BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Counselling on assisted return at the ZIRF

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ZIRF - Individual counselling on returns

The counselling services of the Information Centre for Voluntary Return (ZIRF) provide informations of those interested in returning.

The ZIRF thus offers targeted, individual counselling on assisted returns. A broad spectrum of questions is covered, such as

  • economic infrastructure,
  • local housing and labour markets,
  • reconstruction aid,
  • healthcare,
  • social concerns, and
  • basic and further training available.

The ZIRF database – comprehensive information on voluntary return

The ZIRF database provides comprehensive information in a combined form. The answers to previous enquiries for individual return counselling cases are made freely available, in anonymous form, via the ZIRF counselling documents in the database. This makes it possible to provide the necessary knowledge to a large number of users efficiently and quickly. The database is a major focus of the work of the ZIRF, and is being constantly expanded. The database contains

  • voluntary return programmes,
  • promotional measures (national/international/EU level),
  • country of origin information, as well as questions and answers on the countries,
  • contacts/advice agencies, and
  • other supporting information.

This ambitious tool relies entirely on cooperation with the Federal Länder and the other institutions (in particular the independent welfare organisations) in collecting the abovementioned information.

display as hint: Note

The Information Centre for Voluntary Return (ZIRF) database is now more user-friendly – the latest data from 2011 onwards is accessible from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees homepage under the headings "Counselling on Assisted Returns" and "Country information". Information prior to 2011 can be consulted, as previously, in the original ZIRF database.

The ZIRF: Coordination of assisted returns and enhancement of support measures

The Information Centre for Voluntary Return essentially pursues the following goals:

Logo of the Information Centre for Voluntary Return

  • to coordinate, design and network assisted return,
  • to improve the assistance that is on offer and to promote advice by bundling the information, and
  • to use the available subsidies efficiently.

To this end, the ZIRF initiates, examines and promotes project applications in cooperation with other institutions. It coordinates return management by acquiring, collecting, processing and passing on information on assisted returns to

  • authorities of the Federal Government, of the Federal Länder and local authorities (especially immigration authorities and social welfare offices), as well as where appropriate international partners or other institutions involved,
  • independent welfare organisations,
  • churches, and especially
  • prospective returnees.

The ZIRF was established at the Federal Office in July 2003 and has been working successfully since that time. The ZIRF counselling project was started in January 2006. It has become effective each year and, is being offered this year too.

Date 24 February 2014

Additional Information


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Information Centre for Voluntary Return (ZIRF)

Telephone: +49 911 943-4333
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Counselling of the ZIRF

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