Return and Reintegration Assistance for Voluntary Returnees to Kosovo*

Duration: 01.09.2008 to 30.06.2012

From September 2008 to June 2012, IOM Vienna was in charge of implementing the project “Return and Reintegration Assistance for Voluntary Returnees to Kosovo*”. This project was funded by the European Return Fund, the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior as well as the provincial governments of Lower Austria, Tirol and Carinthia.

The project “Return and Reintegration Assistance for Voluntary Returnees to Kosovo*” aimed to support and enhance the voluntary and sustainable return of Kosovan citizens residing in Lower Austria, Tirol or Carinthia who were either (rejected) asylum seekers, recognized refugees, persons granted subsidiary protection receiving basic welfare support or irregular migrants through comprehensive and innovative return and reintegration measures especially focusing on the facilitation of skills needed to enable the reintegration in the local Kosovan job market.

IOM Vienna offered the following support measures for the return to Kosovo*:

  • Assistance and escort to the airport in Vienna
  • Reception of the Kosovan returnees at the airport in Pristina by Kosovan IOM staff members upon the returnees’ arrival, assistance with the legal formalities concerning customs and immigration
  • If necessary, organization of further transfer/ overnight stay

The reintegration measures were comprised of individually customized programs tailored to the returnees’ particular needs:

  • Professional basic and advanced training mirroring the needs of the local employment market (e.g. apprenticeship/ training as technician, hairdresser, plumber, electrician etc.)
  • Purchase of equipment and tools either after the successful completion of the training or immediately in cases where the returnee already has professional experience
  • Support with the foundation of small businesses (e.g. agriculture, event-management, tailoring, bakery, catering, mechanical services, cab service, pharmacy, grocery shop, etc.). The maximum financial support for this measure is 3,000 EUR per business venture. Please note that this seed money will not be paid out in cash but will be used for the purchase of material and equipment needed to start the business. Moreover special concern lies on the facilitation of skills needed to create and run an enterprise through intensive one-week seminars tackling the issue of business planning and management
  • Furthermore in case of successful job-seeking on the Kosovan employment market granting of temporarily limited wage subsidies of a maximum amount of 1,000 EUR is possible
  • Support of returnees with special needs (single parent families, unaccompanied minors, returnees with medical needs)
  • Monitoring of the reintegration process so that adjustments to the inidividual reintegration programs of the returnees as well as in response to changes within the local conditions can be made in a timely manner

In the last project phase, a new component was introduced to strengthen the sustainability of  the reintegration measures, namely IOM’s implementation of a capacity building and networking structure to support the creation of small agricultural clusters including collecting centers for agricultural products.


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


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