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AVRR Program of Voluntary Return

The action of assisted voluntary returns and reintegration measures of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) aims at the safe and dignified return, as well as the sustainable reintegration of third-country nationals who are in Greece and who wish to return to their countries of origin. The action offers appropriate support to people who meet the relevant conditions, by facilitating voluntary return, reintegration, and temporary accommodation in a special accommodation facility.

This action is addressed to the following categories of third-country nationals:

  1. Persons who have not yet received a negative decision regarding their application for stay, legal residence and/or international protection (asylum).
  2. Persons who have the right to stay, legal residence, and/or international or temporary protection.
  3. Persons who do not have the right to stay in the country, with or without a postponement of removal.

Therefore, it is not necessary to have applied for asylum in order to participate in the program. However, if you have received a negative asylum decision or wish to withdraw your asylum application, IOM's voluntary return action can support you in returning to your home country with safety and dignity. 

Indicative countries of origin included in the action are Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Bangladesh, Georgia, and India.

Please note that voluntary returns to the Syrian Arab Republic, Afghanistan and Ukraine are not supported at this stage..

voluntary returns to the Syrian Arab Republic, Afghanistan and Ukraine are not supported at this stage.

If you would like to receive and provide information or inquire further about your case, you may contact IOM staff using the following telephone numbers: 

Financial Aid

The program provides financial assistance of 1,000 Euros per person for those residing in mainland Greece and 500 Euros for those residing on the islands. 1,000 Euros per person for those residing in mainland Greece and 500 Euros for those residing on the islands.

Support for Return and Reintegration to the Country of Origin

In addition to financial aid, the action offers significant support for reintegration into your country of origin.

In particular, the program can support your return and reintegration into your country in the following ways:

  • Facilitation issuance of travel documents..
  • Organization and coverage of air travel expenses in the country of originas well as of travel within your country if deemed necessary.
  • Providing support during departure and arrival..
  • Help to cover the first expenses after returning to your country of origin. μετά την επιστροφή στην χώρα καταγωγής σας.
  • Assistance to cover the costs of temporary housing/hospitality in a reception center, hostel or hotel and/or cover the costs of renting a residence.
  • Assistance for participation in educational programscourses, professional training programs, programs for acquiring or enhancing skills, carrying out practical training, etc..
  • Assistance in finding a job and in job placement.
  • Assistance for starting independent economic activitystarting and/or running a small business, etc..
  • Help to facilitate resettlement in your country of origin, including covering expenses for the purchase, repair or transport of household goods and/or furniture from Greece, covering the costs of repairing a residence, purchasing goods to cover basic living needs, etc..
  • Assistance in the provision of personalized counseling and support services (e.g. legal assistance, psychosocial support, career guidance, etc.).
  • Help to meet your special needs if you belong to a vulnerable group, and
  • Assistance in organizing local development activities that will contribute to your acceptance by the local community and normalize your reintegration.

The IOM’s Mission in Greece has an important role worldwide in the implementation of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programs. Since 2010, it has helped more than 59.000 third-country nationals to return to their countries of origin. At the same time, it has helped more than 11.000 migrants implement personalized reintegration plans aimed at supporting themselves, their families and the local community.

The IOM’s Mission in Greece, taking into account the needs of third-country nationals who wish to return to their countries of origin and those of them who are eligible to receive reintegration assistance upon their return, implements a wide range of actions and procedures in order to facilitate the return and reintegration of the beneficiaries of the action but also to ensure that their voluntary return will take place with safety and dignity.

The voluntary returns action of IOM is financed at 75% from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 2021-2027 and at 25% from National resources.

Since 1/9/2023 IOM is expected to support the voluntary return of 17.000 third-country nationals to their countries of origin, to provide reintegration assistance to 1.700 returnees and to host 1.700 voluntary return of applicants in the Open Structure for the Reception of Voluntary Return Applicants.

In order to support the voluntary return and reintegration of beneficiaries participating in the Action, IOM Greece provides information on the assistance available within the framework of the Action along with the relevant procedures.

Beneficiaries of the program with vulnerabilities and beneficiaries who do not have an accommodation option until the return procedure is completed and they depart from Greece may stay in the Open Center for Applicants of Voluntary Return in the Attica prefecture. This does not include unaccompanied children and victims of trafficking for whom separate structures exist in Greece.

24-72 hours before the departure of the beneficiaries from Greece, a pre-embarkation check (PEC) is carried out by an IOM doctor or, in exceptional cases, by nursing staff under the supervision of the doctor, as the final evaluation of migrants' ability to travel. For migrants residing in RICs, CCACs and other inland structures, PEC is conducted in coordination with national authorities. 

On the day of departure, IOM staff provide assistance to beneficiaries at the airport (e.g. baggage control, passport control, etc.). Additionally, IOM in Greece delivers the financial aid of €500 (accommodation on islands) or €1,000 (accommodation on the mainland).

During a personalized reintegration counseling session, Reintegration Counselors provide information on the content and types of reintegration assistance available.

Reintegration assistance can be used by beneficiaries with individual or combined benefits where this is deemed necessary.

The project “Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Migrants in situations of vulnerability” is being implemented under the programme “Asylum and Migration” of the EEA Grants by IOM. Through the project, IOM seeks to provide AVRR assistance to migrants in situations of vulnerability, expressing the will to return to their country of origin and to contribute to their sustainable reintegration.

Potential Beneficiaries

  • beneficiaries with health needs,
  • UMC and/or separated children,
  • elderly persons (+65),
  • victims of trafficking,
  • pregnant women,
  • families,
  • and beneficiaries with other types of vulnerabilities

Information for the program can be found here


International Organization of Migration (IOM)

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