What is the UNI Passport?

With a UNI Passport it is possible for you, as an individual member of a trade union that is affiliated to UNI Global Union, to maintain your membership of a trade union in your country of origin and tap into a powerful network by becoming a guest member of a trade union in the destination country to which you relocate for a period of time.

Your UNI Passport enables you to contact the right union for you in the country of destination. It also enables you to seek access to some of the solidarity and support which UNI affiliated trade unions offer to their own members. This can include an offer of services such as checking job contracts or advice on local working conditions.

Please click here to apply for a UNI Passport. After applying, your home union will be notified of your request, and will check that you are up to date with your membership fees. You must be a paid-up member of a UNI-affiliated union in your country to apply for the UNI Passport.

After that your request will be sent to UNI Global Union for final approval. Once verified you will be able to log in to the protected area of the site and get access to our list of trade union affiliates around the world.

Who is the UNI Passport for?

The UNI Passport is an initiative to support union members who take up a long or short-term posting overseas as part of their current job, or for an altogether new opportunity. The International Labour Organization estimates there are 150 million migrant workers around the world. Almost 107 million migrant workers – 70 per cent of the total – are engaged in services sector work. UNI and its affiliated trade unions represent workers in the skills and services sector. This is the fastest growing sector of the global economy and it is expected to add up to 90 per cent of new jobs in the next decade.

How to use the UNI Passport?

The holder of a UNI Passport can expect to be given details of which UNI affiliated trade unions operate in their country of destination. Where several trade unions are active in the destination country, the UNI Passport holder can choose the union they want to apply to as a guest member under the UNI Passport scheme. The UNI Passport holder is then required to contact the trade union in their country of destination.

A UNI Passport holder can expect to be admitted to a country of destination trade union, as a guest member, if the holder works in that union’s country, sector of operations, and if they remain a paid-up member of their country of origin trade union. A UNI Passport holder must meet requirements related to inter alia academic qualifications, or professional registrations, that apply to similar members of the country of destination trade union.

What benefits does a UNI Passport provide?

Using the UNI Passport to secure guest membership of a trade union in a country of destination does not give the Passport holder full membership of that union. What the UNI Passport scheme member can expect to access is some of the services that are provided by country of destination union for the duration of their stay in the country, or until the UNI Passport expires. There is an expectation in the operation of the UNI Passport scheme that a guest member will be offered a set of benefits that are agreed by the country of destination union.

The country of destination union will have sole authority to determine the range of services it will offer to a guest member, and for what length of time. In practice, the type of services that can be provided vary from one union to another. They can include the offer to advise on questions of local labor market conditions, information about salary rates, or agreement to serve as a guest members’ legal representative in labor law-related matters.

Under the UNI Passport scheme it is the responsibility of a guest member of a union to find out in advance which services are offered, which are not, and then to arrange for any supplementary cover that is needed. Under no circumstances can a UNI Passport scheme guest member expect to have voting rights, be eligible to seek election, or be elected to a position of trust whilst the nature of the relationship remains one of guest member. There is a clear expectation that under the UNI Passport scheme a guest member can only access the benefits that the country of destination union has agreed to provide free of charge. This is conditional on the UNI Passport holder’s membership of their country of origin trade union membership remaining valid, and all membership fees having been paid.

How long is the UNI Passport valid?

The holder of a UNI Passport can expect to be granted guest membership of a host union in the country of destination for a period of up to three years at a time. The UNI Passport validity terminates when the guest member’s work situation no longer gives cause for membership, or if the person ceases to remain in membership of their country of origin trade union.

How much does the UNI Passport cost?

The UNI Passport is provided at no additional cost to union members who are up-to-date with their affiliation fees to a UNI-affiliated trade union.