Who is eligible for the return scheme and how to apply
UDI processes the application.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the asylum reception centre where the migrant lives, or a UDI regional office can help with the application.
Who can apply for assisted return?
Foreign nationals can apply for assisted return if:
- they have received a rejection of their application for protection (asylum) or another application for residence in Norway
- their application for protection is under consideration
- they do not have legal residence and have not had a case registered in the computer system used for immigration and refugee cases (DUF)
- they have received a decision regarding transferral to another country that participates in the cooperation under the Dublin Regulation, but would rather return to their home country. This requires him or her to leave by the deadlines stipulated by the Dublin Regulation.
- they have temporary residence until the age of 18
- they are possible victims of human trafficking
- they are unaccompanied minor asylum seekers
There are exceptions, but the above bullet list contains the main rules.
The scheme does normally not apply to foreign nationals who:
- are citizens of Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Georgia, Ghana, India, Israel, Kosovo, Croatia, Montenegro, Mongolia, Namibia, Northern Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, Tanzania, or Ukraine
- are nationals of a country exempt from the visa requirement
- have previously received support through programmes for assisted return or repatriation, and who have re-immigrated to Norway and want to return to a country under the Dublin Regulations
- have been granted a residence permit on other grounds than a need for protection that has expired or been revoked, or have not been granted a new residence permit
- have received a rejection of their application for protection or of another application for residence in Norway because he or she has been granted protection, residence, or a visa in another EU/EEA country.
Exceptions are made for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers and possible victims of human trafficking.
The course of the application process
How is the application processed?
The person registers their application here. UDI decides whether the applicants are qualified for the voluntary return programme.
The time it takes to process the application varies from case to case, and may take anything from weeks to months. The documents the applicant is able to present, will influence the process. If the applicant can present a valid travel document, the case may be processed more quickly.
What happens if the application is granted?
If the application for assisted return is granted, UDI sends the decision to the applicant. The IOM helps the person to return home.
Travel documents and tickets
If the migrant does not have a valid travel document, IOM will help obtain a valid travel document. The case processing time can vary, depending on where the migrant is travelling to.
The IOM books the plane tickets and sends the travel details to the applicant.
What happens when the applicant leaves?
The applicant is informed in advance about when he or she is leaving, and travels as an ordinary passenger on a scheduled flight. The applicant can receive help on the journey and in connection with stopovers, and is normally issued a passport from his or her home country.
More practical information about the return journey can be found on the IOM’s website (external website).
What happens if the application is rejected?
If the application for assisted return is rejected, the applicant will receive a decision with an explanation of the grounds.
UDI will assess whether foreign nationals whose applications for assisted return have been rejected can be offered assisted return with the police. You can contact the National Police Immigration Service for more information (external website).
The applicant has the right to appeal if he/she disagrees with UDI's decision regarding accompanied return. If the decision is appealed, UDI will reassess the case. If UDI upholds the rejection, the appeal will be sent to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. Read more about the right of appeal here.