Preparations for return in the centres

Once a foreign national arrives in a detention centre, they are given all relevant information about their stay in the centre and the possibilities of appealing against the decision to detain them in order to organise their return. The return coaches explain the various possibilities of return, ranging from voluntary return to escorted return. During the stay in the centre, the return coach provides psycho-social and administrative support to the residents in order to prepare them for their return.

If the foreign national wishes to leave immediately, they must make a written declaration and indicate a preferred destination, which will be taken into consideration as much as possible if they have valid documents for that destination. Under certain conditions, they can pay the ticket themselves.

The return coach will help organise the person concerned's return, taking into account all practical aspects, including travel documents; luggage, if this is at home or if family or friends need to bring it to the centre; restrictions imposed by the airline regarding luggage weight and security, as well as the cost of extra luggage to be paid by the person concerned.

The medical service at the centre will examine the resident to ascertain whether they are fit to travel. If this is the case, a "Fit-to-Fly" certificate will be issued.  Depending on the medical situation of the person concerned, the medical service will provide the necessary medication and possibly the medical report for the follow-up in the country of destination. In certain cases, the Immigration Office, in collaboration with a partner organisation in the destination country, may guarantee partial or complete medical care for up to one year.

It may happen that a foreign national, given their psychological-medical situation which does not stop them from being removed, needs specific support during their return journey. This may be a doctor, a psychologist, a return official or a trusted person in the centre who will accompany the individual. This humanitarian support is also organised and the Immigration Office makes a contribution to the travel expenses of the supervisor.

In principle, for the first time the resident is returned, they and their legal counsel are informed of the date of departure 48 hours before departure.

Residents who have no means of subsistence are given an allowance to pay for local transport in the destination country.

Under certain conditions, a resident who undertakes to return to their country without resistance may receive a small sum as incentive. This incentive cannot be combined with the one granted by the IOM.