3,587 people returned voluntarily in 2014

The decreasing number of asylum applications in 2013 led to fewer voluntary returns in 2014.

In 2014, 3,587 people decided to return voluntarily to their country of origin. With an average of 300 people per month the number of returnees remained high in 2014, but nevertheless there was a 20% decrease compared to the previous year. The decline is especially apparent in the asylum seekers' category, because fewer people applied for asylum in 2013 and early 2014. As a consequence, a smaller number of asylum seekers, whether their application was finalised or not, returned voluntarily in 2014. The largest group of migrants who returned voluntarily concerned illegal immigrants (58%).In 2014, we saw a strong increase in the number of people who registered with the Fedasil return office. A total of 1,134 people applied for their return at the return office, approximately one third of the number of returnees in 2014. The other large group of persons who returned (45%) sought assistance from one of the numerous return partners all over Belgium.As for the nationalities, three countries of origin were strongly represented. These are Romania, Russia and Ukraine, together representing 40% of the voluntary returns. While only 105 people returned to Romania in 2013, in 2014 that number rose to 573, placing this country at the top. The other most common destinations were the Balkan countries (Serbia, Kosovo, Albania), Mongolia and Brazil. Voluntary returns to Brazil continued to decrease in 2014.