Return Policy in Germany. Ways to Strengthen Financed Voluntary Departure

Study | March 2017

Even though voluntary departure of failed asylum seekers takes precedence over deportations, there are hardly any legally binding specifications to implement and fund this option. The weight given to financed voluntary return is very different depending on the Land. SVR’s Research Unit examined return policy practices in three Länder and derived the following recommendations: return counselling should be introduced throughout Germany and be embedded in law; there is a need for better coordination between the federal government and the Länder, stronger support structures as well as clear and transparent guidelines for enforcement by the authorities.