DRC advises on the possibility of applying for reintegration support if you are a rejected asylum seeker and wish to cooperate on your return home. Reintegration support is provided in cooperation with local reintegration partners in the relevant country of origin.
Rejected asylum seekers often have many thoughts, questions, and perhaps concerns about what is going to happen as a result of the refusal of asylum.
DRC’s return and reintegration counsellors can talk to the rejected asylum seeker about his or her situation and about the emotional and practical considerations that may arise in the process after a refusal of asylum.
DRC counsellors can also help check whether an applicant meets the criteria for receiving reintegration support and can assist an applicant in applying for reintegration support. In addition, counsellors can provide advice on, for example, local conditions in the specific home country and possible uses of reintegration support. DRC can put an applicant in virtual contact with the local reintegration partner before departure, and assist in preparing the return and reintegration process for the individual applicant.
DRC's return and reintegration counsellors have, among other things, experience with:
What happens after a refusal of asylum and what rules apply
What practical, social and/or financial support is available in the home country;
What emotional and practical considerations rejected asylum seekers often address
Our advice is confidential. We do not provide any information to the Danish authorities about the individual's considerations, just as counselling with DRC does not necessarily mean that the rejected asylum seeker wants to leave, but simply that he or she seeks clarification about the situation he or she finds himself or herself in.
Questions and answers on reintegration support
Reintegration support is an offer for rejected asylum seekers.
It is the Danish Return Agency that assesses whether an applicant is cooperating regarding his or her return journey and it is the Danish Return Agency that decides whether an applicant meets the conditions to qualify for reintegration support. Applicants who wish to be covered by a reintegration program must not have an ongoing application case for a residence permit with the authorities.
This means that an asylum seeker who has been definitively refused asylum and who wishes to travel voluntarily to his or her home country will, as a rule, be included in the target group for reintegration support.
Persons who have a residence permit revoked under sections 7-8 of the Aliens Act or do not have it extended will, as a rule, also be included in the target group.
Furthermore, asylum seekers who are in phase 2, where the asylum case has been taken into consideration in Denmark, can withdraw their application for asylum, and be covered by the scheme.
It is a requirement that the person in question has not been convicted of a serious crime. The nature of the crime is taken into account when deciding on the granting of reintegration support so that more serious crimes such as crimes against national security, terrorism, and violent crimes against persons can exclude a person from receiving support.
Reintegration support is "in kind" support of up to DKK 20,000 (per person). No cash amount will be paid, apart from the amount an applicant can apply for to cover minor expenses in connection with the return journey, such as transport from an airport to a final destination.
"In kind" support means that the support is provided by the local reintegration partner in the country in question (click here to see a list of countries with reintegration partners) and that no actual cash is received.
The reintegration support is adapted to the individual needs of the applicant and can be used, among other things, to fund reception at the airport, short-term temporary accommodation, help to find employment, income generating activities, medicine, etc. The local reintegration partner monitors the returnee for 12 months after departure from Denmark.
The Somalia program offers both "in kind" support as well as a small cash amount up to a total amount of approximately DKK 30,000
If there is no local reintegration partner in the home country, the Return Agency can offer DKK 20,000 in cash support upon departure. Read more here.
The reintegration support is funded by the Danish authorities, but it is local reintegration partners in the home country who take on the concrete task of supporting the returned person.
The reintegration support is managed through DRC and DRC works closely with and supports the local reintegration partners, to ensure that the support is used appropriately with a view to sustainable reintegration in the home country.
The Danish Return Agency processes applications for reintegration support.
DRC's return and reintegration counsellors can help fill in the application form for reintegration support and send it to the Danish Return Agency.
Our counsellors can also help in ascertaining whether or not an applicant meets the criteria to receive reintegration support. They can also advise on local conditions in the specific home country, possible uses of reintegration support, put an applicant in virtual contact with the local reintegration partner before departure and also assist throughout the return process for the individual applicant.
The short answer is YES.
The following persons are excluded from reintegration support, even if they cooperate about returning home:
Persons who have received repatriation support under the Repatriation Act
Persons who have previously left Denmark via a reception- and reintegration program to promote voluntary departure to their home country, and have subsequently re-entered Denmark as an asylum seeker
Persons who are treated according to the manifestly unfounded urgent procedure.
