Voluntary return

Who supports me if I want to leave Germany?

If you have migrated to Germany, but don’t want to stay, you can receive support through return programmes run by the federal government and the federal states. These programmes allow asylum applicants to permanently return to their home country or to migrate to a third country which has agreed to resettle them. In order to leave Germany, you will need a valid travel document and an entry visa for the country you wish to travel to, unless it is your home country.

Financial Support for Returnees

The return programme includes not only logistic but also financial support. It consists of two connected elements which are commonly referred to as REAG/GARP (“Reintegration and Emigration Programme for Asylum-Seekers in Germany” / “Government Assisted Repatriation Programme”). REAG offers assistance with regard to transport and fuel costs (for car journeys) as well as travel benefits. GARP offers starter grants which will help you to make a fresh start in another country. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) coordinates your exit journey through both funding programs. Since February 2017, an additional financial support named Starter Grant Plus or “StarthilfePlus”is also available in combination with REAG and GARP.

Support Schemes

Can I receive financial support?

Where do I file my application?

What costs do I have to cover?

What costs will REAG/GARP cover?

What is a starter grant ("Starthilfe")?


Re-integration Support for Housing Costs

Who isn’t eligible for support?

Can I return to Germany later?

If you have the necessary financial means to leave Germany, you won’t be eligible for support through the REAG/GARP programme. However, you might be able to benefit from the SMAP programme (Special Migrants Assistance Programme). It is run by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and offers partial funding for travel costs. The programme especially focuses on migrants heading to the US, Canada or Australia. Under certain circumstances, the Social Security Office ("Sozialamt") will cover your travel costs if you are leaving for a country that has agreed to resettle you.


The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) advises and supports migrants who wish to return to their country of origin. Its support includes advice on return options, country-specific information, logistics and travel support as well as reintegration assistance.