In the event of significant changes in the security conditions in these locations, the list may be updated or amended.
List of duty stations designated as non-family
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