Assistance for the Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Returnees to Pakistan

Duration: 1 December 2012 to 30 June 2015

From December 2012 to June 2015, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Vienna implemented the project "Assistance for the Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Returnees to Pakistan", which was financed by the European Return Fund and the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.

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

IOM implemented the following activities:


  • Pre-departure assistance at Vienna International Airport;
  • If required, reception assistance at the airport in Pakistan;
  • If required, organization of overnight accommodation and onward transportation to the final destination in Pakistan.


  • Cash grant: Upon arrival in Pakistan, an amount of EUR 300 per project beneficiary, plus additional EUR 300 for each family member who returned with the beneficiary, for addressing immediate needs upon return.
  • Reintegration Assistance: IOM supported reintegration measures with in-kind assistance worth up to a maximum amount of EUR 3,000:
    • Counselling and assistance with job-seeking;
    • 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, transport, 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. Instead, payments were directly made to the service providers and/or suppliers.

  • Additional Assistance: Additional assistance was provided to returnees with special needs (e.g. persons with health needs).

Continuous monitoring of the reintegration assistance was provided by IOM in Pakistan. In addition, monitoring trips from Austria to Pakistan were undertaken to follow up and collect information on the implementation of reintegration assistance.

In Austria, return counselling is provided by agencies commissioned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior as well as by the Provincial Government of Carinthia. IOM closely coordinated all activities with return counsellors and was ready to answer any questions or concerns on an individual basis.

International Workshops for Return Counsellors were organized in order to allow return counsellors to exchange information and experiences with IOM staff from Pakistan and other countries of return who provided reintegration assistance to project beneficiaries who had voluntarily returned from Austria.

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