Czech Republic to pay migrants to leave the EU

Czech Republic to pay migrants to leave the EU

Foreigners illegally residing in the Czech Republic will be able to earn up to 100,000 crowns by voluntarily leaving the country and promising not to return to the EU under a new initiative from the Czech Ministry of the Interior set to launch in April.

Called Návraty (Returns), the program has been arranged with the support of the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and is intended to financially assist denied asylum seekers and others facing deportation from the Czech Republic in voluntary leaving the EU and returning to their homeland.

“The project should focus on all categories of foreigners, whether they are in the Czech Republic in an illegal situation or an asylum seeker,” Czech Ministry of the Interior spokesperson Hana Malá told

Citizens of Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Iran, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam are expected to be among those to take advantage of the voluntary leave program.

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The reasoning behind the initiative is simple: only 40% of denied asylum seekers are actually deported from the EU, and the process can be expensive. The deportation of two Togolese nationals from Germany made headlines when the final bill came to €177,000 (4.5 million crowns).

The new AMIF-funded program hopes to encourage denied asylum seekers and others illegally residing in the Czech Republic to voluntarily leave at a fraction of the cost it might take to deport them, while providing them with financial assistance in relocating.

A total of 60 million crowns has been allocated under Návraty program, three-quarters of which will be funded by the EU.

Under the program, applicants can receive from €1500 to €4000 (40,000 – 100,000 crowns) of financial assistance each, depending on their relocation needs. The first applicants under the program are expected to be processed in the third quarter of 2019.

Official information about the Návraty program (in Czech) can be found via the website of the Czech Ministry of the Interior.

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Lucas Němec

Prague-based author with two decades experience living in and writing about the Czech Republic for local and international sites and publications. Nakládaný hermelín enthusiast and frequent Club-Mate drinker.

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