How can IOM assist to migrants

The Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programme (AVRR) is designed to unsuccessful asylum seekers and illegal migrants. AVRR Programme enables them to return to their country of origin safely and legally with the assistance of IOM International Organization for Migration and also to apply for reintegration assistance.

AVRR Programme assists with their return home to those migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in the host country and who also do not have the financial resources to return home. AVRR Programme thereby meets its humanitarian mission to assist migrants who have not been granted refugee status/asylum in the host country or who happen to be in an irregular situation. Such persons usually do not have sufficient financial means to return, and often return home accompanied by the police.

Return assistance in Slovakia consists of pre-departure assistance, assistance with preparation and implementation of return, airport assistance in transition countries and assistance upon arrival in a country of origin.

The migrant who returns to the country of origin under IOM auspices within the AVRR Programme, travels as a tourist and is not placed in specially designated areas of the aircraft. The aircraft crew, police and other government bodies acting in the the country of origin are not informed about his return or residence in Slovakia. Within the process of migrant‘s return IOM respects the principle of confidentiality (info below).

Migrant’s return to the country of origin under the assistance of IOM is free of charge.

Within the framework of reintegration assistance IOM provides client with assistance aimed at preparation of his reintegration plan and its implementation upon arrival in the country of origin.

Pre-departure assistance

IOM Bratislava processes the necessary administration and asks the Ministry of Interior of the SR for an approval of applicant's inclusion into the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programme. If the applicant does not have a travel document, IOM Bratislava  arranges a travel document for him/her. This is conditioned by an active cooperation of the applicant and submitting of documents confirming his/her identity. If necessary, IOM will also provide the applicant with accommodation.

Assistance in a return preparation

Voluntary return from Slovakia to country of origin is carried out mostly by air. In cases where this is not possible or it is not effective, IOM arranges the return from Slovakia by train or bus. If necessary, the applicant for the return is provided with specific assistance according to his/her individual needs (medical assistance, assistance to unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking in human beings, etc.). On the day of a return the migrant is accompanied by an IOM officer at the airport who assists to him/her with the necessary pre-departure procedures, including check-in, passport control and security control and assistance in the departure hall. At the airport migrant will also receive a flight ticket, passport, financial contribution to cover the necessary expenses in the country of origin and a plastic bag with the IOM logo.

Assistance in transition countries

If a country of origin is not reachable by a direct flight, IOM will arrange a flight with transit(s) via major European airports and provide the returnees with airport assistance in transit airports.

Assistance upon arrival in the country of return

Upon returnee‘s request, IOM mission in country of origin provides the returnee with assistance at the airport upon arrival in his/her country of origin and arranges transfer from the airport to his/her place of residence.

Reintegration assistance in the country of origin

Since 2008, IOM Bratislava has been providing the applicants for assisted voluntary return with the possibility to apply for a financial contribution, which aims to facilitate their return to and integration in their country of origin. The aim of the reintegration assistance is to start the process of reintegration of returnees up into society through activities that are individually set up in close cooperation with the returnee. Assistance shall be granted only after return to country of origin by means of direct payments to providers of services and goods, i.e. In Kind.

Options of reintegration assistance

Option Description
Legal assistance The legal assistance option covers costs of legal services requested by the returnees in order to facilitate their return.

Material assistance

Costs for the purchase of basic goods necessary for functioning of the household (furniture, household appliances, kitchen equipment). Assistance may also be used to improve the migrants living conditions via refurbishing of his house or apartment (e.g. reconstrunction of kitchen, bathroom, roof, heating system, replacement of windows, etc.)
Medical assistance Assistance may cover costs related to medical examination, medical treatment and aftercare, purchase of medicication, psychological counseling, etc.
Micro business set-up Assistance with setting up small business activities (business start-up). Returnees either establish their own businesses or they enter partnership with already established firms.
Training and schooling, courses Assistance is designed to improve specific skills of returnees in order to increase their employability at the labour market. This option covers costs for the course/ training and also for  equipment necessary for completion of the course.
Temporary accommodation assistance The assistance with accommodation aims at providing the returnees with temporary accommodation following their arrival. It can cover costs of rent or costs of lodging at facilities providing accommodation.

The educational assistance aims at improving the qualification of returnees. The returnees can either start or complete already started studies. Examples of education assistance include university studies, high school studies, vocational school studies, etc. This option mainly includes covering of tuition fees, but also costs for equipment necessary for studies e.g. books, computer, etc. In justified cases also costs for living can be considered.

Reintegration assistance may also include specific assistance to vulnerable migrants such as:

  • Seniors (aged over 50 years)
  • People with health problems
  • A parent with a child without a partner
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Pregnant women
  • Victims of trafficking in human beings

The principle of confidentiality

IOM follows the principle of confidentiality, i.e. IOM gurantees discretion, anonymity and confidentiality of personal data of applicants for voluntary return.

Other persons are not informed on migrant‘s decision due to the possibility that others would potentially impede migrant from leaving or mentally or physically imperil him/her. This principle also applies to family members, spouses or partners, where only one of the couple is considering the option of voluntary return.

The applicant decision and the whole process of voluntary return is a issue of consultation between the applicant and IOM, respectively, social worker working at a facility of the Ministry of Interior of the SR.

The non-dissemination of the information on planned departure to the country of origin can prevent undesirable threats, intimidation and coercion applied to migrants. Individual cases are negotiated separately and treated sensitively in accordance with international conventions (e.g. the Convention on the the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Violence, etc.).

Temporary accommodation ass

Success stories

Films - Stories of migrants


Voluntary Return and Reintegration in Country of Origin (Individual Project).

This project is co-funded by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Internal Security Fund.

Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegrations
International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Slovakia