Assistance for the Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Returnees to Georgia

Duration: 01.07.2011 to 31.12.2013

In July 2011, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Vienna started implementing the project “Assistance for the Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Returnees to Georgia” which is co-financed by the European Return Fund and the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Within the framework of this project, Georgian citizens who were a) asylum seekers, b) recognized refugees, c) subsidiary protection holders or d) who did not or no longer fulfilled the conditions for staying in Austria were assisted in their voluntary and sustainable return as well as in their reintegration in their country of origin. Measures to support the returnees' efforts to reintegrate in their society were determined in a participatory and consultative manner taking into account the individual needs and skills of the participants.

The project came to an end on 31 December 2013.

IOM implemented the following activities:


  • Pre-departure assistance at Vienna International Airport;
  • If required, reception assistance at Tbilisi or Batumi International Airport;
  • If required, overnight accommodation and onward transportation to the final destination in Georgia.

IOM supported the following reintegration measures with in-kind financial assistance worth up to a maximum amount of EUR 2,500:

  • Counselling and assistance with job-seeking in the nearest IOM Job Counselling and Placement Center in Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Poti, Akhaltsikhe, Gori or Telavi as well as wage substitution payments;
  • Formation and vocational trainings e.g. as mechanic, computer engineer, hairdresser, plumber, electrician, farmer etc.;
  • Business trainings and support for small business start-ups (e.g. in agriculture, welding, tailoring, small shops, timbering, beauty salons, car services, Internet-cafés, etc.);
  • Purchase of relevant tools and equipment.

This seed money was not paid out in cash. Payments were made directly to the service providers/venders. Additional support could be provided to returnees with special needs (single parent families, unaccompanied minors, victims of human trafficking, etc.).

In addition to the continuous monitoring carried out by IOM in Georgia, a monitoring mission was organized in fall 2013 to follow up and collect information on the reintegration of project participants.

IOM closely coordinated all activities with return counsellors and is ready to answer any questions or concerns on an individual basis. An International Workshop for Return Counsellors was held in fall 2012 in order to enhance networks and exchange best practices between stakeholders in Austria, Georgia and other countries.

Furthermore, the bi-annual meetings of the Project Advisory Board provide an ideal platform to share information and discuss the progress and (preliminary) results of this project.

This project was co-financed by the European Return Fund and the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.