The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Voluntary Return Service

Voluntary Returns Service: AVR and VRS

UKVI use the voluntary departure service to send people home when they do not have the legal right to stay in the UK. This section explains how you may get help when returning to your own country.

ELIGIBILITY FOR HELP: You cannot stay illegally in the United Kingdom. Thus, you must return to your home country when your 'leave to remain' expires.

VRS: Voluntary Return Service

Returnees older than 18 may get limited help if any of these apply to you:

AVR: Assisted Voluntary Return

The assisted voluntary return scheme also provides financial help and support to leave. But, you need to qualify to apply for the AVR scheme. As a rule, eligibility means:

Those circumstances relate to the 'assisted return scheme'. But, you will not qualify to apply for AVR if:

Get Help with Voluntary Return

Those who make their own plans to return to their own country may also get extra help. You should contact the voluntary returns service to check what help you can get. They will also inform you how long it may take for them to arrange your return home.

Voluntary Returns Service
Telephone: 0300 004 0202
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5:30pm
voluntaryreturns@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Check call charges to 0300 phone numbers.

Note: In some cases they provide financial help with the cost of a flight. Thus, it is best not to book your flight before contacting the VRS team.

They will need some documentation information from you including:

As a rule, the Home Office will hold your passport or travel document. But, they will return it at the airport when you depart the United Kingdom.

How to Apply for Assisted Return

Anyone who is eligible for assisted return can apply to get:

Voluntary Returns Service
18th Floor Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon CR9 2BY

Note: You can get help applying for travel documents and assistance to book your flight. But, they can force you to return to your own country. It can happen if you withdraw your application or fail to follow the application process.

Final Part in the Voluntary Returns Service

Once the Home Office receives your application they will contact you within 14 days. In some cases they may ask you to provide further information to support it. They can cancel your application if you fail to provide any requested information.

After the Home Office approves your application you must leave the UK within 3 months of that date.

Note: There are further steps to take for those who apply for asylum in the United Kingdom. In this case you must cancel your application. You will need to sign a 'declaration of withdrawal' at the time of leaving the UK.

UKVI Voluntary Returns Services: AVR and VRS Schemes in the United Kingdom