By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

PSU Intern - Spring 2023 (Individual Case Team-Detention Hotline or Resettlement)

Washington D.C.

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Washington D.C.
  • Grade: Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Prison and Correctional Services
    • Human Settlements (Shelter, Housing, Land, Property)
  • Closing Date: 2022-08-19
In order to be considered for an internship, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Recent graduate (those persons who completed their studies within one year of applying) or current student in a graduate/undergraduate school programme from a university or higher education facility accredited by UNESCO; and
- Have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies in a field relevant or of interest to the work of the Organization.

An individual whose father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister is a staff member of UNHCR, including a Temporary Appointment holder or a member of the Affiliate Workforce, is not eligible for an internship. TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR INTERNSHIP

Organizational Unit: Protection and Solutions Unit, UNHCR Washington Multi-Country Office
Duty Station: Washington, D.C.
Position Title/Type: PSU Intern (Individual Case Team-Detention Hotline or Resettlement) 
Duration of the Internship: Between 12 weeks and 6 months
Expected Start Date: January 2023

Background Information/Organizational Context: 
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Representation for the USA and the Caribbean, based in Washington D.C., seeks interns to assist staff in its Protection and Solutions Unit (PSU). For a description of UNHCR¿s global work, please see 

UNHCR¿s Protection and Solutions Unit (PSU) serves asylum-seekers, refugees, and stateless persons in the territory of the United States (U.S.), promoting protection in law and policy, as well as engaging in U.S. resettlement policy and local integration issues. The PSU¿s resettlement staff also support UNHCR¿s Caribbean Unit by managing refugee resettlement operations out of the Caribbean states and territories. The PSU informs government officials, attorneys, and NGOs about international standards of refugee protection and protection for stateless persons. Staff regularly meets with partners to discuss U.S.-specific issues related to refugee protection and statelessness, provides comments on proposed legislation and regulations, submits amicus briefs on select legal issues, engages with the U.S. government to provide technical assistance or advice to promote consistency between U.S. policy and international standards, and conducts training and public presentations to a range of audiences. Throughout all these endeavors, UNHCR maintains close communication with government partners in a range of U.S. agencies to ensure that our cooperative relationship is maintained.

A central part of UNHCR¿s work in the U.S. is to provide information on the laws, policies, and procedures for seeking protection in the United States to asylum-seekers, NGOs, attorneys. In this context, the PSU team maintains a detention center hotline, through which detained protection-seekers can contact UNHCR with requests for assistance. Protection-seekers and other persons of concern can also contact the PSU Individual Case team with requests for assistance through email, letter and voicemail modalities.  

The Resettlement Team of the PSU works primarily in three areas including: identifying, interviewing, and submitting for resettlement refugees out of the Northern Caribbean region; U.S. resettlement policies impacting global resettlement; and U.S. policy regarding refugees resettled in the U.S.

PSU is recruiting interns to support UNHCR¿s work in the Individual Case (IC) Team and the Resettlement Team. Interns working within the Individual Case Team will focus on responding to requests for information and assistance through the range of PSU communication modalities. Interns working with the Resettlement Team will focus on conducting protection assessment interviews with persons of concern located within the Northern Caribbean region, primarily in the Dominican Republic, researching country of origin information and relevant laws of third countries, and preparing cases for resettlement interviews and submission.

Duties and Responsibilities: 
¿ Answer and respond to individual queries from asylum seekers, refugees, and other persons of concern to UNHCR, primarily through the Detention Hotline, but also through email, letter and voicemail communication;
¿ Conduct interviews in Spanish with refugees in the Caribbean to obtain basic protection information;
¿ Conduct Country of Origin and other research to support individual asylum cases;
¿ Provide counseling on individual resettlement queries from congressional offices, NGOs and resettlement agencies through writing to UNHCR country offices;
¿ Observe and report on relevant meetings and conferences with government agencies and various NGOs working in the field;
¿ Open and maintain individual case files in UNHCR¿s case management data;
¿ Conduct other projects as needed to further assist persons of concern to UNHCR.

Minimum Qualifications Required:
¿ Bachelor¿s degree, Master¿s degree, or J.D. degree, either obtained or in-process (assignments may vary depending on intern¿s background).
¿ Strong interest in refugee rights, international relations, human rights, and humanitarian response.
¿ General technological proficiency a plus.
¿ Ability to multi-task and prioritize with minimal supervision. Attention to detail required.
¿ English language (fluency required); Fluency in Spanish (preferred for IC team, required for resettlement team); Fluency in French (preferred for the resettlement team). Additional language skills highly desirable. 

   Terms of Internship:
¿ Candidates may apply for both the Individual Case Team or the Resettlement Team internship position. In their application, candidates can indicate if they have a preference for working with the Individual Case Team or the Resettlement Team. If no preference is indicated, the candidate will be considered for both teams. Candidates will be selected to work with only one team.
¿ UNHCR offers full time and part time internships. Interns are responsible for their housing, their legal stay in the United States, health insurance, and any other related documentation. 
¿ Interns who do not receive financial support from an outside institution will receive an allowance to support costs related to food and local transportation. 
¿ An internship does not create any expectation or entitlement to employment with UNHCR at the conclusion of the internship. An intern cannot be considered for regular positions for six months following the completion of the internship, however, a former intern may be engaged under any affiliate scheme with no break in service.

How to Apply
All vacancies are posted to UNHCR¿s careers webpage ( On that page, you can select ¿vacancies,¿ which will redirect you to the application site where you may search for positions. Filter by country and select ¿United States.¿ On the bottom of the Job Opening page, you will see an ¿Apply¿ button, and if you have never submitted an application via our career's webpage, you will be requested to register as a New User. Applications will not be accepted via email. Please note that persons interested in applying should have work authorization in the United States for the full duration of the internship period. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

UNHCR¿s workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. To be considered for this position, candidates must submit their application through the UNHCR portal. Please note that person interested in applying must be US national or legally present in the US at the time of application, selection process and hire. Only those shortlisted candidate will be contacted. CVs/Resumes will not be accepted by email. ONLY THOSE APPLICATIONS SENT THROUGH THE SYSTEM WILL BE CONSIDERED.

In case of technical problems, please login with a different browser
For any technical problems encountered during the online application, please contact the Global Service Desk ([email protected]) prior to the deadline to allow sufficient time to resolve the issues. For any questions regarding the selection process, please contact Human Resources ([email protected])


We are committed to maintaining diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity and culture.  Persons belonging to minority groups, persons with special abilities, men and women, are encouraged to apply for vacancies. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

We do not confirm receipt of applications or report on the status of the process. Only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.
UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees). Please note that the closing date for this internship advertisement is Friday 19 August 2022 (6 PM EST // midnight Geneva Time).
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.