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:
Your leave to enter, or remain in, the United Kingdom got refused.
You withdrew your application to extend your leave to remain. The same applies if you want to withdraw it so you can return home voluntarily.
You are in the UK illegally and in a family group with a minor (child under 18).
You tried to
claim asylum but it got refused. 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:
You have applied for asylum in the UK and you are waiting for the
decision after screening. They refused your asylum application and you have appealed. The same applies to those who are already appealing against the decision.
They refused your asylum application and also refused any appeals you made.
You did not withdraw an asylum application before.
You are traveling in a family group and at least one of the group is under 18 years old.
You are an
unaccompanied person under 18 years of age. A UK Visas and Immigration letter confirms you as a victim of human trafficking.
A medical condition (or some other reason) shows you need more help with the return to your home country.
They gave you temporary '
discretionary' leave to remain in the UK. This would usually be outside UK Immigration Rules for cases where the leave has expired.
Those circumstances relate to the '
assisted return scheme'. But, you will not qualify to apply for AVR if:
The Home Office detained you or the police force is investigating you. You received a
prison sentence of 12 months or longer. You received a deportation order because you got convicted of an immigration offence.
They already granted you indefinite leave to remain, refugee status, or humanitarian protection.
UK Visas and Immigration inform you that yours is a ' third country case'. You are an EEA or Swiss national. Some exceptions apply to cases where UKVI confirm you to be a victim of trafficking.
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.
Call the Home Office voluntary return contact number to find out 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
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:
Your nationality, Home Office reference (if you have it), your full name, and date of birth.
Your current address and telephone number.
Details of any valid travel document that you hold. This can include a passport or an emergency travel document.
Whether you have any dependants with you who are under 18 years old.
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:
payment up to £2,000. The money is to help you find somewhere to live, get a job, or start your own business in your home country. Apply by downloading the '
assisted voluntary return application form' from the GOV.UK website. Fill in the voluntary return form and then send it to the Home Office (address is on the document).
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
Last Updated 2022
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