What is the Assisted Returns Program?
The Assisted Returns Program supports non-Australian Citizens who want to leave Australia and return to their home countries.
We listen to your needs, respect your choices, and offer you options to return home.
If you are eligible for this service, the Assisted Returns Program will pay the cost of your travel arrangements. Your Case Worker will also help you obtain travel documents and organise your travel bookings.
This service is offered on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs.
We will give you a Case Worker who can help you to return home. Your Case Worker will:
- Give you up-to-date travel information;
- Ensure you have valid travel documents;
- Provide you with a ‘Readiness to Return Home’ booklet that includes checklists and information to help you prepare for your travel home;
- Help you to complete the travel forms you need;
- Do their best to arrange your travel for the dates you prefer;
- Ensure that any special travel requirements are considered, approved, organised, and booked; and
- Organise your travel by:
- Booking flights;
- Arranging accommodation; and
- Arranging transport.
There may be a number of reasons why you may decide to return home, such as:
- Your home country circumstances may have changed for the better;
- You may want to reconnect with your family and friends;
- Opportunities you have in Australia may have changed;
- Your visa may have expired or will expire soon.
Contact us to find out if we can assist you in returning home voluntarily.
After you provide written consent, Assisted Returns Program staff will help you complete a form to see if you are eligible for support. This form is sent to the Department of Home Affairs, who will decide if you are eligible.
There is no set time for this process, but on average we receive a reply within 2–4 business days.
If you are eligible, we will give you a Case Worker who will confirm that still want to return home.
Your Case Worker will support your needs, give you updated information, and make sure you are involved in the decisions about your voluntary return home.
They will help you organise travel documents, and talk to you about your specific travel requests, including the dates you want to travel.
The Assisted Returns Program is voluntary, and you can withdraw from the program at any stage
If you are eligible for this program, your travel expenses will be paid for you.
To leave Australia on a one-way ticket, your return country needs certain travel documents. These travel documents can include a valid passport or other forms of travel identification, which are issued by your country’s Embassy or Consulate. If you don’t have the right travel documents, you will need to complete travel forms and include passport-size photos.
We can’t book your travel until you have valid travel documents. If you have to apply for them, it can take some time before you receive them. We recommend you start with the Readiness to Return booklet. Call us on 1300 094 663 or contact us to get a copy of the booklet.
If you need help to complete travel forms, your Case Worker will help you. They will also tell you if you need any in-transit visas.
Your family might be able to travel with you, but the Department of Home Affairs will assess and decide this on a case-by-case basis.
For more information about travelling with family, call us on 1300 094 663 or contact us.
Yes, your personal information is kept confidential. You have the option to remain anonymous while you enquire about the program. Your personal information will only be sent to the Department of Home Affairs once you decide you want to return home under the Assisted Returns Program.
Am I eligible for the Homeward services?
Before continuing please see if you are eligible for our services using our 5 second quiz.
How do I find out more information about the program?
If you would like more information or to find out if you are eligible for assistance provided under the Assisted Returns Program, please call us on 1300 094 663. Please inform our staff at the beginning of the call if you would like to remain anonymous.