Voluntary Repatriation

Voluntary repatriation is when you return home to your country of origin after making a free and informed decision to return. When you voluntarily repatriate home, you will no longer be a refugee or an asylum seeker, as you will have chosen to return to the protection of your own government.   

If you are considering returning to your country of origin, please contact UNHCR through KOBO Online Inquiry Form or email at [email protected]

UNHCR will schedule you for counselling to explain the process and provide you with available information on your country of origin. During the counselling, UNHCR will ensure the following:  

  • Your choice to return is voluntary.  
  • You are well-informed about the situation in your country. 
  • There are no significant security or protection concerns in your intended location of return. 
  • Your entire family has considered return and children and other dependents are included in your return or are in an appropriate care arrangement. 
  • Any specific needs or heightened risks are shared with UNHCR so any appropriate and available support during and/or after return can be provided. 

In Indonesia, UNHCR and IOM work together to assist refugees and asylum seekers to voluntarily return to many countries of origin. This program is called the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) program. If you wish to return to a country that is not included under the AVRR program (including Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, and Myanmar), you must finance your return on your own. These returns are considered to be “self-organized”.   

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Program

Under the AVRR program, UNHCR provides individuals interested in return with information to help ensure decisions are well-informed, assesses whether return is voluntary, and answers any questions you may have. Once completed, UNHCR refers you to IOM to continue with your travel arrangements. 

IOM will then meet with you to provide the following assistance: 

  • Pre-departure support, including counselling, medical assessment, and support to obtain travel documentation 
  • Accommodation during the return process 
  • Transport, including domestic and international flights as needed 
  • Support with formalities to enable your exit from Indonesia 
  • Transit and reception assistance depending on the route 
  • Post-arrival assessment and support  

 In order to initiate a request for AVRR, please contact either IOM or UNHCR: 

For further information on the AVRR programme, please visit https://indonesia.iom.int/id/penempatan-ke-negara-ketiga-dan-pemulangan-secara-sukarela 

Self-Organized Return

The AVRR program is unable to support returns to Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, and Myanmar due to the continued instability in those countries. Refugees and asylum seekers who wish to return to these countries must purchase your own flight tickets. UNHCR will support by providing you with information about your country of origin and will assist you to obtain an exit clearance from the Government of Indonesia.  

Returns to Afghanistan

Afghan refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia who wish to return home do not qualify for the AVRR program and hence must organize and pay for their own flight. However, UNHCR has a special program to support the reintegration of Afghan returnees in Afghanistan through the provision of cash assistance and additional support, which is provided in Encashment Centers upon return. Details are provided below. 

UNHCR Position on Returns 

Following the August 2021 events in Afghanistan, UNHCR issued a non-return advisory calling on States hosting Afghans to suspend the forcible return of Afghan nationals to Afghanistan. While UNHCR has made clear that those who do not wish to return to Afghanistan should not be forcibly returned, UNHCR respects and supports the decision of individual Afghans who wish to return home.  

If you are considering return to Afghanistan, you and members of your family should ensure that you have adequate information about the condition in your intended destination in Afghanistan. Please seek information on safety/security, the extent to which key services – including education and health – are available and accessible, economic opportunities, and other factors that are important to you and your family before making a decision on whether or not you wish to return to Afghanistan. 

Assistance available for refugees who return to Afghanistan  

UNHCR has a special program to support the reintegration of refugees who wish to return to Afghanistan through cash stipends that you receive upon arrival and after you have settled.  This is only available to registered refugees. 

In order to be eligible for UNHCR assistance in Afghanistan, you must first approach UNHCR Indonesia to be processed and issued with a Voluntary Repatriation Form (VRF). The supplementary reintegration cash grant will be provided in Afghanistan based on the information in your VRF. The VRF must be readable.  If the document is faded or cannot be read, please obtain another copy before leaving Indonesia. Please make sure to avoid damaging/losing your VRF. 

Upon return, UNHCR Afghanistan will provide each registered refugee returnee holding a valid VRF with a one-off cash grant of USD 225 (covering re-entry and immediate needs upon arrival).  The grant will be given to you at the UNHCR Encashment Centers (ECs) inside Afghanistan, located in Nangarhar, Kandahar, Kabul and Herat provinces. 

In addition to the USD 225 you receive at Encashment Centers upon arrival, you will receive a one-time supplementary reintegration cash grant approximately three months after arrival in your area of origin/intended destination. This grant is intended to support reintegration by extending financial support for three additional months. Returnee families will receive USD 700 (for a family of two or more people) or USD 350 (for single individuals).   

The provision of the supplementary reintegration cash grant will be facilitated by UNHCR and its partners. To ensure you receive the supplementary grant, it is essential that you provide UNHCR/partners with your active phone number(s) following arrival at the Encashment Centre so that we can contact you when it is time to collect the grant. If your phone number changes, you must inform us immediately by contacting the Encashment Centre helpline. Please also contact the Encashment Centre helpline when your address changes so that we can we know where you reside when we reach out to you. More information about when, where, and how to collect the cash will be given to you at the Encashment Centre when you arrive in Afghanistan. 

UNHCR Afghanistan Contact Information 

Herat/Gazargah Transit/EC
Address: Around 3 KM away from the Center of Herat City in the north near the Shrine of Khawja Abdullah Ansari
Open Sunday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Tel:  + 93 (0) 702775793 or + 93 (0)702775792 

Kabul EC
Address: Kabul – Jalalabad Road, next to Tangi Gharoo, close to Jalalabad Bus Station
Open Tuesday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tel: +93 (0) 791990244 

Jamal Mayna/Kandahar EC
Address: Kandahar-Spin Boldak Highway, 4 km from Shur Andam Kutal towards Kabul Dorahi on the right side of the road
Open Saturday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tel: +93 (0) 70 24 66610 

Samarkhel/Jalalabad EC:
Address: Main Jalalabad-Torkham Highway, Samarkhel area close to Tagab IDP camp, Bihsud district, Nangarhar province
Open from Sunday to Thursday 08:45 to 15:45
Tel:  +93 (0)791990236 and +93 (0) 791990203 

Repatriation Unit at UNHCR Country Office in Kabul
Address: ICON Compound, Supreme Road, District # 9, Jalalabad Road, Kabul, Afghanistan.
Working hours: Sunday – Thursday, 7:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Hotline number: 0791990225, 0790691746 and 0704996168 (available on all working days)
You can also reach UNHCR through Protection email ([email protected])
Complaint/feedback box at UNHCR office in Kabul through which you can submit written petition. 

You may also direct questions or complaints to the inter-agency helpline – Awaaz – in Afghanistan:
Phone: 410 toll-free (only in Afghanistan) and available seven days a week.
website: https://awaazaf.org/

Awaaz provides confidential hotline that anyone with access to a mobile phone in Afghanistan can call for free to access information on and register feedback about the humanitarian response. Awaaz can be contacted seven days a week and female and male agents are available who speak Dari, Pashto, Urdu, English, as well as other language. 

Please note that all your information you provide, including your name, contact number, address as well as queries and feedback will be treated confidentially.