International Solidarity Volunteering

What is the Volontariat de Solidarité Internationale?

The Volontariat de Solidarité Internationale (VSI) is a scheme governed by the law of 23 February 2005. Its purpose is “to carry out a mission of general interest abroad in the fields of development cooperation and humanitarian action”. The VSI mutually commits the sending organisation and the volunteer.

The assignments take place outside the European Economic Area (EEA). A contract is signed for at least 1 year, renewable over a total period of 6 years. The VSI is paid. At the end of the assignment, you can claim certain benefits. The VSI enables you to work with approved associations involved in international solidarity initiatives (education, urban and rural development, health, emergency initiatives, etc.).

The terms and conditions of a VSI

To take part in a VSI, you must

  • be of legal age ;
  • not be bound by an employment contract;

There is no nationality or age limit.

If you are a private-sector employee, a legitimate reason for resigning is to undertake one or more VSI assignments of at least one year’s continuous duration.
You must carry out your assignment in a country other than your country of origin or your country of habitual residence. Employees on sabbatical leave or international solidarity leave may carry out a VSI assignment during their leave. Having completed a Civic Service volunteer placement does not prevent you from applying for a VSI.

The minimum amount of your monthly allowance may not be less than €150, excluding the cost of transport, accommodation and food. The maximum allowance depends on the country of the assignment (cost of living, nature of the assignment, safety conditions, remoteness, etc.).

This allowance is not a salary or remuneration. In France, it is not subject to income tax or social security contributions.