Voluntary Return

Voluntary Return

The IOM Mission in Portugal provides assistance to Voluntary Return and Reintegration through the Voluntary Return and Reintegration Support Program (ARVoRe VII).

The ARVoRe VII program aims to ensure that migrants who need and want to return voluntarily, can do so in a dignified and safe manner, and that they can be supported to achieve sustainable reintegration, in full respect of their human rights, regardless of their migratory status.

Voluntary assisted return was implemented in Portugal in 1997, through the Protocol signed with the Portuguese Government. Since 2009, the program has been co-financed by the Return Fund.

The current Support Program for Voluntary Return and Reintegration (ARVoRe VII), lasting two years (from January 2019 to December 2020), is financed by the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (FAMI) and by the Portuguese Government through SEF (Foreign Service and borders).

The successful implementation of the ARVoRe program requires the cooperation and participation of a wide range of actors, namely, migrants, the Portuguese Government, SEF, the extended network of local partners, CLAIMS and CNAIMs and countries of origin. The partnerships created by IOM and the different national and international stakeholders are essential for an effective implementation of ARVoRe VII – from the pre-departure phase to reintegration in the country of origin.

SERVICES PROVIDED UNDER THE ARVoRe VII PROGRAM

IN PORTUGAL:

• Individualized information and advice on assistance for voluntary return and reintegration, including information about the country of origin;

• Specialized assistance and referral to reference services in cases of vulnerability;

• Possibility of pre-departure psychosocial support;

• Travel organization to the final destination;

• Help in obtaining travel documents;

• Organization of accompaniment during the trip, if necessary;

• Assistance to Lisbon airport on the day of departure.

IN THE COUNTRY OF TRANSIT:

• Assistance at the transit airport, if necessary;

IN THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

• Possibility of assistance with reintegration in the country of origin, as needed.

HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?

1. CONTACT US

The decision to return to your country can be difficult to make. If you think this is the way to go, the IOM team is available to explain to you how the program works, what support you can receive and answer your questions, so that you can make an informed and voluntary decision. Advice is given in an individual and confidential manner. You can contact the IOM office in Lisbon through our phone, email, Facebook or WhatsApp.

2. DECISION

After all the procedures related to our services are explained to you, you will have the time you think is necessary to think about the next step. It is important that you know that you can change your mind at any stage of the process, even after you register.

3. PROGRAM REGISTRATION

You can schedule your appointment with IOM in Lisbon. If you don’t live in Lisbon, we can give you the contact details of the ARVoRe VII partner organization closer to your residence (see list of ARVoRe VII Program partner organizations where you can register). The Program’s support network has a diversified network of partners throughout the Portuguese national territory, including the Autonomous Regions (Madeira and Azores), who are available to receive you, provide all necessary information and register your enrollment in the program.

4. PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT

Once enrolled in the Program, you can apply for psychosocial support before returning to your country of origin. The Program may refer you to a partner organization specialized in psychosocial support in Portugal. This support is individual and confidential.

5. TRAVEL DAY ASSISTANCE

After the approval of your application for enrollment in the Program, we will contact you to find out if you are ready to travel and then book your trip. Program support provides:

– A plane ticket, according to the most direct and economical route to your country of origin or to a third country where your admission is guaranteed;

– 50 € in pocket money on the day of travel to support other expenses that may arise during the trip.

On the day of the trip we will be at the Lisbon airport, we will have your plane ticket and we will accompany you in all boarding procedures, from check-in to the boarding gate.

6. REINTEGRATION SUPPORT IN THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

Before your departure, our team can assist you in obtaining the necessary  information for your reintegration into the country of origin. You can discuss your individual reintegration plan with our team.

In some cases, and depending on your needs, there is also the possibility of obtaining financial support in your country of origin with the view of setting up a small business or taking a technical course, for example. Financial support varies according to the needs of each person and can go up to a maximum of 2000€.

Reintegration support requests must be made prior to travel. Each request is evaluated individually and, if your request is approved, the decision will be communicated to you before your return. Each case of reintegration support  is monitored individually, from the preparation of an Individual Reintegration Plan to monitoring and follow-up in the country of origin during the first 6 months after return.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THE PROGRAM?

The ARVoRe VII program can benefit migrants who need and want to return to their country of origin, but need support for their return. Including:

  • Economic migrants, asylum seekers or refugees;
  • Migrants stranded or not;
  • Being third-country nationals;
  • Without direct family members who are nationals of any member country of the European Union;
  • Not having previously received financial assistance from this program;
  • Not having committed any offense in Portugal subject of criminal prosecution;
  • Who wish to return voluntarily to their country of origin or to a third country where their admission is guaranteed.

To be able to enroll in the Program, you must have been in Portugal for more than 3 months, have no nationality in any European Union country, or any direct family member with these nationalities. You can only travel once through the program and you won’t be able to benefit if you have traveled through the program before.