Information Regarding Voluntary Repatriation

Important Notice for Afghan Refugees (PoR cardholders) repatriation through VRC Baleli – Quetta, Balochistan
Beginning from 01 September 2022, registered Afghan refugees wishing to return through the Voluntary Repatriation Center (VRC) in Baleli, Quetta will have to schedule an appointment through the phone number below (operational from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm from Monday to Friday) prior to their arrival at the VRC.
+92 333-0792974- Balochistan Voluntary Repatriation scheduling number.
Any other voluntary repatriation enquiries can be channeled to the UNHCR sub-office Quetta
Helpline: 0333 781 9601/+923330792969, Quetta VRC: 0333-1511636

1.      Non-Return Advisory

         UNHCR’s position on returns to Afghanistan is as follows:

  1. UNHCR has issued a non-return advisory to States. This advisory, issued after the August 2021 events in Afghanistan, calls on States hosting Afghans to suspend the forcible return of Afghan nationals to Afghanistan.
  2. While UNHCR has made clear that those who do not wish to return to Afghanistan should not be forcibly returned, UNHCR does respect and support the decision of individual Afghans to return home, provided certain benchmarks are met.
  3. UNHCR will facilitate returns to Afghanistan based on the following benchmarks:
  • The choice to return is voluntary and well-informed
  • There are no significant protection concerns in an intended return location
  • Dignity is assured during the return and reintegration process
  • There is no exploitative arrangement in the return
  • The principles of family unity and the best interests of the child are respected.

2.      Voluntary Returns

  • Your decision to return to Afghanistan or remain in the current location is fully voluntary and on the basis of your informed decision. Before deciding to return to Afghanistan, you and members of your family should ensure that you have adequate information about the condition in the intended destination in Afghanistan. The conditions include safety/security and available services such as health and education facilities and economic opportunities and other factors that are important to you and your family, before deciding whether or not you wish to return to Afghanistan.
  • You and members of your family should not feel compelled to return due to any pressure or because you are forced to leave the current location for any reasons.
  • If you indicate an intention to return initially but later decide that return is not in the best interest of yourself and your family, you can change your decision. But please make sure to communicate your decision prior to de-registration (of your PoR/ Refugee card) and issuance of a Voluntary Repatriation Form (VRF).

3.      Available assistance for Voluntary Repatriation under UNHCR program

         3.1. Who is eligible to receive UNHCR’s assistance to repatriate under UNHCR’s VolRep programme to Afghanistan?

  • All registered Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan holding a Proof of Registration (PoR) card issued by the Government of Pakistan. Mandate Afghan refugees registered with UNHCR are also eligible for UNHCR’s assistance. Afghans who DO NOT HOLD PoR card, are not entitled to the return assistance from UNHCR. Afghans who have already received UNHCR’s assistance to repatriate in previous years will not receive cash assistance again.
  • Unregistered members of registered families (UMRF) recorded through DRIVE are also eligible for voluntary repatriation assistance. To be eligible for the cash grant, unregistered members of registered families need to complete the validation process at one of the 11 Proof of registration Card Modification (PCM) Centres at least 5 working days prior to approaching the VRC.
  • In case the UMRF has not completed the validation process prior to approaching the VRC, the unregistered members can be processed for validation at the PCM center located in the VRC. However, delays in validation can be expected which may extend processing timeline and prevent the family from returning on the day they approach VRC.
  • Additionally, the UMRF must return with at least one of the registered PoR cardholder of his/her family. UMRFs approaching without one of the registered PoR cardholders of his/her family will not be eligible for the cash grant.
  • If the validated UMRF has been issued with a Family Information Certificate, the document should be brought to the VRC on the day of the departure.
  • In order to be eligible for assistance you must first go to a UNHCR Voluntary Repatriation Centre (VRC) to be processed and issued with a VRF.
  • Please note that UNHCR does not provide any assistance to Afghans, who do not hold a VRF. Returning Afghans must therefore ensure that they have obtained their VRF before leaving the VRC, and that it is readable. If the print is faded or cannot be read, then another copy must be obtained before leaving the VRC.

