Return counselling

In every canton, as well as in the federal asylum centres, return counselling services (RCS) provide information on return assistance to asylum applicants and to other interested groups. Depending on the canton, the RCS may be an administrative authority (e.g. the asylum or immigration authority) or a non-governmental organisation (e.g. the Red Cross or Caritas). In the reception and procedure centres, the International Organisation for Migration provides return counselling.

When a person asks for return assistance, the RCS interviews them in order to be able to plan their return and decide on suitable return assistance measures. The RCS will stress the person’s personal responsibility and autonomy in planning their own voluntary departure. In addition, the IOM can provide specific information on the country of origin (e.g. the cost of renting an apartment or the availability of medication). Arrangements can be made for vulnerable people to be accompanied on the return journey.

Return counsellors are trained to advise on the specifics of each individual case and regularly attend information sessions and refresher courses organised by the State Secretariat for Migration. Return counselling provides non-binding and confidential advice. Using the service does not oblige the person concerned to return to their country of origin, and has no influence on any ongoing proceedings.





Last modification 11.05.2021

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