Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

  • Does the WTO have offices around the globe?

The WTO's headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. It has no field offices elsewhere.

  • Which languages are used at the WTO?

The three working languages of the WTO are English, French and Spanish.

  • What are the normal office hours of WTO?

The official office hours of the WTO are from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m, Monday to Friday.

  • Can I work for the WTO if I have relatives working at the WTO?

Spouses of staff members are given equal opportunity in recruitment, provided that they are fully qualified for the post under consideration. However, no other relative of a staff member shall be recruited by the WTO.

Questions regarding the application process for fixed-term positions

  • How do I get to know about the job opportunities at the WTO?

All vacancy notices are published on the WTO external jobs platform. They are also shared in various social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Please check our website regularly or follow us on social media to get up to date job opportunities at the WTO.

  • Who do I contact if I have a technical problem when applying through the WTO external jobs platform?

Please write to the [email protected] to describe the problem. Normally you will receive a response within two to three working days. Please note this address is dedicated to technical problems.

  • How long will the whole recruitment process take for fixed-term contracts?

Generally speaking, the whole recruitment process for fixed-term positions takes an average of four months.

Questions regarding the WTO Internship Programme

  • When is the application deadline for the WTO Internship Programme?

As intakes to the WTO Internship Programme are on an ongoing basis, there is no specific recruitment period. However, there may be specific vacancy notices for internship positions requiring particular qualifications and skillsets published on the WTO's e-Recruitment website.

  • How many interns does the WTO Internship Programme take each year?

The number of interns we recruit varies each year, but the total number is on average about 80 interns per year.

  • Can I take any days off during my internship at the WTO?

Interns are entitled to 2.5 days leave per month at the WTO. A Leave Request Form must be filled in and approved by the supervisor before taking any leave.

  • Are positions in the WTO Internship Programme paid?

All costs connected with the internship are borne by the intern. Travel costs and living accommodation are also the responsibility of the intern. However, the WTO will contribute CHF 60 per day (including weekends and official holidays that occur within the selected periods) towards the expenses of interns.

  • When and how would I be informed about the outcome of my application to the WTO Internship Programme?

Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted by email by the Human Resources Division or the hiring division.

  • Do I have to be a Swiss national or holder of a valid Swiss work permit in order to apply for the internship programmes at the WTO?

The WTO will apply for a Carte de Légitimation (CDL) for non-Swiss citizens. The CDL will be granted for the duration of your internship contract and enables you to live in Switzerland and work for the WTO. However, you might need to apply for a visa to enter Switzerland, depending on the country you come from. The WTO will provide relevant documents to assist you in obtaining the visa.

  • Where can I find information about divisions at the WTO Secretariat and the work that they do?

You can find a list of divisions in the WTO Secretariat, along with a short description of each division, in the link below:

  • Do I have to be covered by health insurance during my internship at the WTO?

Yes, health insurance coverage is mandatory for participation in the internship programmes at the WTO, and interns are responsible for their own insurance cover for illness and accidents while they are working at the WTO. Health insurance must be LAMal approved.

  • Am I subject to Swiss taxes and social security payments?

Once you join the WTO, you will need to register yourself for both Swiss taxes and social security, and even though you may not be asked to pay taxes, you will be asked to contribute to social security. For more information, please visit this link https://www.eda.admin.ch/missions/mission-onu-geneve/en/home/manual-regime-privileges-and-immunities/introduction/Manuel-personnes-sans-privileges-et-immunites-carte-H/Non%20fonctionnaires%20et%20stagiaires.html. The link explains the responsibilities of holders of carte de legitimation "H" which may be issued to interns once they commence their internship and which serves as a work and residence permit for the duration of their internship.

Questions regarding the Young Professionals Programme (YPP)

  • What is the aim of the YPP at the WTO?

The programme aims to widen the pool of professionals from developing and least-developed countries who can subsequently improve their chances of being recruited by the WTO and/or other regional and international organizations.

  • Can I extend my contract after one year in the YPP at the WTO?

The duration of the YPP at the WTO is one year without extension. Participants in the YPP, however, are welcome to apply for external vacancies that are posted on the WTO's e-Recruitment website.

  • How many places are offered in the YPP?

The intake varies from year to year.  

  • When is the application deadline for the YPP?

When the call for applications for the YPP is published on the WTO's e-Recruitment website, the deadline will be indicated.

The WTO external jobs platform must be used to apply for vacancies at the WTO. You can view current vacancies and submit your application. You can also refer to the WTO external jobs platform to monitor the status of vacancies for which you have applied.

Applications are welcome from women and men who are nationals of a WTO member state and under 65 years old. The list of members is available here.

The WTO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of the WTO and requesting the payment of a fee, please immediately contact [email protected].

If you experience technical problem with the WTO external jobs platform, please contact [email protected]