How can I join my family in another European country?

How do I go back to my country of origin?

Assisted Voluntary Return:Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration

This page last updated on: May 17, 2019

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration

Through the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Program (AVRR), IOM assists you to return to your country of origin, or the country where you used to live and where you have the legal status to remain.
The program will assist with a return only if it is determined safe. Check with IOM about your case.
You can apply for assisted voluntary return and reintegration if:
  • You have not registered and are not legally in Serbia.
  • Your legal stay in Serbia has expired.
  • You no longer want to stay in Serbia, even if you are a refugee who has been granted international protection.
  • Your request for asylum is pending or has been rejected.
  • You have voluntarily withdrawn your asylum application.
You will receive special care if you are a victim of trafficking, an unaccompanied minor or a single parent, or if you need medical help
Additional Information
If you are in Belgrade, ask CRPC, Info Park, Praxis, and APC/CZA for help getting in touch with the AVRR Belgrade team.
The AVRR Belgrade team holds information sessions at CRPC, Info Park and Krnjača Asylum Center.
Location: Belgrade
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration

Can I take public transportation in Serbia?

Intercity transport


In Serbia, you can travel by bus between cities. Below are some websites where you can find direct bus lines between bigger cities.
You also can choose departure and arrival stations in many cities on the websites Polazak and Red voznje.
Bus tickets
The prices of your bus ticket depend on your destination and transportation company. The luggage fee is never included in the ticket price. It’s usually under 100 RSD (€0.84).
You can buy bus tickets:
  • From the ticket office at the bus station (where there is a bus station)
  • Directly from the driver (where there is no bus station, only a bus stop)
At bigger bus stations, you have to buy a platform ticket or token that gives you access to the platforms, but not to board a bus. The prices of these range from 30 RSD-200 RSD (€0.25-€1.67), depending on the bus station.


You can take a train between all Serbia’s bigger cities.
Train tickets are usually a little more than half the price of bus tickets. Buy your train ticket at the railway station counter, if there is one. If you skip buying your ticket at the station, you will have to buy it from the conductor on the train, which may cost more.
Below is a list of main railway lines and ticket prices. These ticket prices are for second class on regional train. If you take the fast train or the international train, the prices will be higher.
  • Preševo – Niš 504 RSD/€4.50
  • Dimitrovgrad – Niš 434 RSD/€4
  • Niš – Beograd 884 RSD/€7.50
  • Šid – Beograd 442 RSD/€4
  • Beograd – Subotica 660 RSD/€5.50
  • Sombor – Subotica 274 RSD/€2.50
  • Kikinda – Subotica 434 RSD/€4
If you want to see more options, please visit the Serbian Railways website and check direct trains and prices.

Public transportation by city

You can use public transport in all cities in Serbia. You may be asked to show your valid Certificate of Having Expressed the Intent to Seek Asylum.


If you want to get from one place to another within Belgrade, you can go via:
  • Bus
  • Trolley
  • Tram
You can check the city lines on the website of Plan Plus (only in Serbian).
There are two accommodation centers in the Belgrade area. You can use public transportation from both to get to the city center and back.
  • Krnjača asylum center: You can take bus 108 to get from Krnjača to Bogoslovija and switch buses to get to the city center. You can take tram lines 3 and 12 and bus lines 1627 and 74, among others.
  • Obrenovac reception center: You can take the direct coach from Obrenovac reception center to the main train and bus station near the center of Belgrade.
Daily tickets
You can buy daily tickets directly from the driver. You have two options:
  • Suggested: 90 RSD (€0.75) to ride for 90 minutes, including transfers.
  • 150-400 RSD (€1-€3.50), depending on the zone where you are and the place you want to reach in Belgrade, for one ride with no transfers.
Monthly pass
You can buy a monthly pass at the counters of the public intercity transport company (in Serbian: GSP-Gradsko saobraćajno preduzeće).
The pass is 3,000-5,000 RSD (€25-€42) depending on the zone where you are and the place you want to reach in Belgrade.
Public transportation in Belgrade starts operating at 4 a.m. and stops at midnight, with some variations by line.
You can see more details on the website of the public intercity transport company (only in Serbian). Once you are on this page, go to the upper-right corner and choose the “LAT” button to see the text in Latin script.


Most public transportation in Nis starts operating at 4:20 a.m. and stops around 12:30 a.m, with some variations by line. You can see more details on the Plan Plus website.
A ticket for one continuous ride can be 60-100 RSD (€0.50-€1). You can buy your ticket from the bus driver.


Public transportation in Subotica starts operating at 4:40 a.m. and stops at 22:40 p.m, with some variations by line. You can see more details on the website of the Subotica-trans (once you are on this page, change the language to English).
A ticket for one ride is 90 RSD (€0.80). You can buy your ticket from the bus driver.

