Immigration minister wants to make it more appealing to repatriate

The Justice Ministry is looking into possibly relaxing visa conditions for repatriates, making it easier for them to visit family and friends back in Denmark

Immigrants and refugees who yearn to return to their home countries are already eligible to receive a 125,000 kroner payment to assist in the repatriation. Now the government wants to make the idea of returning home even more appealing. 

The social affairs and integration minister, Annette Vilhelmsen (Socialistisk Folkeparti), announced that she will be looking to instate permanent improvements to the government's repatriation assistance programme as part of the government’s budget proposal for 2014.

“It is important that we provide immigrants and refugees who wish to return to their homelands good conditions for their future existence, and the repatriation law does this,” Vilhelmsen said in a press release.

Paid to return home
Aside from continuing to get the 125,000 kroner fee for returning home, an initiative from 2010 that is due to expire at the end of this year, Vilhelmsen's repatriation proposal wants to put other initiatives into play. 

Among the proposal is a larger chuck of the repatriation fee being be paid up front. Currently most of it is paid out after the first year of repatriation. Vilhelmsen also proposes making the reintegration aid grant, a pension-like monthly benefit, permanent for certain countries including Turkey and Bosnia.

“It is essential that these people have the best terms to make the decision that is right for them, whether they choose to go home or stay in Denmark,” Vilhelmsen said.

More popular than ever
The Justice Ministry is also looking into the possibility of easing the visa conditions for those who repatriate, so that it will be easier for them to visit their family and friends back in Denmark. This is particularly an issue for many elderly immigrants who wish to spend their golden years back in their native country.

Use of the repatriation initiative has soared since the repatriation fee was increased in 2010. Some 613 immigrants returned home in 2011 and 476 in 2012, compared to just 129 in 2009.

The changes to the repatriation law will be made in co-operation with refugee organisation, Dansk Flygtningehjælp, which is in charge of advising immigrants who are considering repatriation.

Read the government's repatriation proposal (in Danish)

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