Refugee return remains the preferred approach of States, donors, and UNHCR to put an end to the refugee condition. This qualitative study uses data collected through a series of interviews in a case study of returnees to Burundi between 2017 and 2022, to explore the extent to which the current reintegration can be understood as leading to an end to protracted displacement. In achieving this, the article also asks how the global refugee regime’s current humanitarian approach to return and its sedentary framing affect these processes; and the role played by human agency and mobility, including the impact of past displacement experiences, on these processes. The study concludes that, for many, the return to Burundi, whether it is the first, second, or third return, is often not ultimately understood as a permanent move “home” leading to durable solution, but rather simply another form of forced displacement. Unsuccessful reintegration following past displacements, policies conflicting with the best interests of returnees, and humanitarian approaches to return and its sedentary framing all emerge as major drives of this failure. Consequently, the multiple identities acquired by and imposed on returnees through these processes are essential for their survival in these difficult and constantly evolving conditions.