Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management aimed at the orderly and humane return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

Since 2003, when IOM opened its offices in Iraq, it has facilitated the return of over 40,000 Iraqis from the Europe, Australia, South-East Asia and the Middle Eastern region through the AVRR Programme. In 2017 alone, 7,141 Iraqi migrants returned to Iraq with IOM’s support.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis departed to Europe during the 2014-2015 “migration crisis” due to the war against ISIL, which brought insecurity and political and economic instability to Iraq. In explaining their reasons for leaving Iraq, many migrants cited a lack of hope that the situation would improve.

Many Iraqi migrants who made it to Europe, though, decided to return to Iraq after a short stay. Those Iraqis choosing to return noted as reasons their disappointment and frustration regarding the length and unpredictability of the asylum procedures, living conditions in Europe and lack of access to income.

What we do

IOM Iraq supports the return process by providing assistance to facilitate the sustainable reintegration of returnees using a variety of assistance modalities, including:

Reception assistance

IOM offers reception assistance to returnees in four ports of entry into Iraq: Baghdad, Basra, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports. This assistance includes profiling of returnees and the arrangement of onward transportation.

Case Management

IOM carries out individual counselling sessions and reintegration services tailored to returnees’ profile, needs and vulnerabilities; it also closely monitors the provision of services, ensuring support and necessary adaptations along the reintegration process.

Socio-Economic Orientation and Coaching Sessions

IOM facilitates one-day-sessions for small groups of approximately ten returnees at a time. During these sessions, IOM provides Information about the reintegration and employment opportunities in Iraq and leads group discussions aimed at highlighting future reintegration prospects.

Cash Assistance

IOM provides cash support to returnees upon arrival or after arrival to help address returnees’ most immediate needs.

In-kind assistance

IOM provides in-kind reintegration support for each single returnee or head of family returnee. The types of in-kind assistance include:

  • Vocational Training

    IOM provides specialized skills and language trainings in cooperation with educational and training institutions and entities.

  • Job Placement

    IOM facilitates placement of returnees with employers to augment returnees’ professional experience and improve their future employment chances.

  • Business Support for Creation and Expansion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

    IOM provides business support services for the development and expansion of small and medium sized companies, which includes access to specialized business advisory and counselling services, in addition to in-kind support tailored to the requirements of the individual or group of beneficiaries.

  • Housing allowance

    IOM offers different types of housing allowance services as part of its reintegration assistance, which includes household items, rental costs and construction material.

  • Medical assistance

    IOM provides medical support, in due consideration of their health needs.

Monitoring & Evaluation

IOM monitors beneficiaries after receiving an in-kind grant through field visits or phone calls.


  • The Government of Iraq (GoI) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
  • Local administrations in Baghdad, Basra and KRI (Dohuk, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah).
  • Private sectors, Chambers of Commerce, Training Institutions.
  • German Development Agency (GIZ).