REAG/GARP

The REAG/GARP-Programme (Reintegration and Emigration Programme for Asylum-Seekers in Germany / Government Assisted Repatriation Programme) offers financial and operational assistance for a voluntary return to your country of origin or a receptive third country.

If you would like to voluntarily return to your country of origin or a receptive third country and are not able to cover expenses, the REAG / GARP program will assist you in doing so. The programme helps you organize your trip and cover the costs of your flight or bus ticket. Depending on your nationality, you may also receive financial support for travel and financial start-up assistance. The programme is funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the liable federal states ministries as well as the EU's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

The explanatory video on the start page depicts how a voluntary return can look like.

Types of support Your ability to receive financial support and the type of support you can receive depends on a number of criteria, such as your nationality. The following services are possible:
  • Travel costs
  • Travel assistance
  • Financial start-up assistance
Supported groups of people
If you (as well as your dependents) belong to one of the following groups of people and lack the means to return voluntarily, you can be assisted with REAG/GARP: asylum seekers, persons who have received a negative asylum notice, persons with a residence permit (e.g. recognized refugees), victims of forced prostitution or human trafficking.
If you are a national of one of the following countries, you may also receive financial start-up assistance:Starthilfe Group 1: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan.Starthilfe Group 2: Egypt, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Democratic Republic Congo, Ivory Coast, Georgia (only for arrivals before 27.03.2017, otherwise only travel costs can be covered), Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Cameroon, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Mongolia, Niger, Palestinian territories, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine (only for arrivals before 10.06.2017, otherwise only travel costs can be covered), Vietnam.The amount of assistance depends on your citizenship and the group it is assigned to.If you have entered Germany without a visa, only your travel expenses can be covered. You will not be able to receive travel assistance or financial start-up assistance. Individuals from the Western Balkans are also counted within the latter group.The REAG/GARP programme does not support the nationals of EU Member States.Please note: Due to the current security situation, voluntary return to Syria, Libya and Yemen is not supported under the REAG/GARP programme at present. Voluntary return to Eritrea and Somalia is limited and requires more in-depth evaluation. Therefore, processing may take longer. Additional up-to-date country information can always be viewed on the respective country pages.Note: In order to receive financial start-up assistance, the nationals of Georgia and Ukraine must have entered Germany before their respective visa liberalisation (Georgia 28.03.2017 / Ukraine 11.06.2017). Otherwise only travel expenses can be covered.

Application
Before you apply for REAG/GARP, you should seek individual and non-binding advice. You can therefore apply for REAG/GARP only through a return counselling centre. Return counselling centres are either independent or governmental. Independent return counselling centres include welfare organizations, NGOs, or other organizations. Governmental return counselling centres can be found in social welfare offices or at immigration authorities. In addition, specialized counselling centres, central return counselling centres, and the UNHCR, can help you with your REAG/GARP applications. Here you will find the nearest counselling centres. Your possible voluntary return will then be organized in coordination with the IOM.
Required documents
To be able to leave voluntarily, you must be in possession of a valid passport, a passport substitute paper, or a border crossing card (BCC for persons required to leave the country) for the respective country of return. Some countries also allow their nationals to enter the EU with a Laissez-Passer. Applicants from African countries often need an IOM booking confirmation before they can apply for the appropriate travel document from the Embassy of their country of origin.
If you plan on travelling to a receptive third country, you will need an immigration visa entitling you to a one-year permanent residence.Special medical cases and fitness to fly for pregnant women
Voluntary departure may also take place in the case of health limitations. Please note that special medical cases have a longer processing time. This depends on the illness and the required medical reports. A proven pregnancy requires a fitness to fly certificate. Medical cases should be taken note of on the REAG/GARP application form. Details such as medicines, necessary medical support, medical reports, etc. must be clarified individually with the responsible IOM staff member.
Unaccompanied refugee minors
Voluntary departure of unaccompanied minors is generally possible. Throughout the process, a thorough check carefully determines whether voluntary return serves the best interests of the child. In addition, information about the minor´s family circumstances in the country of origin as well as documentary evidence about legal representation in Germany are needed.


Needs-oriented workshops by IOM for counselling centres IOM offers needs-oriented workshops for return counsellors. The workshops give an introduction to REAG/GARP and offer detailed information on handling cases that necessitate special medical care as well as an in-depth overview on the requirements for the voluntary return of unaccompanied minors and information on StarthilfePlus and other programmes. To book a workshop and for more information, please contact Ms. Nathalie Kasparek: nkasparek@iom.int.

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