The assisted voluntary returns to the country of origin have been one of the key activities of IOM in Slovakia since 1999. The legal framework of the programme is based on the Cooperation Agreement between the International Organization for Migration and the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic on Assistance with the Return of Unsuccessful Asylum Applicants and Illegal Migrants to the Country of Origin, which was concluded in in 1998.

The right of a person to return to the country of origin is enshrined in a number of human rights documents. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”. The Slovak Republic in line with its international commitments respects the right of any person to return back to the country of origin. According to the Act no. 404/2011 Coll. on the residence foreigners can apply for a voluntary return from the Slovak Republic back to the country of their origin on any grounds.

The AVRR (Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration) Programme ensures coordinated, humane and cost-effective returns of third country nationals who cannot or do not want to stay in Slovakia and wish to return voluntarily to the country of origin. IOM assistance to migrants with reintegration into society upon their return through reintegration grants is also a part of the programme.

The programme is based on the principle of voluntariness. Thus, a foreigner registered with the programme can decide not to return to the country of origin at any time. IOM puts emphasis on ensuring safety and dignity of migrants throughout the whole return process. Other persons who could prevent a migrant from leaving are not informed about his/her decision.

The AVRR Programme web site: www.avr.iom.sk.

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Voluntary Return and Reintegration in Country of Origin (Individual Project). The project is co-funded by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Home Affairs Funds.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) in cooperation with the Slovak Republic provides third-country nationals without residence permit or unsuccessful asylum seekers assistance with and upon their return back home.

Return home with IOM is voluntary and depends on the free decision of the migrant.

Who can apply for the return?

  • Migrants without residence permit in Slovakia
  • Asylum seekers who wish to return home
  • Unsuccessful asylum seekers

How Can IOM Help?

IOM provides assistance with return home and after the return to migrants based on their individual needs and the assistance may include:

  • Provision of information and counselling on return
  • Registration into the AVRR programme
  • Return preparation
  • Assistance with acquiring travel documents
  • Food, accommodation, clothes, health care
  • Provision of travel tickets to the country of origin
  • Assistance at the airport (at departure, in transit countries and upon arrival) and transfer from the airport to home

The reintegration assistance after the return may include:

  • Business start-up or entering into partnership with a company
  • Material assistance
  • Education
  • Temporary accommodation assistance
  • Training/courses
  • Medical assistance
  • Other types of assistance (e.g. legal counselling or job search assistance)

There is no legal entitlement for the post return assistance.

Contact us:

For more information contact IOM staff through the low rate AVRR help-line 0850 211 262 or visit our webpage on AVRR: www.avr.iom.sk.

Information on AVRR Programme to migrants is available in Slovak, English, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese and Arabic language.

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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). Home Affairs Funds.

Returns in the world

Assisted voluntary returns and reintegration (AVRR) have been provided worldwide for nearly four decades. Over the past 10 years the programme has helped more than 1.5 million migrants, who used the human, dignified and safe return home, and arranged returns to more than 170 countries worldwide. Read more information.

Slovakia

The assistance within the AVRR Programme has been provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) since 1998 based on the Agreement on Cooperation between the IOM and the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic on the assistance with the return of unsuccessful asylum seekers and illegal migrants to the country of origin.

In total, IOM assisted 1,497 foreigners who returned to 66 countries from 2004 to 31 December 2018, on average more than 100 migrants per year. The majority returned to Moldova (16.23%), China (12.09%), Viet Nam (11.56%), Iraq (8.88%) and Serbia – Kosovo (7.15%).

Statistics of IOM assisted voluntary returns from 2014.

Returns by age

The number of returnees in the period of 2004 to December 2018 in the age group 0–17 years accounted for 8.02% of all returnees, the share of the age group 18–30 years is 50.1%, while 37.21% of people who returned within the AVRR Programme were aged  31–50 years and 4.68% were migrants over 51 years.

