Return and readmission
As one phase of life comes to an end, another one begins; thus ended our family’s time in Estonia. Since my employment contract was not extended any further, we started to look for ways to return home. At first, it was all a bit scary and even objectonable, but, as time passed, we slowly got used to the idea and even started to feel a great anticipation – we are going home! Everything went well, our large family is together once again and we are starting to put all the experiences we have acquired into practice in our homeland. Iman from Nigeria
- Return consists in the return of a foreign national to his/her country of origin or a new home country. Return can be either voluntary or forced. In the latter case, the foreign national is expelled by the state authorities.
- Return decision declares the stay of a third-country national to be illegal and imposes or states an obligation to return. (Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council).
- 516 115 return decisions were issued in the European Union in 2017; the largest number was issued to Moroccan citizens, followed by Ukrainian and Algerian citizens. Voluntary departure from EU Member States was carried out most often by Ukrainian citizens (21 335 people according to Eurostat data). Forced return was applied most often with Moroccan citizens (8375 times).
Persons who are obligated to leave Estonia are issued a return decision by the Police and Border Guard Board that also states the period for voluntary departure. In general, the person has to leave the country in 7 to 30 days. As an additional measure, the person could be banned from entering Estonia, usually for 3-5 years. The purpose of the entry ban is to prevent an undesirable foreign national from immediately re-entering the country. In case the foreign national does not comply with the obligation to leave the country voluntarily, he/she will be detained and expelled from the country