Immigration and Border Management

IOM’s Immigration and Border Management (IBM) Division supports Member States in improving the policy, legislation, operational systems, human resources and administrative and technical structures required to respond more effectively to diverse migration and border management challenges. Immigration and Border Management (IBM) activities are in line with IOM’s commitment to facilitate orderly, safe and regular migration and mobility.

IBM activities are designed as partnerships with governments and other relevant interlocutors to identify needs, determine priority areas, and shape and deliver interventions. The IBM team's activities are continuously evolving to meet new migration challenges on the national, regional and international level. During 2018, expenditures for IBM projects worldwide reached approximately 125 million USD, with several hundred IOM experts and support staff active in the IBM field around the globe.

There are two distinct and complementary portfolios within IBM: Border and Identity Solutions (BIS) and Immigration and Visas (IV). In addition, the IBM team is in charge of facilitating and co-leading a number of organizational cross-thematic initiatives, notably the responsible and ethical use of biometrics, programming related to Counter Terrorism/Counter Violent Extremism (CT/CVE), IOM’s African Capacity Building Center for Migration and Border Management (ACBC) in Moshi, United Republic of Tanzania, and IOM’s upcoming flagship training programme the “Essentials in Migration Management 2.0 (emm2.0)”.

Border and Identity Solutions Unit (BIS)

Efficient border and migration management policies and structures, supported by professional, well-trained personnel, facilitates and fosters enhanced movement management at borders, prevents irregular migration, helps dismantle organized criminal networks, and protects the rights of migrants. Upon Governments’ request, the BIS Unit addresses a broad range of migration and border management issues by building and enhancing Member States’ capacity.

Additional technical support provided by the BIS Unit include:

  • Travel Document Inspection
  • Community Policing
  • Immigration Detention & Alternatives to Detention
  • Border Management Information Systems – including IOM’s MIDAS (Migration Information and Data Analysis System)
  • Passenger Data – Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR)
  • Regional Free Movement Arrangements

Immigration and Visas Unit (IV)

With over a billion people on the move today, visa policy has become a central tool for Member States to better manage legal migration and to prevent irregular migration. The IBM - IV Unit supports Member States in analyzing, developing and implementing evidence-based visa policies.  The unit provides innovative, technology-driven operational support to visa application processes, by working closely with immigration and consular authorities and other partners, to facilitate visa schemes in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.  IBM’s operational solutions enhance regular pathways for migration and mobility, making them more accessible, better informed, dignified, timely and transparent.

Operational solutions provided by the IV Unit include:

  • Information services
  • Case management systems
  • Booking and scheduling systems
  • E-visa systems (in cooperation with BIS)
  • Document review, receipt and verification 
  • Digitization of documentation
  • Secure data input, validation and transfer
  • Biometric data collection, validation and transfer
  • Payment and transfer systems
  • Travel document collection and transfer
  • Facilitation of interviews
  • Facilitation of DNA testing
  • Assisted travel

For more information, please contact IOM’s Immigration and Border Management Division (IBM) at [email protected].

(Updated on 7 May 2019)