Skip to content or view screen version

The So-Called Voluntary Return

NCADC | 31.08.2006 13:23 | Migration | Birmingham

1,900 asylum seekers were removed under Assisted Voluntary Return schemes (1,635 principal applicants and 270 dependants), 38% of the 5,070 total removed in May/June/July 2006.

Enhanced reintegration package - extended IOM briefing and FAQs

Since 2002, under the VARRP (Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme) IOM has offered anyone who has been in the asylum system - applied, appealing, refused - who wishes to return to their home country, reintegration assistance. This is in addition to help with obtaining travel documentation, purchasing flight tickets and domestic transportation in this country and the country of return. The reintegration assistance package is worth about £1000 to assist with business set-ups, vocational training and education. IOM will pay the bills for equipment and services agreed upon with the returnee as a part of his reintegration strategy, but will not give cash directly to the beneficiary. The programme is co-funded by the European Refugee Fund and the UK Home Office.

In what the Home Office describes as a "Pilot Enhanced Returns Scheme" the UK Government is providing extra funds for a limited period of time to increase the normal reintegration assistance package from £1000 to £3000 per family member.

The enhanced package will be available under the following conditions:

1) To be eligible, an asylum seeker must apply to return by 31 st October 2006.

2) They must travel by 31 st December 2006.

3) They must have applied for asylum before 31 st December 2005.

[NB. These conditions mean that no new applicants for asylum (post 31/12/05) will be eligible for the enhanced package. Those who apply for asylum this year (2006) and choose to return will receive the standard £1,000 worth of assistance.

Although the cut-off date for applications to return is 31 st October 2006, to benefit from the enhanced package applicants must travel by 31 st December 2006. For some countries travel documentation may be hard to obtain swiftly. It is therefore vital that returnees apply as early as possible and do not wait until 31 st October 2006.]

Recipients of the enhanced package will receive £500 in cash at the airport as a relocation grant. The remainder will be disbursed, as is normal practice, following discussions between individual returnees and 10M field officers, to ensure that the money is targeted in a way which best contributes to a sustainable return. If it is thought appropriate in this context to make further cash payments they will be phased over a six-month period. Under no circumstances will a cash lump sum be given.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Tel: 0800783 2332

This programme is co-financed by the European Refugee Fund

- Homepage: