Application and Selection

Important notice regarding our Careers page and applying for positions with UNHCR:

On 10 October 2022 UNHCR will introduce a new and improved online recruitment platform.

However, due to this transition candidates cannot currently apply for Talent Pools (often called profile positions) or update existing Talent Pool profiles. This change took effect on 31 July 2022. You will be able to apply for Talent Pools again from 10 October 2022.

Candidates who have already been successfully accepted to a Talent Pool will receive additional instructions about their existing profile closer to the launch date of the new system (10 October 2022). Please keep an eye on your email inbox.

Individuals who have previously applied for a role with UNHCR should note that past applications will not be migrated to the new recruitment platform. To make applying for future roles easier, you may wish to download your past information and save it at an alternative location. You will be able to do so up until 30 September 2022. Candidates will be prompted to re-enter their information (education, experience, skills, etc.) when applying for future vacancies on the new system after 10 October 2022.

To download a Talent Pool/job application, candidates should sign in to their account via the public careers site, go to My Activities page, click on the job title of their application and then click Print Application.

Important points to note:

  • Candidates applying for a fixed-term international job opening or to a talent pool must first register and complete an online profile in the system. Candidates interested in Group 2 access (to apply for internally advertised positions in the International Professional category) should apply to the Non-Specific Profile, if the Talent Pool profile that would be the most suitable for their professional background is not open. For more information on Group 2, please see the Group 2 FAQs.
  • Please note that applications must be submitted in English. Only duly completed online applications are accepted.
  • Before you start your online application, please clear your browsing history and cache to avoid any technical issues
  • We encourage you to read the job description carefully before you start the process. Highlight your skills, motivation and experience and tailor your letter of interest accordingly.
  • For advertised posts, applications must be received before the closing date as stated on the job posting. Applications received after the application deadline will not be considered. Acknowledgements will only be sent to short-listed candidates. It is not necessary at this stage to send copies of qualifications such as previous employment contracts or academic qualifications.
  • Registered candidates may select specific open positions/talent pool profiles to apply for after clicking on the title of the post and then at the bottom of the job posting page by clicking on ‘Apply now.’
  • Candidates who have immediate relatives - father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister - working as staff members of UNHCR are not eligible to apply.
  • UNHCR places importance on multilingualism. External candidates applying to regular international professional positions at the P4, P5 and D1 levels are normally required to be fully proficient in English and have working knowledge of a second UN language (Arabic/ Chinese/French/Russian/Spanish) at B2 level. Based on operational exigencies, UNHCR may exceptionally consider applications of external candidates without a second UN language for positions at these grades.
  • Please note that staff members will not normally serve on international professional positions in the country of their nationality. In addition,  in case of a first appointment upon recruitment, the assignment must be outside the staff member’s country of nationality. In case of a conversion from National Officer (NO) or General Service (GS) categories, the assignment cannot take place in the same country where the staff member is currently serving as NO or GS (irrespective of nationality).

Please visit the relevant section from the below list to learn more about how to apply to the desired category:

Please be informed that during the application you might experience periodical deterioration and/or inaccessibility of our career site, in which case please clear your cache or try to log in at a later time. When creating your application, please regularly save the draft. Should you require technical support, kindly reach out to our Global Service Desk at [email protected]

Download the Personal History Form (PHF) for applications that require direct email application:

Recruitment process


Applicants will undergo a screening process to determine whether they are suitable for the post they applied for. Education history, relevant work experience and qualifications will be considered to ensure we select the right person for the right job. Due consideration will be given to language needs, diversity and gender.

Assessments and Competency-Based Interviews

Candidates who pass the basic eligibility screening will be requested to complete various assessments (language and functional assessments, as appropriate) and finally, candidates are sent for grading. Candidates who pass these assessments will be contacted by a recruiter according to the needs of UNHCR to fill positions.

UNHCR works with the best talent. To ensure we hire the right person for the right job, competency-based interviews will be conducted. Such interviews are based on the concept that past behaviour and experience is the best indicator of future performance. In other words, your history tells a story about you: your talents, skills, abilities, knowledge and actual experience in handling a variety of situations.


Apart from ensuring previous education and work experiences have been verified, we also make sure the person we hire is a team-player and can fit into the organization’s culture, able to thrive and work in a multi-cultural organization with a passion to serve people of concern.  Successful candidates will receive an official offer from UNHCR. As part of this process, our dedicated recruiters will respond to candidates’ enquiries to support a smooth transition to their new position. Recruitment as a UNHCR staff member and engagement under UNHCR affiliate scheme or as an intern is subject to various clearances including proof of covid vaccination.

Optimizing Your Job Applications

Are you interested in learning more about optimizing your job applications?

Watch the webinar Optimizing Your Job Applications for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Hear from recruiters and hiring managers on how you can stand out when applying for positions to help us build a better future for people forced to flee.  

Preparing for Competency-Based Interviews at UNHCR

Join Recruiters and Hiring Managers to learn more about preparing for competency-based interviews at UNHCR.

During this tutorial, you will learn best practices in anticipating questions based on the job descriptions as well as effective techniques to answer them in an effective manner.

Preparing for Written Technical Assessments for Jobs at UNHCR

Looking for applicant resources to help you prepare for written tests?

Join UNHCR recruiters and hiring managers to learn more about how written technical assessments may be used as part of the recruitment process, as well as learn preparation tips.