Voluntary return

is an integral part of the return policy. Voluntary return and forced return are two pillars of this policy.

Belgium applies the principle that every foreign national ordered to leave the country can leave independently and voluntarily. Forced return is only applied if the foreign national in irregular stay does not voluntarily comply with an .

Independent return is, in principle, the normal situation. When a foreign national is ordered to leave the territory, they are requested to leave Belgian territory by their means and to return to their country of origin or where they are entitled to stay (or to enter).

The will not be ordered if the obligation to return is respected within the time limit of the order to leave the territory. Foreign nationals can organise their voluntary return independently and by their means, or they can contact the federal agency , which is responsible for organising assisted voluntary return.

If you wish to return, the Immigration Office can help you.

Contact the Voluntary Return Service of the IO:

Tel: 02/4889777

e-mail: icamsupport [at] ibz.fgov.be

The service will inform you about the travel arrangements, the steps to be taken and the necessary documents.

The IO may cover the cost of your air, rail or bus fare.

Assisted is an essential part of the return policy pursued by Belgium and the Immigration Office. This return policy also provides detention and forced return as a last resort if the foreign national refuses to return voluntarily.

Detention in a detention centre is one of the tools of forced return. The Immigration Office has chosen to register the detention centres for foreign nationals in irregular stay as voluntary return partners with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In 1999, an agreement was concluded to recognise the detention centres as independent voluntary return partners. In 2008, a similar deal was concluded for the family units.

Return coaches from detention centres must, among other things, convince the persons detained pending their return to cooperate in returning and, if appropriate, to join the voluntary return programme. Assistance in the context of voluntary return does not automatically apply to all persons held in detention centres. In principle, this assistance is not provided to foreign nationals who have committed crimes.