Persons who have been excluded from obtaining a residence permit according to § 10 of the Aliens Act (persons on tolerated stay)
Persons against whom there is a justified suspicion that entry has only taken place with a view to obtaining support
Persons who have not been registered as asylum seekers in Denmark, but who have been rejected, transferred or returned to another country according to the rules in Chapter 5a of the Aliens Act (the Dublin Regulation)
Persons who are citizens of countries from which you do not need a visa to enter Denmark
The sustainable reintegration process
DRC has, in cooperation with local reintegration partners, provided reintegration programs since 2018 and been involved in more than 200 individual reintegration processes. On the basis of our counselling service in Denmark, our close cooperation with local partners, the virtual follow-up with returnees and our in-country visits to both reintegration partners and returnees, we have gained significant experience regarding 'The sustainable reintegration process'.
Mushroom farming in Thailand
“A” returned to Thailand in September 2020. She had come to Europe to work, after floods destroyed her mushroom farm and thus the family's income base. When A heard that she could get help by voluntarily returning to Thailand, she knew immediately that she wanted to restart her mushroom farm. Together with the local reintegration partner, she formulated a reintegration plan where the support was to be used to build new huts for production, and for a machine that would pack the bags of sawdust in which the mushrooms grow. A now has seven huts and grows six different types of mushrooms . She can produce up to 25 kg of mushrooms in a day, which she sells wholesale and at the local market. Her income is so good that she has been able to open a small grocery store and she plans to expand her mushroom production. A is proud of her thriving business and is happy to be back with her family.
Sustainable reintegration requires holistic support
The reintegration of people in vulnerable situations is a complex task, where a multitude of factors come into play. It therefore requires flexibility and an adaptation of the support options that are available so that they match the needs of the individual. For DRC, sustainable reintegration requires a holistic approach and support, so that the individual achieves both economic, social and psychosocial anchoring in the home country, which the reintegration programs themselves cannot necessarily ensure. The reintegration support is instead seen as a step along the way and a stepping stone towards the goal of reintegration.
Taxi driving and roadside kiosk in Uganda
In September 2021,”W” returned home to Uganda with a dream of settling on the shores of Lake Victoria and making a living growing crops from his own garden. However, with the guidance of the local reintegration partner, W decided instead to use his reintegration grant to buy two motorbikes, as this would give him a more immediate income and was also a less risky business model. He rented out one motorbike and drove the other himself as a taxi driver. Gradually, W saved up enough money to also open a roadside kiosk, from which he now sells everything from snacks and drinks to soap and toys. W has good business sense, and now rents out both of his motorcycles. He has also saved enough money to realize his dream of a plot of land on Lake Victoria, where he plans to build a house and plant trees with fruits and crops that he can sell in his kiosk. The reintegration support has helped him to generate an income quickly, and has been the kick-start to creating additional income opportunities.
Click here to meet Caritas Uganda and some of the returnees that Caritas Uganda has supported with reintegration assistance after return from Europe to Denmark.
What factors can affect the reintegration process?
Based on DRC's experience, four factors in particular are decisive regarding the sustainability of the reintegration process:
First of all, the extent and quality of the support offered is important. In the DRC, we try to ensure a smooth transition from Denmark to the home country and bring trust, security and predictability to the process. The process therefore starts while the applicant is still in Denmark, and includes offers of dialogue through virtual meetings with the reintegration partner. Here, there is an opportunity to have questions answered, and the partner will often during the first meetings act as a kind of sparring partner in relation to the person's thoughts, concerns, hopes and plans for the future.
In DRC, we have high expectations as to the competencies of our reintegration partners, where social skills and business acumen must often go hand in hand.
In addition, individual factors such as the returnee's age, level of education, marital status, mental and physical health etc. also play a decisive role in whether the reintegration can in the end be described as sustainable, just as family and local networks are absolutely crucial.
Finally, the overall societal conditions in the recipient country, such as the country's political and economic situation, are of great importance, as it is undeniably easier to reintegrate in a country where access to health, education, work, etc. is not limited.
Together, these four conditions constitute important elements in the complex process which can ultimately lead to sustainable reintegration.
A 'hanout' in Morocco
K returned to Morocco in June 2022 after living and working in various European countries for over 13 years. He decided to return to his family in eastern Morocco and to use his reintegration support to open a 'hanout' near the family home.
A 'hanout' is a small shop selling cleaning products, household items, food and snacks, and these shops are very popular in Morocco.
Despite his many years abroad, K had kept in touch with family and friends in Morocco, and after his return they have welcomed him and helped him get started.
Even though the store has only just opened, K is proud to be able to contribute to the family’s economy and to be a close support to his aging parents.