The process of voluntary return and reintegration
Are you thinking of returning to your country of origin?scroll down
Book an appointment at a counselling centrescroll down
Discuss your options with a return counsellorscroll down
Apply for assisted returnscroll down
Plan your journeyscroll down
Receive (organizational, financial, and medical) supportscroll down
After arrival: Your reintegrationscroll down
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration includes:
- Non-binding and individual counselling which is free of charge
- Making an information-based decision
- The protection of the returnees
- Organizational and financial support
- Sustainable reintegration support
1Are you thinking of returning to your country of origin?
If you no longer can or no longer wish to stay in Germany and you are unable to finance your return to your country of origin, you have the opportunity to receive organizational and financial support.
Before you decide, it is important to understand what your options are so that you can make an informed decision.
2Book an appointment at a counselling center
There are more than 900 return counselling centres in Germany that can help you with your voluntary return.
Return counselling centres are either independent or governmental. Independent or non-state counselling centres include welfare organizations, NGOs, or other organizations. Governmental counselling centres can be found in social welfare offices or at immigration authorities.
Please note that a counselling session at both, independent and governmental counselling centres, is individual, non-binding and unbiased. It does not oblige you to leave Germany and does not affect your asylum procedure.
Use the search tool on the website to find a return counselling centre nearby and to get information about voluntary return.
You can also meet with a return counselor online.
IOM's online return counselors reside in more than 19 countries. They can provide you with preliminary guidance in your language. Find out whether online counseling is available for your country of origin. Click here.
3Discuss your options with a Return Counsellor
In individual return counselling sessions, you can talk in-depth about the process of voluntary return and the possibilities for support that are available to you based on your residence status and nationality. This will allow you to make an informed decision.
Once you have all the information you need, you can take some time to think about your next step. You can change your mind during the process. We won't share your information with others.
Search for information relevant to your voluntary return and the new start in your country of destination, here.
4Applying for assisted return
If you decide that assisted return is the right choice for you, a dedicated counsellor at the return counselling centre can help you complete the application form. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and your return counsellor can assist you with the planning and organization of the journey. Depending on your nationality, you may also be provided with reintegration assistance.
Go to our programmes page to learn more about the support possibilities that are available to you.
5Plan your journey
Before departure, your return counsellor can assist you in obtaining the right travel documents if you do not have any. Together with your counsellor, you can make a plan and decide when you would like to travel. At the final meeting before your departure, your counselor will provide you with the flight confirmation and practical information regarding the journey.
6Receive (organizational, financial, and medical) support
Once you have finalized your plans with the counselor, and booked your flight, you will receive financial assistance for the journey.
In case you have a medical problem, a medical escort and care as well as arrival assistance can be organized. In some countries, our cooperation partners can also assist you with your onward journey or offer temporary accommodation. Where unaccompanied minors are concerned, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees examines the situation carefully and organizes for them to be picked up at their arrival.
If you have requested airport assistance together with your return counseling center, they will meet you at the check-in counter of your flight two hours before departure. From there, you will be accompanied through security and passport control to the departure gate. If you have been approved for assistance (e.g. a jump start), this will be paid to you one hour before departure at the departure gate in the security area.
You will travel independently by plane or bus. In individual cases, it is possible to organize assistance on arrival.</p
8After arrival: Your reintegration
Depending on your nationality and needs you can receive additional money or in-kind assistance to ease your start in your new country of residence.
In some regions, you can also get reintegration assistance.
Go to your individual country page to find out more about the possibilities for reintegration that are available to you.