Key Messages For VOLREP


1.      Non-Return Advisory

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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/Amayesh/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 and in Iran holding a valid Amayesh card, issued by the respective governments in Pakistan and Iran. Mandate Afghan refugees registered with UNHCR are also eligible for UNHCR’s assistance. Afghans who DO NOT HOLD PoR/Amayesh card, are not entitled to any return assistance from UNHCR. Afghans who have already received UNHCR’s assistance to repatriate in previous years will not receive cash assistance again.
  • 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?
  • Given the transportation costs have significantly increased in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, high inflation over the past two years, and deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, UNHCR increased the voluntary repatriation cash grant from USD 250 paid per person to USD 375 per person, effective 01 August 2022 at the Encashment Centres (ECs) in Afghanistan.
  • Afghan returnees who have been issued with a VRF at the VRCs in Iran and Pakistan are eligible to receive USD 375 per person which is comprising of two components: USD 150 per person as transportation grant and USD 225 per person as integration grant.
  • The transportation and integration grants are provided at the UNHCR Encashment Centres (ECs) inside Afghanistan, located in Nangarhar, Kandahar, Kabul and Herat provinces. Prior to departure, returning refugees are informed at VRCs in Iran and Pakistan to which EC they must present themselves to receive this assistance.
  • 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

  • As of 1st August 2022, 72 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. For the details of available services in each PARR location.

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 3005018568 – 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)
  • 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]

UNHCR Iran Contact Information

  • Persian Gulf Administrative Centre (Tehran)
    Address: Fath highway, After Shahrakeh Aseman, Beginning of Tehran Sar entrance
    Tel: (021) 44 56 31 48
    Working hours: Sunday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • UNHCR Tehran
    Address: No. 3, East Emdad Alley, North Sheikh Bahaei, Vanak
    Tel: (021) 88 21 25 20
    Working hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • UNHCR Esfahan
    Address: Kaveh Blvd., Jaber Ansari St., Aref Str., No. 21 & 59
    Tel: +98 (031) 34 44 28 41
    Working hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • UNHCR Shiraz
    Address: Modarres Blvd., Janbazan Blvd., (Poodanak), Parvin Etesami Blvd., (20 Metri 5th Poodanak), opposite Khaki football field
    Tel: (071) 37 22 96 92
    Working hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • UNHCR Kerman
    Address: Jomhuri Eslami Blvd., Hezar o yek shab alley, No. 42
    Tel: (034) 32 47 68 50
    Working hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • UNHCR Mashhad
    Address: No. 45, Sajjad Blvd., between Milad junction and Bahar junction
    Tel: (051) 37 68 56 41
    Working hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • UNHCR Dogharoun
    Address: Ansar settlement, Dogharoun Customs, Taybad
    Tel: (051) 54 55 73 55
    Working hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Thursdays 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: UNHCR Iran – Help for refugees and asylum-seekers

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.

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 (in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran), 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].