Syrian refugees bound for Canada board buses that will bring them to a processing center in Amman, Jordan © IOM 2015

Resettlement Activities

Founded in 1951 to assist in the resettlement of Europeans displaced in the aftermath of World War II, IOM has provided essential services in support of refugee resettlement operations for over six decades. In the last decade alone, IOM has organized resettlement movements of 892,243 refugees from 186 locations around the world. IOM works closely with governments, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), non-government organizations and other partners.

The process begins with the UNHCR. UNHCR identifies, interviews and submits refugee cases to countries for consideration; subsequently, under cooperative agreements with those same countries, IOM resettlement services — Case processing, Health Assessments, Pre-Departure Orientation and Movement — take place. Upon arrival, countries provide refugees with legal and physical protection, including access to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights similar to those enjoyed by nationals. Most refugees eventually become naturalized citizens of their country of resettlement. Upon the request of governments, IOM provides the following resettlement services:

  • Step 1: Case Processing

  • Step 2: Health Assessments and Travel Health Assistance

  • Step 3: Pre-Departure Orientation/Integration

IOM Ireland and Resettlement

IOM lreland acts as the key liaison between the Irish Government, and IOM Missions in both host, and transit countries, at all stages of the resettlement process, from initial budgeting, through documentation, logistical arrangements, and travel itself. IOM Ireland has facilitated the resettlement of programme refugees from over 19 countries worldwide. From 2005 – 2013, 854 programme refugees were assisted by IOM Dublin to resettle in Ireland. These persons were admitted for permanent resettlement, rather than for temporary protection. In 2013, IOM assisted 84 persons to resettle to Ireland. IOM works closely with the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, to make the necessary arrangements to provide key assistance to this caseload. IOM can provide various services related to refugee resettlement as required by the Irish Government and agreed upon by IOM. IOM can undertake to carry out ‘Fitness to travel’ health assessments, transportation services as well as other services outlined below. If requested by the Irish Government, IOM can also carry out more detailed health assessments and clinical investigations, as well as pre-departure treatment and immunizations.

Movement/Travel Operations

IOM’s movement and travel operations ensure that refugees are transported smoothly from remote, often far-flung locations to their final resettlement destinations. Movement services for refugees traveling under IOM auspices may include any or all of the following:

  • Obtaining travel documents: exit permits, transit/entry visas, passports, etc.
  • Pre-embarkation orientation: flight schedules, airline regulations, customs requirements, assistance in transit and upon arrival, etc.
  • Transportation to and passenger handling at embarkation airports: assisted check-in, help with customs and immigration formalities, etc.
  • Arrangement of international and domestic air tickets: reduced fares, preferential baggage allowances, selected routings, etc.
  • Provision of operational/medical escorts: help for passengers with special needs, monitoring and attending to medical requirements en route, liaison with flight staff and other authorities, etc.
  • Assistance in transit: meals and accommodation as needed, direction to connecting flights, booking adjustments, etc.
  • Arrival assistance: meet and assist services on arrival, notification and handover to reception authorities, etc.