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Assisted Voluntary Return Programme – Choices – to close in December

Refugee Action were told at the end of July that their  Choice assisted voluntary return service will not be continuing after December 31st 2015.  The Assisted Voluntary Return programme is currently run independently by Refugee Action – a trusted charity, and provides independent advice and counselling to people who are unsure of their options. The AVR programme supports irregular migrants and those who have sought asylum to return voluntarily to their countries, and will be run by the Home Office from the 1st January 2016.

Read The Refugee Action briefing on the future of assisted voluntary return.

Many people will be negatively affected by the changes and it is likely to be more expensive for teh HO and to result in increased destituion:

  • there will be no funded independent advice for people considering whether or not to return
  • irregular migrants will be excluded from AVR unless they meet the Home Office’s definition of vulnerable and
  • people will at least initially be returned without any assistance in the country of return.

If you wish to write to your MP regarding the future of this service, please see the Refugee Action  template letter to MPs.