The Junior Professional Officers (JPO) programme offers young professionals an exceptional opportunity to learn first-hand about international development and acquire practical experience working on migration issues. JPO assignments can be completed either in our country offices located throughout the world or at the IOM Headquarters in Geneva.

The purpose of the Programme is two-fold: on the one hand, it equips international organizations with skilled personnel for a period of two years; on the other, it allows young qualified professionals the opportunity of gaining valuable work experience that will broaden their chances of finding a suitable job in the international development field. The majority of JPO staff that serve with IOM, continue to work with the Organization at the end of their JPO assignment.

JPOs are typically between 28 and 35 years of age and are recruited as professional staff members, at the P-2 level, by their respective governments who serve as the sponsors of their positions within the Organization.

History of the JPO programme

The JPO programme evolved from the United Nations’ Associate Experts (AE) programme, which was initiated in 1954 by the Government of the Netherlands as a way to provide additional staff to the Food and Agriculture Organization as well as on-the-job training for young graduates interested in international development.

IOM initiated its JPO programme in 1975 with over JPO placements to date. IOM has signed JPO agreements with the following sponsor governments and other bodies - Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, and “Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie”.

How do I apply?

IOM does not directly recruit JPO positions to the Organization. Interested candidates must apply through the respective country’s JPO procedures. The application process for the JPO programme is highly competitive with selection criteria based on the requirements of the sponsoring government. As each donor country has its own rules and procedures for recruitment, we advise you to consult the websites listed below and apply accordingly.

International Organizations
Participant Countries


  • Austrian Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs









The Netherlands

Republic of Korea



The United States