3.2. Who is eligible to receive UNHCR’s assistance to repatriate under UNHCR’s VolRep programme to Afghanistan?

  • UNHCR provides each registered refugee returnee holding a valid VRF with a one-off cash grant of US $375 to cover transportation and other immediate needs upon arrival. This grant will be available at the Encashment Centres (ECs) inside Afghanistan, located in Nangarhar, Kandahar, Kabul and Herat provinces, starting the day after you receive your VRF in the host country.
  • For the refugees, who opted to voluntarily return to Afghanistan from 1 January 2023 onwards, in addition to $375 per person:
  • They will receive US $700 per family consisting of two or more members.
  • A family of one member will receive USD350.
  • This additional supplementary amount will be provided three months after their arrival to the areas of origin in Afghanistan.
  • If the whole family does not return at once, the first part of the family to arrive will receive US $350 regardless of the number of family members. 
  • If other members from the same family return later, they will receive the remaining US $350. 
  • If a third part of the same family returns after the first two groups, it will not receive the cash grant.
  • The supplementary cash grant will only be paid once. Individuals who returned prior to 01 January 2023 are not eligible to receive the supplementary reintegration cash grant. However, they may benefit from other services provided by UNHCR and our partners in PARRs and other communities.
  • Individuals who received cash assistance for repatriation in previous years will not be eligible to receive cash assistance again and cannot receive the supplementary repatriation cash grant.
  • In addition, at the ECs, returning refugees will receive basic health care, overnight accommodation when needed. They may also receive other services, provided by other partners present in each EC. The services available in the ECs are as follows:

  • Furthermore, the VRCs and ECs are equipped with necessary mitigating measures to avoid the transmission of COVID-19. All returnees are encouraged to adhere to recommended COVID-19 preventive measures such as washing hands, keep distance and to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

4.     Which documents do Afghan refugees need to bring to the VRC?

Prior to returning, Afghan refugees should make sure that all the documents they will need in Afghanistan, such as their children’s school enrolment documents (education certificate and records), are updated and properly signed/verified by the Afghan Embassy or Afghan Consulates in Iran/Pakistan.

5.     Current situation in Afghanistan:

  • The current socio-economic situation, including safety/security in Afghanistan, remains fluid and may vary from one location to another.
  • Reports produced by humanitarian agencies in 2022 in relation to Afghanistan indicate the risk of drought, acute hunger, raising food insecurity, in the context of declining formal and informal economies.

6.     Information on UNHCR Support in Afghanistan

  • 80 districts in Afghanistan are designated as Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration (PARR) and the significant efforts were made to extend various services and support in these areas. The details of available services in PARR locations will be provided at the VRC.

7.     How can I get information on land mines/UXO?

  • Refer to leaflets which will be provided at the ECs in Afghanistan.

8.     How can I get information related to Housing, Land and Property?

  • You will receive information at the ECs in Afghanistan.

9.     Questions, Complaints and Feedback

  • Please contact UNHCR if you have any queries or feedback or complaints related to UNHCR’s activities or assistance for facilitating your return to Afghanistan, you can reach UNHCR through the following channels:

UNHCR Pakistan Contact Information

  • Islamabad: +92 3041111437 – open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Sat-Sun 10am-5pm)
  • Peshawar: VRC Azakeil: 03000544491, 03000544492, 03000544496 – open Mon – Thu 8:00AM – 4:30PM – Fri: 8:00AM – 12:30PM
  • General Helpline: +92 300 858 5600 – open Mon – Thu 8:00 am – 04:30 pm, Fri – 08:00am – 1:00pm
  • Quetta: VRC Baleli: +92 3331511636 – open Sat – Thu 08:00am-05:00pm, Fri 08:00 – 12:30pm)
  • Balochistan Voluntary Repatriation scheduling number +92 333-0792974
  • General Helpline: +92 333 781 9601 (Mon-Fri 08:00 am – 4 pm) +92 333 079 2969 (Mon- Fri 10:00 am –6pm)
  • Email: Islamabad: [email protected] | Peshawar: [email protected]| Quetta: [email protected]
  • To report fraud: Islamabad: [email protected] | Peshawar: [email protected]| Quetta: [email protected]

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.
    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.

10.     Questions, Complaints and Feedback

  • All assistance provided by UNHCR or on behalf of UNHCR through its partners is free of charge for everyone.
  • UNHCR has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse by its staff and partners.
  • If you are asked for money, favours or other benefit in exchange for receiving assistance, employment, information or anything else or if you have concerns or information about possible fraud or misconduct by any UNHCR staff or staff of one of its partners, please report such incidents to UNHCR, using the above-mentioned contacts.
  • You can also report Fraud and Misconduct directly to UNHCR’s Inspector General’s office (IGO), which is based in UNHCR’s Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and which is responsible for investigating misconduct by UNHCR and its partners: [email protected]