Some people who came to Germany to seek asylum do not want to or are not allowed to stay any longer. In that case, it is possible for them to return to their home countries voluntarily. ZRB Südbayern, the return counselling office for southern Bavaria, can help with that. We can give you information and advice if you think about returning to your home country and support you in taking the necessary steps.
What is the difference between “voluntary return” and “deportation” (Abschiebung)?
There is a big difference between voluntary return and deportation. If you decide to return voluntarily, you can actively take part in preparing your return with us. In many cases, we can help you apply for financial support. You can also participate in vocational and business trainings.
People who are deported, on the other hand, are picked up by the police unannounced and guarded until they are back in their home country. They do not receive any financial support.
At what point can I return to my home country voluntarily?
You can return to your home country voluntarily at any time during or after your asylum procedure. However, not everybody can apply for financial support when they return voluntarily.
Please contact us and we will talk about your specific situation
How quickly can my return be organised?
Organising your return can take several days up to several months depending on your specific situation:
- Do you already have valid travel papers or do you still need to apply for them?
- Is a suitable flight available soon?
- Do you have any medical issues and need additional support?
We will talk about these issues at your first appointment with us. Afterwards, we can give you an estimate of how long it will take to prepare your return.
Where can I get counselling and support?
In Bavaria, you can receive counselling and support from governmental as well as non-governmental agencies.
ZRB Südbayern is a non-governmental counselling office. That means we are independent from the government and state authorities. Making an appointment with us is voluntary. It is possible to just get some information about your options without committing to returning. Our goal is to help you make an informed decision.
ZRB Südbayern has offices in four locations:
Augsburg, Deggendorf, Kempten (Allgäu), Mühldorf/Inn
What kind of support can I get?
The level and type of assistance can vary quite a lot. It depends on many different factors, such as your country of origin and for how long you have been in Germany.
It is possible, for example, to have your return organised and your travel costs paid for, to receive one-time financial support, or participate in vocational and business trainings.
This is why we will ask you a lot of questions when you come to our counselling office. Then we will explain to you what level of assistance is possible in your case.
Can I remain anonymous during counselling?
Yes, you can remain anonymous during a counselling appointment. In that case, you do not have to give us your name or any other personal information.
However, if you choose to return voluntarily, we will need your personal information, for example to be able to book a flight.
That means you can remain anonymous for counselling but not for your return.
Do I have to come to my appointment on my own?
No, you can bring a family member or a friend along, for example.
Am I safe from deportation?
When you are ordered to leave Germany, the authorities will give you a certain amount of time to do so. After this, it is legal for them to deport you. In many cases, however, they will still give preference to a voluntary return and give you enough time to get all the necessary documents and prepare your return.
It is still possible that you are not given enough time to fully take advantage of every available programme.
We always have to rely on your cooperation und commitment to organize the return.
Are there interpreters available?
Yes, for a lot of languages, we have people available who can interpret for you.
Voluntary return: step by step
If you choose to return voluntarily, you will usually have three face-to-face appointments at our counselling office.
Step 1: Getting in touch with a counselling office in your area
If you want to get more information about voluntary return to your home country, please get in touch with us.
You can call us or send an email.
Step 2: Coming to our office to get some information
During your first appointment you will get all the important information about the voluntary return process. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can. In specific cases, counselling can be offered in a different location.
Step 3: Making your decision
It can be very difficult to decide whether you want to return or not. If you have any questions, you can always get in touch with us. The final decision is yours.
Step 4: Preparing your return
If you choose to return, we will make another appointment and plan your return together.
We will fill out all the necessary paperwork with you and go over important issues, for example:
Do you have any travel papers? What do you need for the journey? How much luggage will you take with you?
Step 5: Booking the flight
As soon as everything has been prepared, we will look for a suitable flight for you. We will usually be able to tell you the date at least one week in advance.
Step 6: Final meeting
A few days before your flight, we will have our final meeting. We will give you all the important documents you will need for your return and explain the details of your journey to you.
Step 7: Going to the airport
You will go to the airport using public transport (bus or train). After check-in, you will go through security and board your plane.
Step 8: Follow-up support
Even after your return, we will be there for you if you need us. In some countries, we can help you contact local organisations who offer reintegration support.