Pre-departure cultural orientation

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Pathway to Protection: Australian Cultural Orientation (AUSCO) programme

In this Pathway to Protection video we follow two Australian Cultural Orientation (AUSCO) trainers at the Beldangi Refugee Camp, Nepal as they teach refugees about the culture, customs and day to day living in Australia.

Through interactive learning they are taught everything from how to shake hands to using household amenities.

Gateway Online Forum (GOLF)

The Gateway Online Forum is an internet based resource enabling the exchange of experiences and knowledge between people at different stages of the resettlement process. It aims to give refugees a realistic idea of life in the UK and to exchange useful tips and information about the UK as a country of resettlement. Refugees’ in the country of asylum, waiting to be resettled, who have access to the internet, can ask questions of already resettled refugees. They can also refer to relevant information placed on the Forum by NGO staff, volunteers and refugees themselves.

Welcome to Europe! A comprehensive guide to resettlement


This publication is an outcome of the joint IOM, UNHCR and ICMC project ‘Linking In EU resettlement – Linking the resettlement phases and connecting (local) resettlement practitioners’, co-funded by the European Commission via the European Refugee Fund.

This new edition of Welcome to Europe covers all aspects of global resettlement needs, processes, policy and partnerships, focusing on the ongoing growth and development of resettlement in Europe, as follows:

Chapter 1 – Resettlement and international protection

Chapter 2 – Global resettlement

Chapter 3 – Refugee situations in focus

Chapter 4 – The resettlement process: from identification to departure

Chapter 5 – Resettlement in Europe – rising slowly but surely

Chapter 7 – European resettlement programmes

Chapter 8 – Building a new life in the community: approaches to reception and integration in Europe

‘Welcome to Europe!’ underscores the life-saving role of resettlement, and contributes to the promotion of resettlement in Europe as one component of a comprehensive and durable approach to protecting refugees. To submit your contributions and reflections on the publication, please contact Sophie Ngo-Diep at or start a discussion in the Community of Practice.

Canadian Orientation Abroad: Helping Future Immigrants Adapt to Life in Canada

IOM’s Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA), funded by the Canadian Government’s Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), is one of our more successful and long-serving migrant training programmes to date.  COA provides orientation sessions for visa-ready migrants bound for Canada –  including refugees, immigrants, and live-in caregivers.  The pre-departure orientation for Canada-bound migrants is designed  to help them adapt to life in their new country.   In FY 2012 a total of  11,261 migrants attended a COA session, and total trained since inception of the program in 1998  exceeds 160,000.


The following Cultural Orientation Leaflet presents information aimed at refugees who might be eligible for resettlement in Portugal. This Leaflet sets out to portray, in a simple but accurate fashion, the Portuguese historic, socioeconomic, political and cultural context, while also describing service provision in favour of resettled refugees after arrival. The aim of this leaflet is to promote autonomy upon arrival in Portugal, minimising potential cultural misunderstandings and facilitating integration into the Portuguese society.

FA.RE. Feasibility Study for an Italian Resettlement Programme

“FA.RE. – Feasibility Study for an Italian Resettlement Programme” is a project cofinanced by the European Commission and the Ministry of Interior. CIR is the operational implementing partner of the Ministry of Interior. The study’s objective was to verify the feasibility of an Italian Resettlement Programme.
More precisely, FA.RE. has had the following objectives:
a) gaining an in-depth knowledge of the actual functioning of Resettlement programmes;
b) verifying whether other countries’ experiences may be transferred to Italy;
c) providing Italian institutions information and means to decide on the implementation
of an Italian resettlement programme and the participation in a future European
resettlement programme.
This project has been innovative and, in some ways, “revolutionary”. It is the first time, in fact, that Resettlement is treated in Italy as a long-term programme. It appeared necessary for Italy to give a clear political message to show its interest and commitment towards a future-oriented asylum policy, on one hand, and not excluding any necessary mean to facilitate the situation of people asking for protection, on the other.

(Article in Italian, English and Spanish language)

Preparing for a new life

How do refugees and migrants learn about what it's like to live in a totally different country and culture? Find out how IOM helps them to successfully adapt to a whole new life.

Zuwanderer auf Deutschland vorbereiten: Handlungsempfehlungen und Strategien

The project on “Stocktaking of international pre-integration measures and recommendations for action aimed at their implementation in Germany“ was co-funded half-and-half by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and by the European Integration Fund (EIF)1. The aim was to improve the state of knowledge and awareness in Germany about internationally practised preparatory measures and to perform a needs assessment in the context of migration to Germany. Based on the above, recommendations for action were developed for the German government in respect of potential preparatory measures for migrants from third (non-EU) countries. The implementation of the project was taken over by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). IOM is an inter-governmental organisation which conducts aid programmes for migrants2 at the national and international level. With over 400 offices in 130 countries, IOM is the largest global offerer of preparatory measures for migrants.

According to the definition adopted by EIF, the term ”pre-integration measures“ refers to the preparation of new immigrants from third countries for their target country. Such measures are conducted in the immigrant’s country of origin itself. The significance of pre-integration measures lies in the opportunity they present of laying a foundation stone for successful integration in the host society even before the entry of the immigrants into the host country. Especially in view of the initial few months in the new homeland, the social competences of the migrants can be strengthened and problems can be anticipated in this way. This contributes towards making the migration and integration process as smooth as possible which, in turn, makes it easier for the immigrants to find their way in the society of the host country.

In Germany, subsequent immigration of family members currently constitutes the largest group of immigrants from non-EU countries. The most important countries of origin are Turkey, the Russian Federation and the nations of former Yugoslavia. One of the requirements of the project was, thus, the development of preparatory measures which would especially take into account the needs of the immigrants from these regions.

On the German side, the language courses offered by the Goethe institute for a fee are the only activity until now which can be described as a pre-integration measure. Since the introduction of a compulsory proof of basic knowledge of the German language in the year 2005 within the framework of subsequent immigration of family members, these courses are offered in the concerned countries of origin as a preparation for the respective test. This measure is not only criticised primarily by the Turkish government, but also by German charitable and migrant organisations, since this measure is perceived to be discriminating (see 3.5). Therefore, it was not completely possible to separate the continuing debate about compulsory language test from the discussion of potential preparatory measures for third-country nationals which was the focus of this project.

Information guide for persons being resettled to France

You will soon enter the French territory either because you were issued a visa in order to claim asylum in France (« protected entry ») or as a resettled refugee, or in the framework of a transfer from another European Union (EU) Member-State.

The French authorities have taken the decision to welcome you in France. However, this implies that you and the members of your family must be willing to come to France. No-one can ask you for any kind of payment or reward in return for your entry and stay in France, be it before your departure, or once you are on the French territory.

This document is designed to give you useful information about administrative procedures, reception conditions and life in France.