Finland is offering substantial monetary incentives to migrants in the hopes they will return to their home countries voluntarily.
The Finnish Immigration Service has announced large increases in cash and commodity subsidies for 2019, in some cases double those of 2018 offerings.
Migrants who are unable to fund their return trip home can receive up to 2,000 euros cash and a free plane ticket if they are from a lengthy list of “Group A” countries, which include Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
Alternately, they can opt to receive “commodity support” of as much as 5,000 euros to cover expenses such as “assistance in finding an apartment” or “setting up your own business.”
Additional sums are offered on a per-child basis.
“We want to encourage going home because it is always a cheaper option than returning to the police or staying here illegally,” Tarja Rantala, project manager of the Volunteer Return to Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia project, told YLE.
“We have many in the reception system with many negative decisions and it becomes expensive. One day at the reception center is 50 euros per head, so at 100 days it will already be 5,000 euros.”