The steps in return

The IO may make the following decisions:

  • Removal by plane without an escort:
    • in principle, each person who has to be returned by force is given the opportunity to leave without resistance and without being escorted in the plane;
    • a convicted person who wants to leave quickly can also return without an escort. Their attitude towards leaving, as well as their behaviour and the problems encountered in prison or in the detention centre, are very important indicators in this regard.
  • Return with a Federal Police escort:
    • after a refusal to return without resistance, an escorted return is carried out, if possible, immediately or as soon as possible. In exceptional cases and for specific reasons, a new attempt to return without an escort may be made, for example if the foreign national refused to leave due to a lack of his luggage or money. Arrangements will be made to retrieve them, after which the individual usually leaves unescorted.
    • it is possible to proceed immediately with an escort on the plane, provided by the Federal Police, if the person to be removed has already made it clear in the detention centre or prison that they absolutely do not want to leave and will resist. In addition, if, based on the profile of the person to be returned and the risk analysis, in terms of the probability "that something may or may not happen" and in terms of the consequences/impact, a Federal Police escort on board the aircraft can be immediately provided as a preventive measure.
    • persons who pose a high security risk, such as persons convicted of terrorism or who pose a threat because of their attitude and radical actions, are always escorted.
  • The IO can also organise and provide an escort itself (with or without the collaboration of the Federal Police):
    • especially for people who may be confused, need to take medication, are very impressionable, are unable to take a transit flight (connection) independently, need assistance with on-site transfer, etc. This is a humanitarian escort, with or without the Federal Police. This escort can be provided by an IO staff member, a confidant, psychologist, doctor, etc.
  • Return via "special flights":
    • people who refuse to leave or who have resisted, and people who want to leave, can be returned on special flights. Therefore, "special flights" should not be considered exclusively as a last resort in terms of departure arrangements.
    • special flights can also be used to return families with minor children. The family may constitute a group that is too large to leave on a scheduled flight.
      ​​​​​​​This is return on a non-commercial aircraft (military or civilian) equipped for the purpose of returning one or more foreigner nationals of a well defined nationality or of several nationalities, in cooperation or not in cooperation with other European countries.