Through Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR), IOM assists migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in Finland and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.
The current AVRR Finland project is funded by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) and serves only certain target groups. Please refer to Migri's website for more details. The information provided below refers primarily to this specific project.
However, IOM Finland may assist also other migrants with AVRR – please contact us for more information.
IOM Finland's assistance for voluntary returnees includes, among others:
- Counselling on AVRR arrangements, including through a multilingual telephone helpline
- Travel arrangements, including flights and domestic travel to/from the airport
- Acquiring travel documents, as well as other essential documents
- Assisting returnees at the airport in departure, transit and destination countries
- Reintegration assistance (cash or in-kind assistance)
- Special arrangements for vulnerable migrants (e.g. migrants with health-realted needs, unaccompanied migrant children, or Victims of Trafficking)
In 2017, IOM Helsinki assisted over 1400 migrants who returned voluntarily from Finland to their home countries, while over 2000 beneficiaries were assisted in 2016.
Reintegration assistance is important to enhance migrant well-being upon return and is therefore a crucial component of IOM's AVRR programmes. The situations people return to vary widely, which is why reintegration assistance should always support the individual needs of a returnee. Reception centres or Migri decide on the amount and type of reintegration assistance for clients referred by them to IOM.
There are two different kind of reintegration support options: cash or in-kind support.
The amount of the cash grant usually depends on the country of return and individual needs of the returnee. A small part of the grant is paid at the Helsinki airport prior to departure and the rest in the country of return. How the money is delivered to the returnee varies by country, but for transparency reasons the returnee usually needs to visit IOM office in order to receive the post-arrival portion of the grant.
Returnees can also be granted reintegration assistance as in-kind support. This means that the reintegration assistance is given in services or goods that help the returnees re-establish themselves in the country of origin. The in-kind support will be tailored to each returnee’s needs: together with the local IOM staff or a service-provider in the country of origin, the returnee plans how to use the in-kind support. Examples of in-kind support include establishing a business, financing vocational training or studies, or covering housing.