Asylum seekers at any stage of the asylum system are able to apply to IOM Dublin for assistance to voluntary return to their home country.
Irregular Migrants from non-EEA countries (outside the EU), who are living in Ireland with no legal immigration status (no work permit/ visa/ necessary documentation).
Those irregular migrants applying to IOM for assistance will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and the most vulnerable cases will be prioritised.
The objective of the VARRP is to help individuals to return to their home country in a humane and dignified way.
Returnees under the IOM programme travel as regular passengers. The reasons for their stay in Ireland and for their return remain confidential. IOM Dublin is able to provide assistance in obtaining valid travel documents from embassies and consular missions in Ireland or elsewhere in Europe.
While emphasising the dignity and security of the return, IOM Dublin ensures that all returnees have appropriate transit and post-arrival assistance from IOM missions in countries of transit and destination.
If you return voluntarily before a deportation order is made and you have no outstanding criminal court proceedings in Ireland, you may apply to re-enter Ireland legally for the purpose of work, study, etc.
Reintegration assistance is available to all participants of the programme and can be used towards covering the costs of education; professional training and/or business set-up.
IOM Dublin is also able to provide additional assistance for particularly vulnerable returnees, including:
Unaccompanied minors and aged-out minors
Victims of trafficking
Vulnerable family compositions
Individuals with specific health needs
First, you fill in the application form and sign a declaration of voluntary return.
When we receive your application, we will make contact to discuss the option of voluntary return and to assess whether this is a good option for you. This information and advice session is free and fully confidential.
If you decide that you would like to proceed with the application, we then send the details to the Department of Justice and Equality and tell them that you have applied to return under the VARRP.
The Department of Justice and Equality will need to approve every applicant who applies for return under the programme.
If your application has been approved, and you do not hold a valid Travel Document issued by your country of origin, IOM shall assist, where possible, in obtaining the necessary documentation to facilitate your return journey.
We will then discuss with you suitable dates on which you would wish to travel and make the necessary travel arrangements. IOM will strive to meet the timeframe you propose, however this may not always be possible. Please note that IOM does not provide a service at weekends, therefore travel dates must be weekdays.
We will then provisionally book a ticket for your travel and arrange any transit visas for the countries you travel through, if necessary.
We will meet you at the airport of departure in Ireland and assist you in departing.
We can also arrange assistance in transit and on arrival in your home country if requested.
If you return through IOM's programme, your passport will not be stamped when leaving Ireland. It will be possible to apply for re-entry to Ireland at any stage in the future, if you wish to do so and you have the necessary legal documentation.
If you would like assistance from IOM at the airport in your country of origin, we can arrange this. In some countries IOM has no representation; therefore airport arrival assistance may not be possible.
If your final destination is a long distance from the airport, the local IOM office can provide you with tickets for your onward journey.
That depends on the airline you travel with. The average baggage allowance is 20kg. Airlines will not accept any item of baggage that weighs more than 32kg per adult. IOM will inform you in advance of your travel of what your exact baggage allowance will be. For some destinations it is possible to have a slightly higher baggage allowance.
If you bring more you will have to pay. Excess baggage is very expensive. IOM is not responsible for, and will not be able to pay for any excess baggage. If you miss your flight because of excess baggage issues, IOM will most likely NOT be in a position to purchase a second flight ticket for you.
If you do want to bring your excess baggage and are in a position to cover the cost of it, we suggest that you organise a cargo shipment of it well in advance as it is much cheaper.
IOM always aims to meet the needs of returnees and to find the most appropriate routes of return. On average the timeframe for the return is 3 weeks to 2 months. It is dependent on various factors such as Department of Justice and Equality approval, availability of commercial flights, obtaining documentation, and any special needs to be taken into consideration for the return travel.
IOM Dublin's voluntary return programme is funded by the Department of Justice and Equality, which decides whether a VARRP applicant is suitable for return under the programme.
If you decide that you want to return you will have to withdraw your asylum claim if you want to proceed with an application for Voluntary Return in order for the Department of Justice to consider your application. You will also be requested to sign a declaration of voluntary return, which safeguards the voluntary nature of your return.
If you change your mind about leaving Ireland at any stage before your departure, and you would like to re-enter the asylum system, you should seek legal advice about options available to you.