Voluntary repatriation is one of the durable solutions for refugees and asylum seekers offered by UNHCR. Asylum seekers and recognized refugees willing to return to their country of origin or place of habitual residence can contact the closest NGO/UNHCR Partner and apply for repatriation by filling out a Voluntary Repatriation Form (a list of UNHCR partners can be found here).
The process of voluntary repatriation may only be initiated after the form has been completed and submitted to UNHCR. When UNHCR receives the completed form, applicants will be contacted at the phone number indicated on the form and will receive further instructions regarding the repatriation request.
Signing the form does not oblige the applicant to return to the country of origin. The repatriation request may be withdrawn after consultation with UNHCR or for other reasons. No person will be repatriated against their will.
UNHCR provides the following types of assistance in regard to voluntary repatriation:
- Information regarding the situation in a specific country of origin/particular region so that an informed decision can be made about repatriation;
- Makes arrangements for a safe and dignified return to the country of origin;
- Liaises with the relevant embassy regarding obtaining travel documents, visas or entry permits, as necessary;
- Small voluntary repatriation grants;
- Facilitates other aspects related to the repatriation.
UNHCR reserves the right to decline voluntary repatriation requests if the situation in the country of origin or particular location, where the applicant intends to return, is assessed as highly dangerous. UNHCR will decline repatriation requests if the applicant intends to return to their country of origin only for a short visit, and not for permanent repatriation.
UNHCR provides assistance in voluntary repatriation to persons who fall within the following categories:
- Asylum seekers and their family members, registered with NGO/UNHCR partner/s, who are eligible for UNHCR assistance according to the assessment conducted by UNHCR partner/s,
- Recognized refugees and their family members.
Local integration is one of the most realistic durable solutions available for refugees in Ukraine. Key areas of UNHCR Ukraine to facilitate local integration are:
- Advocacy (to streamline the legislative framework and create a favourable protection environment to enable refugees’ socio-economic integration);
- Enterprise development (self-reliance grants for self-employment);
- Vocational training (assistance with skills training);
- Employment (assistance with job search and collaboration with the Employment Centres);
- Ukrainian language training;
- Education (limited support for tertiary education through DAFI scholarships). Next call for applications will be announced in August;
- Support to community initiatives.
In its efforts to promote local integration, UNHCR Ukraine cooperates with the state authorities and several line Ministries to ensure favourable conditions for local integration.
Through its partners, UNHCR conducts Ukrainian language and computer literacy courses for beginners. Counselling on their schedule and ongoing enrollment is provided by the partners in their respective locations.
UNHCR and its partners support Community Support Initiatives, which include a range of activities designed to mobilize and empower refugee communities. These initiatives build on the education, skills and capacities of affected populations and aims to strengthen their abilities to organised emergency response, protect themselves and identify solutions. If your community needs to learn certain skills in a particular topic that would enable you to become more self-reliant, UNHCR can support your community with these training and skills acquisition. For refugees and asylum seekers in particular, this could also include community-based activities in the area of mental-health and psychosocial support. A Community Support Initiative does not involve procurement of equipment/supplies or repair of premises. For more details, please address UNCHR partners in the respective locations or UNHCR at +38 (044) 288 97 10 on Wednesdays from 10:00 – 16:30.
Resettlement is a transfer of refugees from the country in which they have applied for asylum (for example, Ukraine), to another country which ultimately accepts them for permanent settlement.
Resettlement is a life-changing experience that is both challenging and rewarding. Often, refugees are resettled in countries with social structures, languages, and cultures that are completely different from those they are familiar with. However, with support and assistance from the host government and its non-governmental organisation partners, resettled refugees are gradually integrated into their new home countries.
When UNHCR meets with refugees, it evaluates the possibility of three durable solutions for them: namely local integration, repatriation and resettlement. In this exchange, UNHCR identifies potential cases for resettlement and prepares the documentation for consideration of potential resettlement to other countries.
Once resettled in their new country, refugees are entitled to civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights similar to those enjoyed by the host-country citizens. Refugees are usually provided with support and assistance that helps to facilitate their effective transition and integration into their new country, such as:
- cultural orientations;
- language and vocational training;
- opportunities for continuing their education and professional development;
- employment placement services.
In addition, resettled refugees are usually given the opportunity to apply for and obtain citizenship of their country of resettlement.
Resettlement is not the right of a refugee and the final decision to accept or not a refugee remains with the resettlement country, which UNHCR cannot influence in any way.
Who can be resettled?
Persons who have:
- Applied for asylum in Ukraine, unless there are valid reasons not to do so, and are registered with a UNHCR partner organisation;
- Received a positive Refugee Status Determination (RSD) by UNHCR;
- Received advice that their cases fall under one or more of the resettlement categories.
- Ongoing cooperation processes with Ukrainian authorities and UNHCR (this includes UNHCR partners).
Please note that people who invalidate their asylum procedures, for example, by not appealing a negative decision in a timely manner without valid reasons (such as hospitalisation) will not be considered for resettlement.
- Not crossed or tried to cross the Ukrainian border illegally after the registration with UNHCR partners.
Please take note that recognized refugees and persons who were granted with a complementary protection status in Ukraine are only assessed for resettlement on an exceptional basis.