Help buying tickets

Info Park can buy your ticket to the asylum/reception center you are assigned to after you register at the police station, and also to the Subotica transit center if you are headed for admission to Hungary. Learn more about Info Park on our Service Map.
If you need to reach Krnjača or Bogovodja, the Crisis Response and Policy Centre can help you, but only if you have obtained your Certificate of Having Expressed the Intent to Seek Asylum and one of these is true:
  • You are with your children
  • You have medical problems
  • You are an elderly person


Usually, the following people get discounts on bus travel:
  • Children under 3: free or 75% discount
  • Children between 4 and 12: 50% or 25% discount
  • Groups: a reduced-price group ticket
The following people get discounts on train travel:
  • Children under 6: free
  • Children between 6 and 14: 50% discount
  • Groups: a group ticket at 30% discount for 6 adults

Your right to travel

You have the right to travel by bus and train in Serbia if you buy a ticket. No company or person may deny you access to the bus or train. If you are denied access, you can complain to the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality.
Complaining will not help you directly, but it may help force the company to change its policies. To complain:
  • Ask for the name of the person and/or company that denied you the access to the bus or train.
  • Contact the Crisis Response and Policy Centre and ask them for help with filling in and sending the complaint to the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality.

What happens if I am arrested in Serbia?


In Serbia, you may be detained or fined for illegal border crossing.
The information below comes from a judge in Subotica Misdemeanor Court and from the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, which provides more information on this subject at the Asylum Information Database.

Grounds for detention

Under the law, the Asylum Office can detain you when it needs to:
  • Establish your identity
  • Protect national security and public order in accordance with the law
  • Ensure you don’t disappear during the asylum process
In practice, the Asylum Office detains asylum seekers extremely rarely. If you are detained, you will be put in the Shelter for Foreigners.
The most frequent reason for placing foreigners there is to ensure their presence as witnesses in criminal proceedings against people suspected of illegally crossing the state border, human smuggling or human trafficking.
In rare cases, instead of placing you in the Shelter for Foreigners, the Asylum Office will limit your freedom of movement, confining you to stay in your asylum center.
The misdemeanor courts can convict you for:
  • Illegal entry, especially when you don’t want to express your intention to seek asylum in Serbia or you don’t have proper documents
  • Illegal stay
  • Illegal leave — crossing the border illegally into other countries
The proceeding can end in following ways:
  • You get a warning.
  • You are ordered to pay a fine of between 5,000 and 50,000 RSD (€40-€420). If you cannot pay the fine, you will be placed in a prison. Each day you serve in prison counts as payment of 1,000 RSD.
After you pay the fine or serve your prison sentence, you get an order to leave Serbia within a certain time limit.
You have the right to seek legal help and to get a translator who speaks a language you fully understand.
How long you could stay in detention
According to the Asylum Act, you can be detained up to 3 months. This deadline may be extended once for another 3-month period.
How long you are detained depends on:
  • The seriousness of your alleged offense
  • The consequences of your alleged offense
  • The degree to which you were responsible for the alleged offense
  • Your personal circumstances
  • Any earlier convictions you have
  • Whether you have a family or are alone
The court usually gives short prison sentences in illegal border-crossing cases.
Where you will be detained
Shelter for Foreigners
Located in Padinska Skela, Belgrade, the Shelter for Foreigners can host up to 70-80 people.
The men’s section has 6 rooms, and the women’s section has 3 rooms. Both sections have a living room, bathroom and yard.
Detainees have the right to be in the living room during the day and are entitled to a walk outside for 2 hours.
The rooms are well-lit, with access to sunlight and electric lighting, and have radiators and hygienic facilities.
Serbia has 27 penitentiaries.
Conditions vary by facility. In some, you may face inhumane and degrading treatment and poor living conditions, a lack of meaningful activities, and little communication with the staff and outside world.
If you are sentenced to prison, you will likely go to one of the penitentiaries in the border zones. These are:
  • County Prison in Vranje (Macedonian border zone)
  • County Prison in Subotica (Hungarian border area)
  • Correctional Facility in Sremska Mitrovica (Croatian border area)
  • Correctional Facility in Požarevac (Romanian border area)

Who is considered “vulnerable” in Serbia?

Vulnerable groups

Vulnerable people often get priority for services. In Serbia, vulnerable groups of people include:
  • People under 18 (especially children with disabilities and children separated from their parents or guardians)
  • People who have limited or no ability to exercise their rights (for example, because they have no government-issued documents)
  • People with disabilities
  • People over 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Single parents with children under 18
  • Victims of torture, rape or other forms of grave psychological, physical or sexual violence