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In addition to the humanitarian programme REAG/GARP, the Federal Government offers additional financial assistance to asylum-seekers who bindingly opt for a voluntary return. It is possible to submit the application at any time during the asylum procedure, but at the latest within the period set for departure.

StarthilfePlus is granted on condition that the application for a voluntary return with the REAG/GARP programme has been approved and that the prospective returnee is offered start-up cash according to the list of GARP-assisted countries of origin. As with REAG/GARP, a condition for the granting StarthilfePlus is for the applicant to have no funds. There is no entitlement to support.

The group of individuals who can apply for StarthilfePlus corresponds with the list of GARP countries. Nationals from Georgia and Ukraine can only apply for StarthilfePlus if they have entered Germany after EU visa liberalisation (Georgia: 27.03.2017/ Ukraine: 10.06.2017). For nationals from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine the application for asylum before 1 december 2017 is required to participate in the programme.

Hervorhebung_Gesetzgebung: The levels system of StarthilfePlus

Stage 1: Financial support of 1,200 Euro (per person aged from 12) is granted if the binding decision to leave Germany voluntarily is taken before the asylum decision is delivered, and the asylum application is withdrawn.

Stage 2: Financial support of 800 Euro (per person aged from 12) is granted if the binding decision to leave Germany voluntarily is taken within the deadline set for departure, after a negative asylum decision has been received, and no appeals are filed against the decision.If an appeal has already been filed, it must be withdrawn.

Stage S: Financial support of 800 Euro is granted to persons who are entitled to a form of protection according to German law and return to their country of origin with REAG/GARP programme. As opposed to the other stages, stage S applies to all nationalities within the framework of REAG.

Stage D – temporary suspension of removal (Duldung) – reintegration support (pilot phase from 01.01.2018)

Stage D applies to Albanian and Serbian nationals whose removal has been suspended for at least two years. If they opt for a voluntary return, they can receive a one-off financial support within the StarthilfePlus programme as well as reintegration support in their country of origin.

  • Financial support of 500 Euro (per person aged from 12): the payment is effected once only by the local IOM office after arrival in the country of origin
  • Reintegration support granted in-kind:

    -> housing assistance up to 2,000 Euro per family and up to 1,000 Euro per single person

    -> medical costs up to 3,000 Euro per family and up to 1,500 Euro per single person

Family assistance: A family supplement of 500 Euro per family will be granted if more than four family members jointly file an application for StarthilfePlus.

There is no entitlement to support.

In any case applicants absolutely have to leave the country without undue delay after submitting the application for support with StarthilfePlus.

StarthilfePlus is disbursed in one or two stages. The first half of the support is paid on departure, at the same time as the regular GARP start-up cash. The second half is to be paid in the country of origin six to eight months later. In stage S the complete payment is effected at the airport before departure, in stage D just after arrival in the country of origin.

Hervorhebung_Gesetzgebung: "Your Country. your future. Now!"

New: Reintegration assistance for housing: Between 1 December 2017 and 28 February 2018 returnees can apply for an additional reintegration assistance. The application for the reintegration assistance with the name "Your Country. Your Future. Now!" is filed together with the application for StarthilfePlus and REAG/GARP. You will coordinate the concrete form of support upon your return with the IOM in your country of destination.

Please note: Persons who receive support in Stage S as well as persons who move onward to a receiving third country, do not receive reintegration assistance for housing.

Types of reintegration support in the area of housing

If appropriate and necessary the following benefits can be granted in-kind:

  • Rental, additional costs included
  • Construction or renovation works
  • Basic furnishings and basic facilities for kitchen or bathroom

Scope of reintegration support

  • Families up to 3,000 Euro in-kind
  • Single persons up to 1,000 Euro in-kind

Implementation in the country of origin

  1. Initial phone contact with the local IOM office within one month after departure
  2. Elaboration of an approach towards reintegration during counseling with IOM in the country of origin
  3. Agreement about the benefits in-kind that can be granted in consideration of the housing conditions and individual needs
  4. Implementation of the reintegration support within 12 months after departure from Germany

StarthilfePlus builds onto REAG/GARP, and is implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on behalf of the Federation.

A comprehensive fact sheet on StarthilfePlus, an overview of the nationwide returnee programmes broken down by countries of origin, as well as the documents that are to be forwarded to IOM by the authorities forwarding the application, are available for download in the right-hand column in PDF format.

The IOM’s Sub-Office in Nuremberg and the staff working on the Federal Office’s return hotline will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

Date 29 December 2017

Additional Information

On the topic

FAQ: Voluntary Return

People whose asylum application in Germany has been turned down may opt to return voluntarily. This is an alternative to forced return. Asylum-seekers whose asylum proceedings have not yet been concluded may also return to their country of origin voluntarily. These FAQs indicate what needs to be taken into account, what the advantages of voluntary return are and what promotional programmes and advice are on offer.

More: FAQ: Voluntary Return …


Do you have any questions? Please contact us!

IOM Internationale Organisation für Migration – Sub-Office Nuremberg

Frankenstraße 210
960451 Nürnberg
Telephone: +49 (0)911 4300 - 0
Fax: +49 (0)911 4300 - 260

Federal Office for Migration and Refugees - return hotline

Frankenstraße 210
90461 Nürnberg
Telephone: +49 911 943 - 0
Fax: +49 911 943 - 1000
E-mail: Write a message
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