The Voluntary Assisted Return Programme (VARP) is a return assistance programme offered to asylum seekers and migrants without a legal right to stay in Norway. It aims to provide assistance for those planning to return voluntarily to their home countries in an organised, safe and dignified manner.

What we offer

  • Return information and counselling

  • Assistance with applying for travel documents

  • Travel arrangements to the final destination

  • Assistance at departure, in transit and upon arrival

  • Distribution of financial support for reintegration upon arrival in country of origin

  • Transport assistance to final destination

  • Limited follow-up, if requested and possible

Who is eligible?
  1. Asylum seekers with a:

    • Pending asylum claim

    • Rejected asylum application

    • Rejected asylum appeal

    • A withdrawn asylum application

  2. Any migrant not registered with the Government of Norway and without a legal permission to stay in Norway.

The advantages of travelling with IOM
  • You travel as a regular passenger.

  • Help obtaining valid travel documents.

  • Assistance at departure, in transit and upon arrival.

  • Confirmed travel dates make it easier to plan and prepare your return, allowing you to inform friends and relatives in advance.

  • Your travel is arranged up to the final destination.

  • IOM will not inform local authorities about your arrival.

  • You may be eligible for financial support (FSR).

  • You are not indebted to the Norwegian government for your travel.

  • The services are free of charge, including the cost of travel and travel assistance.

Do you have questions regarding AVRR? See our frequently asked questions →

Financial Support to Return (FSR)

You may be entitled to financial re-integration support. The financial support is intended to be an initial support for you to re-establish your life back home. It is the government of Norway that decides which support you may qualify for and finances the support. IOM distributes and administers the support.

IOM will book and pay for your plane ticket for the return journey and provide you with pocket money for the journey. The pocket money is USD 80 for adults above 18 years of age, and USD 110 for children below the age of 18.

Prior to departure, all applicants will be provided with information on how the financial support will be distributed, and receive contact information to their local IOM office. In most cases, the distribution of the re-integration support is completed around 3 weeks after arrival. Bank transfer is an option in most countries, and if an applicant has the bank details ready prior to departure the payment process might be faster. IOM follows the UN’s own currency exchange rates that are updated once to twice per month. The financial support is normally paid in local currency, with the exchange NOK → USD → local currency. Exceptionally, the support may be paid in a different currency, normally USD, depending on the situation in the country of return.

Do you have questions regarding FSR? See our frequently asked questions →

How to apply for assisted voluntary return

From 19 June 2019 all applications for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (VARP) must be submitted directly to the Norwegian Directorate for Immigration (UDI). Cases accepted for VARP and IOM assistance will be forwarded to IOM by UDI.


Apply to UDI for Assisted Voluntary Return

Important information!

IOM is not a part of the Norwegian government. IOM does not assist with visa or asylum issues in Norway. If you think your asylum claim was not given fair consideration, contact a lawyer or the Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS).

Before IOM can assist you with your return, an approval from the Norwegian authorities (UDI) is needed. UDI may deny certain individuals from travelling with IOM and the reasons for denial are not made known to IOM, only to you personally. The Norwegian police service will not be involved in your return with IOM.

Apply to UDI for Assisted Voluntary Return