1 in 3 return via the return desk

A record number of migrants are visiting the Fedasil return desk to request a voluntary return to their country of origin.

Return deskStrategically based in the same building in Brussels as the Foreigners' Office, for two years Fedasil's return desk has been offering professional support to migrants who wish to return to their country voluntarily and who are not accommodated in the reception network for asylum seekers.Between February and April 2014, 282 people voluntarily returned after visiting the return desk, which is 30% of all voluntary returns in the same period. As a comparison, the desk recorded 718 returns in 2013, which is 16% of the annual total. The desk is therefore handling an increasing number of return requests, mainly for the Balkans, Eastern Europe and certain African countries.Returns by busReturns to Romania and Ukraine have been increasing in recent weeks. The people returning to these countries travel by bus and are mostly illegal immigrants. However, Russia is still the leading return destination in 2014, followed immediately by Ukraine and Romania.With the assistance of the IOM, Fedasil is organising journeys by bus to countries on the European continent which do not require a visa for Belgium. Given the growing number of voluntary returns to the Balkans and Eastern Europe, returns by bus are increasing; these represented 28% of all returns in March and April 2014, compared with an average of 13% in 2013.