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Voluntary assisted return and reintegration programme for irregular non-EEA nationals (I-VARRP)

Over the course of a year, more than 200 vulnerable irregular migrants returned voluntarily to their country of origin or habitual residence, with several enrolling in education or starting a business.

Project dates 01/03/2010 - 31/03/2011
Total budget€422 074
EU contribution50%
Name of the entity managing the projectInternational Organisation for Migration (IOM)

Project Description

The I-VARRP project enabled the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to provide assistance to irregular migrants in Ireland wishing to return to their home country. All returnees were offered access to advice and counselling, including reintegration counselling.

For the project to be successful, it was first essential to make sure irregular migrants in Ireland knew of its existence. The IOM therefore launched several outreach activities, ensuring that information providers, NGOs, diaspora groups, embassies and other government institutions were able to share information on the option of voluntary return. Mapping exercises also highlighted the success of online communication – it allows migrants to access information anonymously and confidentially.

Benefits and results

Over the course of a year, the project intended to provide assistance for up to 145 returnees. In fact, by the end of the project, 219 irregular migrants had received voluntary assisted return services from the IOM, and 168 migrants had either received reintegration assistance or were put in touch with IOM offices on their return to their country of origin.

Six months after a returnee is provided with a grant, the IOM evaluates how successful each reintegration has been. During a visit to Moldova, the IOM met with some of the migrants who had returned home with IOM Dublin voluntary return assistance. IOM was also able to provide information on individuals who had enrolled in education or training, or purchased equipment to start a new business.

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