Voluntary return assistance in the world and in Lithuania


The voluntary return and reintegration programme is one of the main activities of the International Organization for Migration. Since 1979, IOM has helped over  a million migrants around the world to reach their home safely. The main principle of voluntary return programmes has remained unchanged over the years: the safe and dignified return to his/her country of origin must be provided for each migrant who is entitled to the AVR assistance in the country from which he/she is being returned.


In 2017, 72176  people around the world benefited from the IOM's voluntary return anr reintegration assistance, the majority of them having returned to Albania and Iraq.


After Lithuania declared its independence in 1991, irregular migration flows in the country started growing rapidly. Migrants arriving from Africa and Asia were hoping to reach other European countries through Lithuania, however, they were detained and their fate was unclear.


With the help of the IOM Vilnius Office in Helsinki, Lithuania started organising voluntary returns in 1997. IOM took care not only of the migrants' safe return home but also the conditions of irregular migrants living at the Foreigners Registration Centre including renovation of premises, organisation of medical aid and provision of advice to migrants. After the establishment of the IOM Vilnius Office in 1998, coordination of returns from Lithuania was started. During the fifteen years of the Office's activities, over two thousand migrants have returned to their home countries.



1. Is your visa, residence permit or another document proving your lawful presence in the country no longer valid and, are you a citizen of a country which is a non - European Union or a non - European Economic area country?

2. Have you come to Lithuania legally but currently live in the country illegally?

3. Are you an asylum seeker in Lithuania?

If you want to return to your country of origin but do not have enough money to do this independently, and you have answered yes to at least one of these questions - please fill in the voluntary return programme form.


If you are not surewhether you meet the programme's criteria or have other issues - please contact the IOM staff in Vilnius.