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Migration and Home Affairs


  • In the global context, compulsory return of an individual to the country of origin, transit or third country (i.e. country of return), on the basis of an administrative or judicial act.
  • In the EU context , the process of going back – whether in voluntary or enforced compliance with an obligation to return – to:
    - one’s country of origin ; or
    - a country of transit in accordance with EU or bilateral readmission agreements or other arrangements; or
    - another third country, to which the third-country national concerned voluntarily decides to return and in which s/he will be accepted.



  • BG: принудително връщане
  • CS: nucený návrat
  • DE: zwangsweise Rückführung / Zwangsrückführung / erzwungene Rückkehr
  • EL: αναγκαστική επιστροφή / αναγκαστικός επαναπατρισμός / ακούσια επιστροφή
  • EN: forced return
  • ES: retorno forzoso
  • ET: sunniviisiline tagasipöördumine / tagasisaatmine
  • FI: pakkopaluu / pakkopalauttaminen
  • FR: retour forcé
  • GA: filleadh éigeantach
  • HU: kötelező visszatérés
  • IT: Ritorno forzato / Rimpatrio forzato
  • LT: priverstinis grąžinimas
  • LV: piespiedu atgriešana (EU acquis); piespiedu izraidīšana
  • MT: Ritorn ta' bilfors / Ripatriazzjoni obbligatorja
  • NL: gedwongen terugkeer / verplichte terugkeer
  • PL: przymusowy powrót
  • PT: retorno forçado
  • RO: returnare forțată / returnare sub escortă
  • SK: nútený návrat
  • SL: prisilno vračanje / prisilna vrnitev
  • SV: återvändande med tvång
  • NO: tvangsretur
  • KA: იძულებითი დაბრუნება
  • UK: примусове повернення


  • compulsory return

Broader Term(s)

Narrower Term(s)

Related Term(s)


1. In the global context, forced return is a broader term which includes any action having the effect of returning the individual to a State, including expulsion, removal, extradition, rejection at the frontier, extra-territorial interception and physical return.
2. The term ‘forced return’ is not used at all in European Union legislation. Council Directive 2008/115/EC (Return Directive) which regulates the return of migrants whose stay has been found to be illegal – refers to return following a return decision as ‘return’ (not ‘forced return’). In order to avoid confusion with the return of migrants based on their free will and without any direction from the State, the EMN has named ‘return’ when occurring in compliance with a return decision, ‘forced return’.
3. If the term ‘forced return’ is used in the European Union environment (e.g. in the metadata of Eurostat), it is understood as synonymous with ‘removal’ – i.e. the physical transportation out of the country following a return decision.
4. Outside of European Union legislation the term ‘forced return’ is more commonly used and understood as a return which occurs once a return decision has been issued.