More than ever, migration today is not a linear phenomenon starting with emigration and ending with permanent settlement in a new country. Rather, migration is increasingly multidirectional, frequently involving return to countries of origin for short or long periods of stay, often followed by back-and-forth movement between two or more countries, or migration onward to new destinations. Therefore, the return of migrants to their countries of origin, or third countries, and their reintegration into the societies and communities that receive them, are natural features of international mobility.

IOM's Approach: Safe and dignified return and sustainable reintegration

In all its activities and programming on return and reintegration, IOM operates within the bounds of international law, including international migration law and human rights law. Moreover, as a related organization of the United Nations system, IOM acts in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Safe and dignified return and sustainable reintegration are an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management. Assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programmes aim to support migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return to their countries of origin.

Building on many years of experience and a global network of offices and partners, IOM’s AVRR activities range from the preparation of the return journey to the provision of reintegration assistance in the countries of origin. IOM’s programmes promote international dialogue and cooperation between host countries and countries of origin.  

The main beneficiaries of IOM’s return and reintegration assistance are irregular migrants, regular migrants, asylum seekers who decide not to pursue their claims or who are found not to be in need of international protection, and migrants in vulnerable situations, such as victims of trafficking, unaccompanied and separated children, older migrants, persons with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics or migrants with health-related needs as well as stranded migrants in host or transit countries.

The video A return with dignity, an opportunity back home provides an easy-to-understand insight into the process of AVRR:


For more information, please visit

Return and Reintegration activities in Austria

IOM Austria implements return and reintegration projects in close coordination with the Austrian government and relevant stakeholders, by assisting migrants throughout the entire process.

In the past, assistance has been provided by IOM Austria in Afghanistan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kosovo* and Tunisia. Please find information on completed projects here.

The actual availability of services depends on the funding of relevant projects and their project design as well as the structures in place in the countries of origin. For information on which services are available in the ongoing project, please visit the RESTART IV project website.

For more information on voluntary return from Austria, please also see legal and return counselling in Austria.


International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Country Office for Austria
Nibelungengasse 13/4
1010 Vienna

For questions related to voluntary return:
Operations Unit
Tel: +43 1 585 3322 16

For general matters and questions related to reintegration:
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Unit
Tel: +43 1 585 33 22 35



*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).