Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) is an international migration service designed by IOM on behalf of governments to help eligible migrants make informed and voluntary choices about returning to their country of origin. Individuals who may be eligible for IOM AVR assistance include:
- Those living in Australia on a bridging visa or other non-substantive visa; or
- Those living in Australia without a visa or your visa has expired; or
- Non-refugees at the Regional Processing Center in Nauru.
If you are considered to be eligible by the Department of Home Affairs, IOM can assist you in developing an individualized return option, which is jointly planned, safe and dignified without a cost to you. Since the commencement of the programme IOM, has assisted more than 8,000 migrants to return home in a safe and dignified manner.
In addition to return services, Irregular Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) may also be eligible to receive reintegration assistance upon returning to their home country. Since 2010, IOM has assisted over 3,000 families to successfully reintegrate in their society after returning home by helping them with means to, inter alia, set up businesses, find accommodation, and engage in vocational training.
- What services does IOM provide through AVR?
- Information and counselling regarding voluntary return with IOM. Assistance in obtaining passports or travel documents.
- Assist in transport arrangements such as booking flights.
- Arrange for assistance once you return to your country.
The support you receive from IOM will depend on your individual circumstances.
- How do I apply for AVR?
If you would like to receive information about returning home with AVR, you can visit the nearest IOM State office, call 1 300 116 986 (local call costs apply), or fill out the confidential online referral form. You can also ask the Department of Home Affairs to refer you to IOM.
- Am I eligible for Reintegration Assistance?
Utilising IOM’s worldwide network, IOM has been providing reintegration assistance to Irregular Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) voluntarily returning to their country of origin from Australia. IOM strives to provide individualized voluntary return and reintegration plans to persons that contribute to sustainable integration into their community. Maintaining close links with other IOM project services in the country of return supports the transition from host country to country of origin. While reintegration support generally follows a validated standardized approach, flexibility remains an important aspect of the assistance provided. Generally, reintegration assistance will include the following:
- Reception assistance in country of origin.
- Reintegration planning that may include small cash assistance and in-kind support to pursue small business income generation, vocational training, schooling or other such support to facilitate integration.
- Follow-up monitoring and support.
This package can be utilized for, inter alia, small business planning and vocational development combined with limited financial assistance.
- Would IOM share my information with the Department of Home Affairs?
The consultations with IOM can be initiated independent of the Department of Home Affairs and shall be confidential. Only once you are ready to proceed with AVR services would IOM share your information with Department of Home Affairs. This is done after obtaining your consent and is done so that your eligibility can be established.
- Will speaking with IOM affect the outcome of my appeal/review?
Speaking to IOM is an entirely voluntary and confidential service that will have no impact on the outcome of your appeal or review.
- Can I go to a country different to my home country?
Generally, IOM would help you to return to your country of citizenship. Depending on your circumstances, IOM may be able to help you travel to another country if you can show proof of residence for that country (for example a valid residence visa).