Return statistics according to sex

In the period from 2004 to December 2018 the share of male foreigners who returned within the AVRR programme was 78.75%, female migrants accounted for 21.25%.

IOM - Infograph - Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegrations from Slovakia, 2004 - December 2018

Reintegration assistance to migrants after returning home

From 2009 until the end of 2018 IOM provided reintegration assistance to 259 individuals or families in 35 countries in the whole world. They received reintegration assistance in the amount of 387,534.69 euro.

In 2018 IOM Slovakia assisted 34 individuals or whole families who returned to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, China, Macedonia, Moldova, Pakistan, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and Viet Nam. For the first time IOM also supported the reintegration of foreigners after their return to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Gambia and Tunisia. In 2018, IOM provided the returnees with reintegration assistance worth of €47,544.48, which they mainly used to set up small business activities, for the house reconstruction, for temporary accommodation assistance, for covering education expenses or to combine several types of assistance.

In 2017 IOM provided reintegration assistance worth of € 27,842.25 to 22 individuals or whole families that returned to Afghanistan, Georgia, India, Iraq, Moldova, Pakistan, Serbia – Kosovo, Ukraine and Viet Nam. For the first time IOM implemented reintegration assistance also in Ghana and the United States. Returnees used the reintegration assistance mainly to set up small business activities, for material assistance for the house reconstruction and for temporary accommodation assistance.

In 2016 IOM Slovakia provided reintegration assistance to 20 individuals or whole families that returned within the AVRR programme to Afghanistan, Belarus, Brazil, Cuba, India, Iraq, Iran, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine and Viet Nam. They used the reintegration assistance in the value of €31,483.26 mainly for business activities, for ensuring basic living needs and for covering education expenses.

In 2015 IOM Slovakia provided reintegration assistance worth of €31,275.53 to 17 individuals or whole families that returned within the AVRR programme to Georgia, India, Kenya, Serbia – Kosovo, Mexico, Moldavia and Viet Nam. They used the reintegration assistance mainly for business activities and for ensuring basic living needs – material assistance and temporary accommodation assistance.

In 2014 IOM Slovakia provided reintegration assistance in the amount of €43,229.98 to 29 individuals or whole families after their return to Afghanistan, Brazil, Georgia, China, India, Iraq, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldavia, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and Viet Nam. From various types of offered assistance migrants were mostly interested in business start-ups, material assistance and temporary accommodation assistance.

In 2013 the total volume of reintegration assistance was €44,737.79. The assistance was provided by IOM Slovakia to 31 individuals or entire families who returned to country of origin within AVRR Programme and who applied for reintegration grant. Reintegration assistance was delivered in Afghanistan, Armenia, China, India, Iraq, Serbia – Kosovo, Moldova, the Russian Federation and Viet Nam, and included support of education, businness, material assistance, temporary accommodation and health care for returnees.

In 2012 IOM Slovakia the returnees with reintegration assistance in the value of €42,122.28. A total of 27 cases consisting of individuals or whole families who opted for assisted voluntary return and applied for reintegration assistance were assisted with reintegration grant. The assisted cases originated from Vietnam, Moldova, Armenia, China, Iran, Macedonia, Nepal, the Russian Federation, Serbia – Kosovo, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.

In 2011 IOM Slovakia assisted in 26 cases – to individuals or entire families, who returned to Georgia, Serbia (including Kosovo), Moldova, Viet Nam, Ukraine, Armenia, Iraq and Azerbaijan. IOM provided returnees with reintegration assistance in the form of services and goods reimbursement in the total amount of €35,783.79.

In 2010 IOM Slovakia assisted with reintegration of 33 individuals or families after their return to Georgia, Moldova, Serbia (including Kosovo), Viet Nam and the Russian Federation in the form of services and goods reimbursement in the total value of €45,060.90.

Map - Countries with reintegration assistance from IOM Slovakia, 2007 - December 2018

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Voluntary Return and Reintegration in Country of Origin (Individual Project). The project is co-funded by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Home Affairs Funds.