In addition to the REAG/GARP programme, as of February 2017 with StarthilfePlus, asylum seekers are entitled to additional financial support if they decide to return voluntarily during the asylum process or at the latest within the period set for their departure. In order to receive a StarthilfePlus grant, the returnee needs to apply for assisted voluntary return with the REAG/GARP programme and his/her application needs to be accepted. Nationals from the below listed countries can apply. In addition to the REAG/GARP assistance, the federal programme StarthilfePlus provides the following financial support:
- Stage 1: EUR 1,200 if the application for an assisted voluntary return is made before the closure of the asylum seeking procedure.
- Stage 2: EUR 800 if the asylum application has been rejected and the application for an assisted voluntary return is made within the date given to leave the country.
- Stage Ü (“Übergang” or “transition”): Returnees who have already been registered in Germany before 1 February 2017 (proof of arrival) and decide to return voluntarily by 31 July 2017 receive EUR 800. The transitional stage applies to persons who can no longer remain in the country, hold a temporary permission to stay (“Duldung”) or have submitted a subsequent or second asylum application.
- Family support: A family assistance of EUR 500 per family is additionally provided to families of more than four members who are granted a joint StarthilfePlus application.
StarthilfePlus is paid out in two stages. The first half will be paid out with the regular GARP payment in Germany prior to departure and the second half within six to eight months after the arrival in the respective country of origin. Children below age 12 receive half of the amount.
Nationals of the following countries can apply for StarthilfePlus (GARP list of countries):
Afghanistan, Egypt, Algeria, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, India, Iraq, Iran, Cameroon, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali , Morocco, Mongolia, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Autonomous Territories, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia and Vietnam.
Important note: Nationals of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine can only be supported under the transitional stage Ü of StarthiflePlus. From August 2017 onwards, they will no longer be able to benefit from the StarthilfePlus support.
In order to receive StarthilfePlus, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) requires that the returnees sign a declaration to withdraw the asylum application and the legal remedies already applied and refrain from any further appeals.