The arrival of the year 2019 will also bring an increase in the maximum amount of assistance for voluntary return, as announced by the Finnish Ministry of Interior. This measure is part of a package of legal reforms on immigration that will come into effect on January 1 and include other decisions such as accelerating the timing for the deportation of foreigners who commit aggravated offences and changes in the residence permit application fees.
The current legislation establishes that the assistance for voluntary return can be granted in the form of in-kind assistance or cash. Moving forward, a maximum of 5,000 euros in in-kind assistance can be paid to adults returning to their home countries voluntarily.
The amount of in-kind assistance depends on the country of return. "People who return voluntary to Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, for instance, can receive in-kind assistance totalling 5,000 euros", stressed the Ministry of Interior in a press release. However, the amount of aid paid in cash will remain unchanged. The maximum amount payable in cash is 1,500 euros.
The Government explains that in-kind assistance may consist of various goods or services, such as helping the person to find a job at his/her home country. The goal of the increase in in-kind assistance is -as said by the Ministry of Interior- to promote voluntary return and ease the process of reintegration, as well as to encourage voluntary returnees to choose in-kind assistance rather than just financial support.
Advice and support
The in-kind assistance, which combines commodities and cash support, offers returnees better opportunities for reintegration in their home countries. Returnees receiving in-kind assistance pay several visits to the office of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) or some other relevant service provider in their home countries and, at the same time, receive the necessary advice and support for their return to and settlement in their home countries.
Voluntary return assistance may be given, for instance, to third country citizens who have sought international protection and who leave Finland voluntarily and permanently after cancelling their application for international protection or after their application has been rejected.
The changes will enter into force on 1 January 2019.
You can access the official press release of the Ministry of Interior that explains the increase in assistance for voluntary return HERE