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The ZIRF-Counselling project provides information for migrants, who wish to return to their country of origin or whose residence permit is due to expire.

Through counselling offices and other enquiring entities in Germany, they receive up to date information on the country of return which is researched directly on-site.  In this way, migrants are supported in making informed decisions and in the preparation of a potential voluntary return. The focus is put on the country of return, general inquiries regarding German return programmes cannot be answered.

The project, which started in 2006, is part of the Information Centre for Voluntary Return (ZIRF) of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. It is funded 50% by the Government of Germany and 50% by the German Federal States. 

ZIRF-Counselling offers two types of information:

• Country Fact Sheets

General information on selected countries of return are researched by the IOM missiones on-site and made available in German, English and the national language/s at the ZIRF data base.

The Country Fact Sheets are available on the information portal ReturningfromGermany

• Individual inquiries

Case-specific questions about the country of return are answered individually for single returnees on the following areas: medical care, employment, housing, education and training, social welfare, public administration, vulnerable groups.

  1. Enquiring entities fill out the ZIRF inquiry form and send it via e-mail to: 
  2. IOM staff in the country of return prepares the answer.
  3. IOM translates the answer into German and sends the answer to the enquiring entity.

The responses to the individual inquiries are anonymized and made available sorted by country at the ZIRF data base.

Contact persons at IOM:

Nathalie Kasparek
Tel: + 49 30 278778 46





​Please find the ZIRF forms and the info sheet on the information portal ReturningfromGermany.