Scotland's three-time world champion beat Joe Jogia 4-2 in the first round of a European Tour Championship event in Hamm, Germany, on Friday.
Higgins, 35, was fined £75,000 and suspended in May for not reporting an illegal approach over match-fixing.
Ahead of his return he admitted: "I'm a bit nervous about how the [other] players are going to take to me."
Higgins will face Dave Harold in the next round of the three-day event and could face world number 16 Mark King if he makes the third round.
Neil Robertson, Graeme Dott, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan, are all involved of the event, in which all matches are the best of seven frames.
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