In principle, voluntary return is possible at any time. Many refugees would prefer to return to their homeland as soon as they no longer fear persecution. Others prefer to return to their country of origin even before their asylum process is completed.
People whose application for asylum has been rejected are obligated to leave. But they also have the possibility to leave voluntarily within a certain period of time. Only if a person does not voluntarily leave can they be forcibly returned to their country of origin.
The Federal Republic of Germany, together with various partners, supports people who wish to voluntarily return to their homeland. You can apply for assistance if you do not have the financial resources to leave. The humanitarian aid programme REAG / GARP assumes transport costs, a travel allowance and grants to nationals from certain countries of origin. The programme is implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). There is, however, no guarantee of being included in the programme.
Further information on programmes for returnees can be found on the website of the Federal Office.
You can contact special advisory centres if you need assistance with the planning of your return journey. You can find a directory with advisory centres near you here.
For certain countries, there are special return programmes, such as for Kosovo or Northern Iraq. These programmes are designed to help returnees find a social and economic footing in their home country once they return. Further information can also be found on the website of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).