Zain and his wife, Kifah, came to Ireland in 2005 to apply for asylum. After their application was approved, they lived in a small apartment for nearly six years while Zain worked a series of short-term jobs. In 2011, however, a family emergency forced them to consider whether they could remain in Ireland. Zain’s father had fallen ill and was now unable to support his wife and Zain’s younger sister. Zain and Kifah decided that they needed to return to Pakistan to care for the family, but they were unable to afford the costs of travel. They were also concerned that after so much time away, Zain would be unable to find a job in Pakistan.

Zain spoke to friends about the situation and they told him about the VARRP. Zain and Kifah decided to approach IOM because not only could they receive travel assistance, but Zain could also apply for the grant to help him establish a business. They returned to Pakistan as quickly as they could, and Zain applied for the grant immediately.

“I returned due to family reasons, however IOM made it easy.”

Through the grant, Zain applied to receive the materials necessary to open a shop for selling car tires and small car equipment. He encountered an immediate demand for his services, and quickly became profitable. He says that he will be able to support his family with the income, although he knows that expansion will be difficult due to the competition he faces from other tire shops. Zain is pleased to be back in Pakistan so that he can support his parents, and advises other returnees to take the opportunity to “start a new life” as he has.