The OFII representation in Armenia: successful returns for Armenians and Georgians, the local French-speaking press is interested in it

The OFII Representation in Yerevan implements the social and economic reintegration assistance scheme for Armenian and Georgian migrants who wish to return voluntarily to their country of origin.

On 15 February, 18 reintegration programs were validated by the French Embassy in Armenia.

As these returns aroused the curiosity of the local French-speaking press, and the courier from Yerevan asked the OFII to meet the beneficiaries of this aid and write an article. The summary of testimonials is given below.

Angela, suffering from a pathology that is difficult to cure in Armenia, came to France, where she was able to benefit from an appropriate care. However, her asylum application was rejected and she was referred to the OFII. At the territorial directorate of the OFII, an agent proposed her assistance in voluntary return and reintegration, which she accepted.

After a year and a half spent in France, Angela left this country in January 2021 to return to Armenia.

A few months after the reintegration program was approved, she received funding from OFII to set up a greenhouse with a part of its equipment.

Angela, a horticulturist by profession, grows roses with her husband in their 250m² greenhouse. Every month, she collects 500 bouquets of 10 or 20 roses, which her son resells to local wholesalers, bringing her about 800,000 drams, or about 1,500 Euros.

Angela in her greenhouse with her husband and son

Bagrat followed the same way as Angela. After leaving for France in 2017 for health reasons, he returned to Armenia in October 2020. His asylum application was rejected, but he applied for a voluntary return and benefited from the Assisted Return and Reintegration Program.

He was provided with four sharpening machines, so he continues his work as a blade sharpener.

A scheme providing various types of personalised assistance

The aid provided by the OFII is adapted to the needs and profiles of the beneficiaries:

  • assistance in social reintegration, including the purchase of basic necessities, housing support, payment of medical expenses or schooling for minor children,
  • assistance in reintegration through employment or vocational training as a part of the re-employment process,
  • assistance in economic reintegration through the creation of a micro-enterprise.

Of course, potential beneficiaries must demonstrate their motivation and skills, particularly in the context of assistance in vocational training or starting a business.

 If the file is accepted, a commitment is made between the beneficiary, the operator in charge of equipment purchasing and monitoring of the project progress and the OFII.    

System access to which can be requested in France by contacting the OFII territorial office.

Since the opening of the OFII representation in Yerevan in 2014, 2,158 files have already been processed and 95% of the funded projects are still active after 5 years.

To learn more about the scheme, click on the following link: Procedure for returning to your country

The link to the article of the Courier of Yerevan