RESTART II – Reintegration Assistance for Voluntary Returnees to Afghanistan and Iran

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Country Office for Austria is implementing the project “RESTART II – Reintegration Assistance for Voluntary Returnees to Afghanistan and Iran” from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2019. The project is co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Union and the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Within the framework of this project, third country nationals can be assisted in their voluntary return to Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as in their sustainable reintegration in their respective country of origin.

The project foresees the participation of 490 project beneficiaries. Only one person per household is eligible to participate.

Measures to support returnees’ efforts to reintegrate into their societies are determined in a participatory and consultative manner taking into account the individual needs and skills of each participant.

IOM implements the following activities within the framework of the project:


  • Pre-departure information sessions in Austria;
  • Family Assessment: assessing familial situation in the country of return for returning unaccompanied minors prior to return;
  • Organization of travel logistics (including purchase of flight ticket);
  • Departure assistance at Vienna International Airport;
  • Reception assistance and organization of onward travel to final destination in Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran;
  • Temporary accommodation after arrival in the country of return.



  • Post-arrival counselling: Advice on beneficiaries’ opportunities and options based on the local situation, their educational and professional background and their personal situation;
  • Financial assistance: Cash grant of EUR 500 for each beneficiary to address their most immediate needs following their voluntary return to their country of origin;
  • In-kind assistance such as
  • Supporting for starting or joining a business (e.g. purchase of equipment, goods);
  • Education and trainings;
  • Accommodation;
  • Child support;
  • Medical support;
  • Business Guides and referral to business trainings offered free of charge.

In-kind assistance is provided through direct payments to the service providers/suppliers.

Special attention is given to project beneficiaries with special needs (single parent families, unaccompanied minors, elderly, trafficked persons, etc.).  


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

The IOM Austria AVRR Stakeholder Group, a forum set up by the IOM Country Office for Austria for relevant stakeholders, meets on a regular basis to discuss the project’s progress and constraints.



IOM carries out monitoring interviews and visits to beneficiaries in the country of origin. In addition, monitoring trips allow IOM staff from Austria to meet beneficiaries after they have received the assistance.



IOM Austria is dedicated to raising awareness about the topic of return migration and relevant assistance schemes. In the framework of RESTART II, information and experiences are shared with interested stakeholders and the broad public; for example, a quarterly Newsletter on activities in the area of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, including the project RESTART II, is disseminated among key stakeholders and published online. In addition, the transnational discussion and exchange among practitioners, diaspora organizations, authorities and academia is supported and facilitated.

IOM seeks and maintains contact with relevant stakeholders in Austria, Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to establish and expand local support structures for returnees, in particular for vulnerable groups.



For further information please contact:

Edith Vasilyev

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

Tel: 0043/ 1 585 33 22 35

This project is co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of the European Union and the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior.