IOM Launches Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Programme in Iceland

Iceland - IOM this week launched an Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme in cooperation with Iceland’s Directorate of Immigration.

The AVRR programme aims at offering a practical alternative for migrants to return voluntarily to their country of origin in a safe, sustainable and dignified manner. Eligible migrants will be provided with counselling as well as administrative, logistical and financial support.

Beneficiaries of the AVRR programme will include individuals and families who have withdrawn their application for asylum or who are found not to be in need of international protection, as well as stranded migrants.

In line with IOM’s humanitarian principles, all beneficiaries will be assisted according to their individual situation and needs, including targeted support for those in vulnerable situations – for example, unaccompanied minors or people with health-related needs.

Representatives of IOM Helsinki and Iceland’s Ministry of the Interior and Directorate of Immigration are meeting in Reykjavík on 15-16 September 2016 to coordinate the start of the programme. The 18-month agreement came into force on 1 August 2016 and, following a preparatory phase, the project is now operational.

“IOM Helsinki will bring to the table the knowledge and networks we have gained over the years with similar AVRR projects. Our services include counselling, travel arrangements and the provision of reintegration support in order to make the return process as smooth as possible,” said IOM Helsinki Head of Office Simo Kohonen.

The number of asylum seekers in Iceland has increased in recent years creating a need for established assisted voluntary return procedures. IOM Helsinki has previously implemented AVRR programmes in the Nordic region with Finland, Norway and Denmark.

For further information please contact Cayan Fahim at IOM Iceland, Tel: +358 9 684 11 527, Email: