Over 500 migrants have applied for voluntary return this year

AVRR, Return, avustettu vapaaehtoinen paluu, Vapaaehtoinen paluu

In June 2018 a total of 51 persons returned voluntarily with the assistance of IOM Finland. This is a lower number than in May and also compared to the same month in the previous year.

Overall this year, 447 migrants have returned to their countries of origin through IOM's Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme.

Iraq is still the most important destination country (37 in June), followed by Georgia and the Russian Federation. However, IOM Finland has already assisted AVRR beneficiaries to return to a total of 25 countries during 2018.

In total IOM Finland has received over 500 (502 by the end of June) applications for return assistance, listed as referrals in the statistic. In June, IOM Finland received almost 70 applications. The reasons for the number of referrals being higher than the actual number of returns vary. One of the main reasons is that the process from application to return takes time, for example, when returnees require travel documents or when returnees’ children were born in Finland and must be registered with authorities in the country of origin before the return. Another reason is that some beneficiaries cancel their return process – which is an option that is always available in IOM’s approach to AVRR.

IOM’s usual processing time from referral to return is approximately two weeks on average, but in some complicated cases (lack of documents etc.) it can take even several months.

IOM Finland's assistance to voluntary returnees from Finland is based on an agreement with the Finnish Immigration Service, Migri. Returnees can be granted either cash grants to help them reintegrate or are provided in-kind-support like training.

According to IOM, voluntary return should always be the preferred mode of return, as it is the most sustainable alternative in view of the reintegration of migrants.

Read more about our work with voluntary return: iom.fi/en/avrr

For more information please contact IOM Finland:

Phone +358 (0)9 684 1150 or e-mail: iomhelsinki@iom.int

Media inquiries: +358 (0)9 684 11503 or mediaiomhelsinki@iom.int