Germany increases benefits for migrants who choose to return home voluntarily

Photo credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images. Migrants rally in Germany.

TMP – 06/12/2017

The German government is offering rejected asylum seekers benefits worth up to €3,000 if they choose to voluntarily return to their home countries.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior announced that the new programme called “Your Country, Your Future, Now!” will run until the end of February 2018. It includes pay-outs and “benefits in kind, such as support for rental, construction or renovation works or the basic facilities for a kitchen or bathroom,” according to an Interior Ministry-run website.

The new programme will complement the “Jump-Start Plus” return programme, which launched last February. As part of the new scheme, families are eligible for up to €3,000 (US$3,570) and individuals for up to €1,000 (US$1,190), in addition to the payouts under the “Jump-Start Plus” return programme.
In an interview with national newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière outlined the benefits of repatriation through the scheme.

“There are opportunities in your homeland. We will support…your reintegration,” de Maizière said. ”If you decide by the end of February for a voluntary return, you will get in addition to first aid, a housing aid for the first twelve months in your country of origin.”

Until now, asylum seekers in Germany received €1,200 if they requested a voluntary return before their asylum application trial was complete. If the application had already been rejected, they were given €800.

The new incentive for migrants to return home comes as Germany is struggling with the consequences of the country’s “open door” policy towards migrants.

Some 300,000 asylum seekers had their applications rejected by Germany last year, resulting in a major increase in deportations.