• RCM Reserve Fund is a mechanism for providing financial and operational support for voluntary return of highly vulnerable migrants.
  • RCM Reserve Fund is administered by IOM and provides a maximum of $ 1,000 for each case of assistance.
  • Assisted voluntary return of unaccompanied children and adolescents, individuals living with disability, elderly persons over seventy years and people with physical or mental injuries and/or illness can be financed by the Reserve Fund.
  • Applications for financial support of the Reserve Fund can not be carried out directly by migrants. They must be requested on behalf of the beneficiary by government authorities of the countries of departure and return, international organizations or civil society organizations under certain conditions. .
  • Assistance with resources from the Reserve Fund must apply to the IOM office in the country in which the migrant who wishes to return.


Protocol for the application, authorization and operation of assisted voluntary returns financed by the RCM Reserve Fund

What is the Reserve Fund of the RCM and what is its purpose?

The number of vulnerable migrants, who travel and settle in any of the member countries of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), reaches several tens of thousands annually.

In many cases the skills and resources at their disposal, authorities and civil society to provide protection and timely assistance to thousands of vulnerable migrants who need it, are insufficient. The current context of insecurity and impunity in the transit countries of the region makes the vulnerability of all migrants in general and the most vulnerable, in particular, grow every year, as the crimes and abuses committed against them increase and worsen.

For this purpose the RCM has created the Reserve Fund or "Reserve Fund for the assistance of regional migrants in highly vulnerable situation". This is a regional mechanism for providing financial and operational support of voluntary return of vulnerable migrants and in cases where assistance is needed beyond that provided for in existing programs in each country member of the RCM.

This fund is administered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and provides a maximum of $ 1,000 for each case of assistance.

What are the types of vulnerabilities that are covered by the Fund?

A situation of vulnerability is given by all the physical, social, economic, and cultural or any other condition a migrant could have, which makes them susceptible to serious damage, abuse or harm. By the Reserve Fund returning migrants who have any of the following situations of vulnerability are financed:

Unaccompanied children and adolescents. People with disabilities.


In special cases the migrants’ vulnerabilities are associated with domestic violence, sexual abuse and trafficking in persons shall also benefit from the Fund, as jointly decided between IOM and the Technical Secretariat of the RCM.

  • Adults over seventy years.
  • Sick and / or injured.


What kind of assistance can be financed with resources from the Reserve Fund?

The assistance provided through the Reserve Fund can cover the following expenses related to the return:

  1. The cost of transportation required for the return.
  2.  The cost of transporting escorts for the migrant, in case this is required.
  3.  The cost of medical escort services or assistance, if required.
  4.  The medications need to be given for the return of the migrant.
  5.  The medical devices that are necessary for the safe and dignified return of the migrant.
  6.  If necessary, medical evaluations that are required to ensure that the migrant can return.
  7.  The cost of documentation required for the migrant to return.
How are requested the resources of the Reserve Fund?

In an effort to give more, better and special monitoring to the attention of the beneficiaries of the Reserve Fund in the countries of origin, transit and destination; requests for support to the Fund are not made directly by migrants. Applications must be submitted at the request of the beneficiaries, by:

  • Government officials of the countries of departure and return of migrants who wish to return.
  • International organizations.
  • Civil organizations under certain conditions.
Who requests the resources of the Reserve Fund?

Assistance from the Fund should be requested at the IOM office in the country where the migrants, who wish to return to their country of origin.

It is important that, when applying to the resources of the Reserve Fund, the following points are checked:
  1.  That the migrant, financed by the Reserve Fund, is in a state of high vulnerability.
  2.  That the migrant wishes to return voluntarily to his/her country of origin.
  3.  That the migrant has no legal impediments to leave the country in which he/she is located, or to enter the country to which he/she wishes to return
What are the documents that need to be provided to the IOM, when a request to finance a return is made?
  • The special application form for financing returns, can be obtained at the IOM office in the country where the migrant is or on the following: (Link)
  • Copies of migration and identity documents with which the migrant counts
  • Medical certificate of fitness to return.(Link)
  • Certificate of skills for people with disabilities (if the migrant is in a situation of disability).(Link)
  • Document that the authority of special protection of minors authorizes the return. Also it verifies that the special authority of the country of return will handle the minor.
What are the physical conditions that must submit a migrant to return?
  1. The person must be physically stable.
  2. The person must not have had relapses of health, at least eight days before the return trip.
  3. If the person is sick or injured, the advice of a doctor should be seeked to check whether he/she can make the return journey.
What activity does the IOM before evaluating an application for funding of a return?
  1. Gather the most important information for assessing the vulnerabilities of the person who wants to return
  2. Make sure that voluntary return is indeed a viable option and that it does not jeopardize the life, integrity and dignity of the person.
  3. Define a suitable travel itinerary to preserve the integrity and dignity of the person who wishes to return in coordination with the authorities in the country where the migrant is.
  4. Define the technical and logistical conditions must have the return trip for the proper care of the person who plans to return.
  5. Make sure that the person can get to their return assistance and protection that he/she requires, according to his/her special needs in countries of origin, transit and return.
What criteria consider IOM to assess a funding request for a return?
  1. Urgency of making the return.
  2. Degree of vulnerability that the migrant presents.
  3. The risk that may represent the return trip
Once IOM approves funding for a return, it is responsible for:
  1.  Hiring the transport service, normal or specialized, which is required for each return.
  2.  Managing the processing of the necessary documents for the return.
  3.  Hiring or secure medical escort services or care that is necessary for the return.
  4.  Managing the completion of the necessary medical tests to return.




    For more information contact:  Salvador Gutierrez, Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean
    Tel: + 506 2212 5337 |  Email: sgutierrez@iom.int
    For more information on the RCM, access the website: www.crmsv.org