URA Albania

Financed by the German government and the federal states, the reintegration project “URA Albania” helps people returning to Albania immediately after their arrival, offering them personal assistance and a variety of support services at the beginning when it is often needed most.

The project is funded by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and 12 federal states and is run by the German development agency GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH) for sustainable reintegration practices in respect of those returning to the country. The project focuses in particular on the often very demanding initial phase immediately after arrival in Albania. It helps those returning to settle in more easily and to generate individual prospects for a new beginning. To this end, the bridge component offers personal support based on trust as well as various counselling services and benefits in kind.

Support services
Support is based on the individual needs of those returning and may include the following services:

  • Reception and needs-based initial orientation at the airport
  • Social counselling
  • Psychological care
  • Emergency aid in form of benefits in kind:
    Bridging allowance
    Transport allowance
    Medical allowance
    Rent allowance
    furnishing and renovation allowance
  • Special funding for particularly vulnerable individuals:
    Psychological support aimed specifically at children
    Language courses for children
    Tutoring for children
    Basic equipment for schoolchildren
    Financing of club memberships and leisure activities for children
    Assumption of childcare costs for mothers and single parents

As regards employment support and medium-term reintegration measures, the bridge component scheme cooperates closely with the GIZ advisory centre DIMAK based in Albania, which also receives assistance from the German government.

Eligibility criteria
The bridge component scheme is open to all people who have returned to Albania from Germany voluntarily or by force and offers them free counselling. Further support services of the kind listed above can only be accessed by people returning from the following federal states participating in the project: Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia.

The following criteria also apply to financial support:

  • Minimum stay of three months in Germany: Minimum stay of three months in Germany: Anyone interested in receiving funding through the bridging component scheme must have resided in Germany for at least three consecutive months immediately prior to their return.
  • Application deadline: Anyone interested can either submit an application through the BAMF at least five days before they leave Germany or apply for assistance in person at the bridge component office within eight weeks of their return to Albania.

It is advisable to register before leaving the country in the interests of optimum preparation for your return.

Please note that Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia only support people who have returned voluntarily.

Procedure and registration
The advantage of advance registration is that it signals a voluntary return without obligation in the bridge component scheme, helping to accelerate the processes in the project and to facilitate a support package which will cater to the precise needs of the person returning.

The registration form (see download section) is submitted through a local authority, a regional government authority or a return counselling centre. In order to avoid further queries and to cut the processing time, the application form should be filled out completely and signed by the person interested in returning. The registration form should then be scanned and sent to the following BAMF mailbox:  Brueckenkomponente@bamf.bund.de
Please note that registration does not lead to an automatic entitlement to the granting of benefits in the bridge component scheme. Only in the light of a counselling session at local level in the bridge component scheme will a decision be made on eligibility for funding and on the type and scope of any funding.

The social welfare counsellors will identify the individual needs of those returning in the course of a personal counselling session at local level and will liaise with them to work out a road map for reintegration in Albania which is tailored to their specific needs. The reintegration plan can include various counselling and support services although the amount of funding will be capped as follows:

  • Voluntary return: up to EUR 600 per person/ up to EUR 3,000 per family
  • Repatriation: up to EUR 550 per person/ up to EUR 2,750 per family

Brückenkomponente Albanien (URA Albania)
Rr. Asim Zeneli, Nd. 6/10

Counselling hours: Monday till Thursday, 10.00 a.m. - 03.00 p.m.

There is no legal entitlement to any assistance.