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FAQ's about Voluntary Return and Reintegration

In what Language Can I Speak with IOM?

All our counsellors speak at least English and Dutch. However, our counsellors come from all over the world so we also speak:

Amharic, Arabic, Badini, Bosnian, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi (Rundi), Macedonian, Kurdish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Swahili, Somali, Tigrinya and Turkish.

Another way to communicate with IOM is through independent interpreters that will translate the conversation by speaker phone.

How Long Does it Take to Prepare My Departure?

Once you completed your application, we work to enable your swift return.
In general, a flight back to your country can be arranged within 4 weeks after applying for IOM’s assistance.
If you still need to obtain a travel document, you are considered as a vulnerable migrant or you depart to a country with additional conditions for return, preparing your departure might take longer.

What Documents Do I Have to Bring to the Appointment with IOM? 

If you have a travel document, an identity card, or other documents proving your nationality and identity, please bring them with you to the appointment, even if the documents are expired.

In case that you had to hand over your documents to the Dutch authorities, we can request to return them and hand them to you upon your departure at the airport.

I Want to Go to a Country that is Not My Home Country, Is this Possible? 

In some cases, IOM can assist you with resettlement to a third country. This is only possible if your permanent residence is guaranteed in the country of destination. The responsibility to receive the residence permit is yours. We cannot assist with resettlement applications for a residence permit in a third country.

I come from Syria, Libya or Yemen, Can IOM Help Me to Return to My Home Country

Because of the current situation in your country, at the moment we cannot assist you with your return. If you want to return or resettle (permanently) to another country, IOM can only help you if you have the right to reside in this country permanently. If this is the case, you can make an appointment with IOM.

If you would like to return to Syria, Libya or Yemen, you can contact DT&V (Repatriation and Departure Service of the Dutch government). You can find more information about DT&V, through the following link.

I Have Health Needs. Can IOM Assist Me in My Country of Origin After Return? 

In most cases we can. We will ask you to bring information from your doctor to be able to assess what form of care is needed and available in your country of origin. If required, we will ask your permission to discuss this with your doctor. Our colleagues in your country will assist with information and advice. Depending on your condition and the costs of care, IOM can give you a budget for medical costs after return. We will also make sure you can travel with the right care from the Netherlands to your country of origin. The assistance is personal and cannot be transferred to a family member or other person.


health needs

I Am Here Without My Parents, I Am Younger Than 18 Years and I Wish to Return to My Family in My Country of Origin, Can IOM Assist?

IOM can assist you with your return to your country of origin if you have a parent or legal guardian in your country of origin that is willing to receive you. If you lost contact with your family in your country of origin, we can assist you with tracing your family members together with the IOM office in your country of origin. 

Can I Change My Mind about My Departure?

Yes. We understand that every situation is unique and we know that leaving the Netherlands is a big decision. We are here to help you to find the information you need before you make a well-informed decision. Everything you discuss with your IOM counsellor is treated confidentially. You can change your mind and withdraw your application for voluntary return at any time.

I Still Have Some Outstanding Fines in the Netherlands. Does this Have Consequences For My Return? 

If you have outstanding fines for minor offenses such as travelling without a ticket in public transport, you must pay them before you leave the Netherlands. IOM does not cover the fines for you. In principle, it does not affect the assistance that we can provide to you for returning to your country of origin.

How Much Luggage May I Bring and What Is the Weight Limit?

This depends on the airline you are travelling with. You can find the exact weight in the booking letter you will receive from us. Please note that IOM does not pay for excess kilos/bags. If you have excess kilos you will have to pay for each extra kilo yourself. The rates depend on the airline, but they are usually very high. Shipping extra luggage is in general cheaper than paying for excess luggage at the check-in. You will have to arrange this with your IOM counselor before your departure.

If I Have a Dutch Residence Permission or Passport, What Happens When I Return With IOM Assistance?

Dutch passport holders are not eligible for voluntary return assistance with IOM. In case you are willing to withdraw your Dutch nationality and meet all other conditions, IOM might be able to assist you. You can withdraw your Dutch nationality at the town hall of your residence.

Dutch residence permit holders must return their residence document to the closest Immigration and Naturalization Service counter before their departure from the Netherlands. You will retain your right of residence until your actual departure, so that you can still can change your mind about leaving the Netherlands without any consequences. After your departure took place, your right of residence will be revoked.

Can I Ever Come Back to the Netherlands or Europe After Departure With IOM?

IOM can only support migrants who wish to return to their country of origin to reinstall themselves there permanently and who are not planning to return to Europe after arrival. When departing from the Netherlands, you sign the ‘departure declaration’ giving permission to end any pending permit procedures or to revoke your residence permit.

If you do not stay in the Netherlands legally at the time of your departure, you might receive a re-entry ban from the Dutch authorities. The assistance of IOM with your return cannot prevent this. You can find more information on the regulations of the Dutch government on the entry ban through this link: IND: Entry ban, return decision and pronouncement of undesirability

Do I Get a Deportation Stamp in My Passport upon Departure With IOM?

No. When you depart with IOM, you travel as a normal passenger. You return voluntarily to your country of origin, so you will not get a deportation stamp in your passport. IOM assists you at the airport with the immigration procedures. You arrive in your country as a normal passenger.

How Long Does it Take before I Can Use My Reintegration Grant after Return?

It depends on your plans and the country you are returning to. It is very important to contact the IOM office in your country as soon as possible after your arrival. They will discuss your plan with you and give you instructions. After that they will be able to estimate the time it will take. You can also ask the IOM counsellor to contact IOM in your country while you are in the Netherlands, to discuss your plans.