In this article just published in International Migration I argue that remigration is not a valid indicator to measure sustainable return and that policy and practice approaches to assisted voluntary return need to move beyond a focus on remigration as a definition of success.
Assisted voluntary return is a central component of many countries managed migration policies. Within these programmes achieving a sustainable return is a common policy goal, which is often measured through remigration. In this paper, it is argued that remigration is not a valid indicator to measure sustainable return. A new definition and approach to defining and measuring sustainable return is presented based on a multidimensional return and reintegration index, which is tested with a sample of 118 returnees in six countries. Due to small sample size a chi-square test is used to examine the correlation between the return and reintegration index and remigration intentions. The results demonstrate the relationship between having a concrete remigration plan and the return and reintegration index is insignificant. This relationship between remigration and sustainable return is further interrogated throughout the paper.