Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR)

IOM is mandated by its Constitution to ensure orderly migration and among other IOM programmes, Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is an important part of migration management. AVRR aims for humane return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in their host countries and who wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

Voluntariness is a central aspect of the AVRR. This means that a beneficiary of an AVRR programme should take a decision to return without any physical or psychological coercion and that the beneficiary should have accurate and objective information to make an informed decision to return. Beneficiaries can also cancel their return at any time, even at the airport.

Through AVRR activities IOM aims to:

  • Ensure the dignity and rights of migrants
  • Contribute to a sustainable return through reintegration assistance
  • Increase dialogue between host countries and countries of origin about the return process
  • Encourage regular means of migration

IOM Finland assists migrants with voluntary return in three countries: Finland, Iceland and Sweden. We provide administrative, logistical and financial support to migrants who wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin. IOM Finland makes use of the organization’s world-wide network of offices and partners to support this work.

 

AVRR Finland

The current AVRR Finland project is funded by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) and covers the following target groups:

  • persons who have received a negative decision on their asylum application
  • persons who have withdrawn their asylum application
  • victims of human trafficking who do not have a municipality of residence in Finland
  • persons who have received temporary protection
  • persons who have been granted a temporary residence permit because they cannot be removed from the country, but who do not have a municipality of residence in Finland
  • persons whose international protection status in Finland has been withdrawn or cancelled and a decision has been made to deport them

However, IOM Finland may assist also other migrants with AVRR – please contact us for more information.

The assistance provided at IOM Finland includes pre-departure counselling, assistance with travel document acquisition, help in registering children born in Finland, travel arrangements and expenses from the person’s current location to the final destination in the country of return, and possible reintegration assistance such as cash or in-kind assistance.

 

Applying

If you wish to apply, please contact your reception centre, social worker, the Finnish Immigration Service or IOM.

 

Contact information:

For inquiries regarding the AVRR programme or process, please contact fiavrrcases@iom.int.

Our visiting hours are from Tuesday to Thursday 14:00 – 15:00.

Our telephone helpline (+358-9-684 11 588) is available from Monday to Friday 10:00 – 12:30.

More information: FAQ on AVRR in Finland (in Finnish).

 

AVRR Sweden

The activities in Sweden are two-fold: assistance to migrants who are exposed to trafficking in human beings and/or to prostitution in Sweden, and payments of reintegration cash grants to voluntary returnees from Sweden.

 

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration for Victims of Trafficking and Foreign Citizens in Prostitution in Sweden (AVRRTiPP-SWE)

Since 2012 the AVRRTiPP-SWE programme has provided assistance to migrants who are exposed to trafficking in human beings and/or to prostitution in Sweden. The programme supports both EU nationals and third country nationals.

Since the beginning of 2018 the Swedish Gender Equality Agency holds the national mandate to coordinate counter-trafficking activities in Sweden. The Agency also acts as the donor of the IOM AVRRTiPP-SWE programme. Potential beneficiaries are identified by Swedish regional anti-trafficking coordinators in cooperation with IOM Finland.

Through the programme IOM Finland supports Swedish regional anti-trafficking coordinators, different authorities, and NGOs in planning and arranging assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) in a safe, humane and sustainable manner. The support includes

  • assistance in informing the potential beneficiaries of the AVRR possibility,
  • counselling beneficiaries on the whole return process as well as on reintegration possibilities,
  • conducting sound risk, needs, and health assessments,
  • travel arrangements, including helping in obtaining a travel document, purchasing the flight tickets, providing transit and arrival assistance, and arranging an escort for the travel where necessary, and
  • providing individually tailored reintegration support for each beneficiary.

 

The reintegration support and monitoring after the return are implemented in close cooperation with the local IOM missions and other actors in the countries of return. Together with the help of these parties and with the coordination of IOM Finland, the programme aims to help returnees in creating sustainable reintegration plans suitable to their specific needs. IOM stays in touch with each returnee for at least six months after the return, depending on the willingness of the returnee to maintain contact.

In addition to assisting beneficiaries in returning and reintegrating, IOM Finland supports their access to justice. This can include, for example, informing the returned beneficiary of developments in the investigation or court proceedings, or coordinating the beneficiary’s participation in a trial in Sweden.

 

Contact information

For more information, contact IOM Finland:

E-mail: AVRRTIPPSweden@iom.int

Tel.: +358 9 684 11 50 (IOM Finland switchboard)

 

Information on the Gender Equality Agency's work on Trafficking in Human Beings here (in Swedish).

 

 

Referral Mechanism

All referrals to the programme come from the Swedish regional anti-trafficking coordinators. When referring a new case to the programme, a regional coordinator sends to IOM Finland the following documents:

  • The AVRR application (download PDF)
  • The risk assessment form (download PDF)
  • Copies of the travel document and visa, if possible

 

All documents can be sent via email AVRRTIPPSweden@iom.int or fax +358 9 684 11 511. IOM Finland confirms in writing, once we have received the application, risk assessment, and copies of travel document and visa(s). 

 

Reintegration cash grants

IOM Finland facilitates payment of reintegration cash grants to voluntary returnees from Sweden in cooperation with the Swedish Migration Agency (SMA).

To be eligible to apply for the reintegration cash grants, the following criteria should be met:

  • The person has received a negative decision on asylum application or withdrawn the application
  • The person is returning voluntarily and is planning to reside in the country of return
  • The person is returning to Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Palestinian Territories, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria or Yemen

The payments are coordinated by IOM Finland and carried out in local IOM offices in the countries of origin.

 

How to apply for the reintegration cash support

If you want to apply for the reintegration cash support, contact your social worker before leaving Sweden. The support is granted based on decisions made by the Swedish Migration Agency (SMA). In case SMA confirms your eligibility, you will be notified with a decision before leaving Sweden. After you have arrived in your country of origin, you should approach the local IOM office through the contact details indicated on your decision.

For more information on voluntary return and reintegration cash support, please visit the website of the Swedish Migration Agency.

 

AVRR Iceland

Since 2016, IOM Finland has been providing Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration assistance to returnees from Iceland in cooperation with the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration (IDI).

Eligible migrants include asylum seekers, migrants considered to be vulnerable, victims of trafficking and unaccompanied migrant children in Iceland.

The aim of the project is to contribute in establishing a consistent and nation-wide offer of AVRR in Iceland. While the project provides capacity building for Icelandic counterparts, its main focus in on assisting the returnees.

The assistance provided to the returnees includes pre-departure counselling, acquisition of travel documents, assistance in registering children born in Iceland, travel arrangements to the final destination, transit and arrival assistance, escort services (medical or operational) when needed and special arrangement for vulnerable migrants.

In addition, returnees will receive departure assistance in Reykjavik airport together with pre-departure cash payments from the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration. In case needed, IOM can also map out available reintegration services or other relevant information in the country of return. The services are free of charge for the returnees.

If the returnee’s asylum application is still in process they will have to withdraw it in order to return and receive support under the programme. Persons are not eligible for the programme if they are a citizen of an EU country or have acquired Icelandic citizenship.

 

Contact information

For more information, contact IOM Finland: isavr@iom.int