What is assisted return?

UDI and International Organization for Migration (IOM) offer practical support and financial grants to those who want to return home.

The aim is to facilitate assisted return through a dedicated programme that offers asylum seekers and foreign nationals without legal residence in Norway an organised, safe and dignified means of returning home.

The target group and their situation

Everyone who applies for protection (asylum) in Norway receives a decision from UDI. The decision is made after an assessment of the conditions in the applicant’s home country, and an assessment of the information they submit to UDI and the police, both in an interview and in the submitted documents. Asylum seekers who are entitled to protection are granted a residence permit in Norway.

Asylum seekers who are not entitled to protection will not be granted a residence permit in Norway and must return home. Through the assisted return scheme, migrants are given help and money to return home and resettle in their home country. Assisted return is an alternative to staying in Norway without legal residence and running the risk of being forcibly returned by the police (external website) and expelled from the Schengen area.

Irregular migrants: Who makes up this group?

All foreign nationals who stay illegally in Norway, are irregular migrants. Those whose applications for protection or application for another type of residence have been rejected must return to their home country. If they do not, they are staying illegally in Norway and will be escorted out of the country against their will by the police.

Read more about who is eligible for assisted return. 

What does it mean to stay in Norway without legal residence?

When people are staying in Norway without legal residence, they have few rights. They are not entitled to healthcare, except in an emergency situation, and they do not have a work permit, which prevents them from earning a legal income.

Why is assisted return a good alternative?

Those who choose assisted return are able to return home with dignity. They have the opportunity to plan their journey, and they have more control over their own lives. They also receive money and transport for the journey to their home country.

It is important to leave the country before the deadline in order to avoid being expelled from Norway and the whole Schengen area.

See which rules apply to different countries and find information about how to apply for assisted return.


Go to application form



More information

  • Film about assisted return – Children and young

  • Film about assisted return - Somalia

  • Information for lawyers and representatives

  • Information for reception centre employees

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