The return of irregular migrants is seen as an important factor in the attempt to reduce irregular migration and as essential to the common EU migration and asylum policy, as well as the credibility of national policies. Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) is particularly prevalent in policy and increasing research is being conducted on the impacts of AVR on returnees and their countries of return. As data and information are available on both return migration through IOM AVR programmes in Austria, this PhD research project will focus on Austria as the destination country and Nigeria as the origin country. As a conceptual framework, the research will look at embeddedness as a multidimensional concept that refers to an individual finding his or her own position in society and feeling a sense of belonging to, and participating in, that society. The main question is: Which factors influence the process of re-embeddedness of involuntary returning former refugees, rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants and what is the role of assistance in the short and in the long term? The returnee´s individual characteristic will be discussed together with an elaboration of the migration cycle, giving special attention for the reasons why Nigerians migrate and the experiences and conditions they encounter both abroad and when returning. In addition, the influence of assistance will be assessed in order to see if this stimulates embeddedness and if reintegration back home can be viewed as successful.


Duration 01/10/2019 - 31/03/2023
Funding Bundesländer (inkl. deren Stiftungen und Einrichtungen)

Department for Migration and Globalisation

Center for Global Competences

Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mathias Czaika
Project members
Simona Schreier, MLAW


Encouraging assisted return programmes: The industry of migration management

Biennial Conference on Migration Research in Austria, 26/09/2022

The externalisation of assisted return migration in Nigeria

De-centring and Contesting Externalisation in West Africa and Beyond workshop, 19/09/2022

Assisted return programmes: The industry of migration management in Nigeria

19th IMISCOE Annual Conference Crossing borders, connecting cultures, 29/06/2022

How Non-Citizens Perceive the Obstacles and Opportunities to Naturalization in Austria

IMISCOE Spring Workshop: Citizenship from Paper to Practice: Perspectives on the on the Implementation Gap, 20/05/2022

How have assisted voluntary return programmes developed and evolved over time in Europe?

Migration research in Austria – current trends and challenges, 10/12/2020

The evolution and diffusion of assisted return programmes in Europe since the 1970s

Crossing Borders – Perspectives in Migration Research, 6th Biennial Conference on Migration and Integration in Austria, 17/09/2020

World Café on Return Migration

11. DialogForum - Dialog zwischen Politik, Wissenschaft und Praxis, Donau-Universität Krems, Österreich, 28/08/2019

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