Since 1979, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has implemented Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programs around the world. These programs have assisted over 1.5 million people.

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration management aiming at orderly and humane return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

The successful implementation of AVRR programmes requires the cooperation and participation of a broad range of actors, including the migrants, civil society and the governments in both host and transit countries and countries of origin.

The Regional Migration Program works to build the capacities of countries in Central America and Mexico, regarding migration governance, including return. Below is a summary of the activities implemented so far:

  • Assisted Voluntary Return Program for migrants in transit (2018-2019)
  • Regional Guide on best practices and available national and regional assisted voluntary return programs (2018)
  • Technical assistance for States in order to improve national procedures for assisted voluntary return (continuous)
  • Direct Assistance and Voluntary Return Program for Vulnerable Migrants in the region (2010-2018)


AVR Program for Migrants in Transit


This program supports migrants in trasnit from Central America who for various reasons are unable to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return to their countries of origin and/or residence.. This program benefits people of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who are stranded in Guatemala or Mexico.

Beneficiaries can receive land transportation to the capital of their country of origin, medical examinations if needed, food and kits during their travels, and assistance communicating with family members, among other forms of assistance.

IOM has developed this program in order to protect migrant populations and offer them a way to return to their homes that is dignified, safe, regular, and humane.


More information on the Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) Program

Testimony| Luis y Teresa change their expectations

What happened during the journey to make them decide go back home, instead of migrating? Luis and Teresa tell us about their experience. 

Testimony| Lilliam shares the prejudice she met as migrant

Lilliam decided to migrate 8 months ago. In this video, she explains why she has now decided to return to her country. 

Testimony| How Luis and Teresa returned to Tapachula

Luis and Tresa migrated from El Salvador, but during the journey decided to go back to their home country. In this video they explain what happened.

Testimony | IOM's support for migrants

Mario Carmona works with IOM in Tapachula. He explains the different services that the organization can offer to migrants. 

Testimony | Mario explains why migrants decide to return

Mario Morales works at The House of the Migrant, in Tecún Umán. There he has listened to the stories of many migrants, and he tells us about their motivations to return to their home countries. 

Testimony | Gloria: "if they are in danger, they cannot go back"

Gloria Aiza, psychologist, explains the information taken into account when deciding if a migrant person can be assisted with a voluntary return. 

Assisted Voluntary Return Program | What is the return process like for an accompanied minor?

Many migrants in transit from Central America decide to return because they are accompanied by minors, who are more vulnerable to the risks of the road. Know what the return process is like if you are traveling with a minor.

How does the Assited Voluntary Return Program work?

Learn in this video how is the assisted voluntary return´s process. Montserrat explains to you!