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Assisted Voluntary Return from Germany: Motives and Reintegration

Espacio Económico Europeo
Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF), Organización Internacional para las Migraciones
S. Martin, M. Bitterwolf, T. Baraulina

Research report 34 presents the initial analyses and findings from the research project entitled "Evaluation of the return programme StarthilfePlus". In this project, the Research Centre of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (FOMR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are investigating the motives for return as well as the reintegration of individuals who have been provided with assistance to leave Germany.

In the context of a high number of foreign nationals who are not allowed to stay in Germany due to invalid residence entitlements, the German government introduced the assisted return and reintegration programme StarthilfePlus in 2017. The objective of the programme is to – particularly financially – support the voluntary return of persons obliged to leave the country and persons with limited prospects to receive an asylum or protection status in Germany. The FOMR Research Centre and IOM provide the programmes' monitoring and evaluation. Designed as the first part of a panel study, the research project is part of a long-term research initiative by the FOMR and IOM.

The first research report now presented examines the returnees' perception and personal experiences with the programme. It further focuses on the implications of the assistance on the participants' return decisions and their living situation after return. In total, the data from 1,339 survey respondents from eleven countries was analysed – including Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. They took part in the quantitative online survey roughly six to eight months after their departure.