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Voluntary returns, reintegration and resettlement

The Program of Assisted Voluntary Returns (AVR) is a global IOM Program which is implemented also in the Czech Republic. IOM Prague assists yearly approximately to 300 - 400 people from tens of countries worldwide. IOM Prague offers to migrants a possibility to return to their home country without any administrative delays. The target group of  AVR program are those applicants for asylum who stopped asylum procedure or whose asylum was refused, foreigners who have not sufficient travel documents and who stay in detention centers for foreigners. IOM Prague in cooperation with responsible governmental and non-governmental organizations helps migrants to receive a legal status through arranging them valid travel documents in order to allow them legally leave the Czech Republic and return to their home country. The advantage of AVR program is that foreigners return to their home country as ordinary tourists without information the local institutions.

IOM also offers reintegration assistance to the returns (AVRR) which enables for sustainable return. The reintegration assistance consists of job counseling, support to small businesses, retraining courses etc.


IOM Prague has entered into the return field in the Czech Republic in 2001 thanks to the signed Agreement on Assisted voluntary returns with the Ministry of the Interior.  IOM Prague is very much engaged in assisting to foreigners with arrangements of proper travel documents needed for their return and communicates with the Embassies in the Czech Republic, as well as outside of the Czech Republic. IOM Prague arranges for flight and return tickets for returnees and communicates with other IOM missions, especially in cases of transit in the Schengen area, as well as with IOM missions in the countries of return. IOM Prague provides for pre-departure counselling for all returnees in the program.

IOM worldwide provides for better conditions for foreigners in the programs of the voluntary returns in order to secure their dignified return back home. IOM also arranges for better financial conditions with the air carriers in order to make cheaper returns for the Governments.

IOM also gets engaged in the debate on return policy, implements EU projects supporting better coordination in the return policy of host countries and countries of return.

Thanks to the reintegration assistance, IOM supports sustainability of the return, as well as it intends to increase the development potential of the return itself.

The International Organization for migration emphasizes the need to reflect the whole migration cycle from the informed migration from the country of origin, through the facilitating regular migration, reduction of irregular migration, migrants rights protection, integration of foreigners residing in the Czech Republic, up to the sustainable returns back to the country of origin. From the point of view of the governments, IOM emphasizes that migration should be beneficial for both host countries and countries of the origin in terms of their development. Thus, there should be coherence between the migration and development policies. This broad perspective enables IOM to see every migration phase and act in favour of the migrants, as well as in favor of the governments.

AVR program runs thanks to cooperation and funding of the Ministry of Interior, Department of Asylum and Migration Policies, Alien and Border Police Headquarters, Refugee Facilities Administration of Ministry of Interior, international airlines carriers and other partners.

IOM worldwide is also engaged in resettlement programs. IOM Prague implements resettlement programs into the Czech Republic for people in need. Besides the logistics, such programs include also social and cultural orientation, medical checks and travel documents arrangements.

This project is implemented in co-operation with the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic and co-financed by EU from the European Return Fund 2012. It is a follow up of the project Reintegration programme for Returnees from the Czech Republic supported from ERF 2011 and implemented last year.



The programme contributes to enhancement of conditions for successful reintegration of third country nationals returning from the Czech Republic to their home countries. As well as in the first phase, the reintegration assistance is primarily focused on nationals of most frequent countries of return under existing voluntary return programs (Ukraine, Vietnam, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan). IOM Prague implements the program in cooperation with IOM missions and partners in countries of return, benefiting from existing IOM reintegration infrastructure and expertise in this field. The program emphasizes the in-kind assistance.



The project ENF 2010-05 was implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic and with financial support of European Return Fund.

Assisted voluntary returns (“AVR”) have represented an inseparable part of the Czech migration policy for several years. A functional system that is helping hundreds of migrants to facilitate the return to their country of origin has been efficiently established since then. Although many problems were eliminated in last years thanks to the increasing efficiency of this system, challenges to be overcome persist. A substantial number of these are paradoxically related to the fast development of AVR projects and therefore to the rich offer of distinct AVR services. Nowadays, the ultimate challenge is the issue of coordination of offered services, efficient information dissemination about possibilities of AVR and boost of motivation to participate in the program.

The goal of the realized project was to contribute to the solution of theses challenges through studying and transferring relevant EU MS’s experience into the Czech conditions. AVR programs are used for migration control in all EU MS. Many approaches towards this topic exist – related to the constitution of a country, to the competences of its relevant institutions and above all to the approach towards migration policy in general. Despite this, many challenges relevant today to the Czech Republic can be identified in most of the EU MS’s AVR programs. Thus, the way specific EU MS deal with these challenges can represent an inspiration for our system as well as a contribution to its efficiency.

This project ENF 2010-03 was implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic and was financially supported from European Return Fund.


The aim of the project was to establish a Return Centre, institution that will gradually become a platform coordinating all activities related to Voluntary Return Program on national level, where IOM will be the coordinating agency. It has grouped all relevant governmental and non-governmental institutions participating on voluntary returns in order to enhance effectivity of relevant activities. 


The project objective is to facilitate resettlement of a group of Burmese refugees from Malaysia to Czech Republic. The project follows up resettlements of the Burmese refugees from Malaysia and Thailand facilitated in previous years. The project will facilitate mission of MoI officials to Kuala Lumpur in order to interview the applicants for resettlement to Czech Republic. IOM will facilitate pre departure arrangements, namely socio-cultural orientation, medical screening,  and obtaining travel documents. IOM will also facilitate  safe transport of accepted refugees to Prague, and refer  them to MoI officials.

Here, you can find completed programs of voluntary returns and reintegration assistance provision.

The Czech Funded project is available for 35 selected Moldovan returnees till end of June 2010 and offers reintegration assistance amounting to 700 USD.