Whatever your reasons for repatriating into your home country there are a number of things that you should consider prior to doing do. In the same way that you needed to carefully plan your move abroad you should also prepare in advance for your move back home. While you will have familiarity with your home country and probably a strong network of friends and family, there are still some key areas that will need your consideration.
In the same way that it is common for expats to experience culture shock or expat flu when they first move abroad, many repatriating expats experience a similar set of emotions as they attempt to readjust to their previous way of life. Moving anywhere, be it home or away, can be stressful and can result in physical symptoms or illness. If you are thoroughly prepared beforehand this can help to avoid such stress and help you approach the task ahead in a calm manner.
All of the practical issues that you needed to deal with when you first moved abroad will equally require your attention as you repatriate. Issues such as shipping companies, pet relocation, schooling, where to live, how to find work etc. will all once again require research and planning. You will find our moving checklist template useful in identifying and planning these tasks.
While you have been away from your home country you may have been non-resident for taxation purposes. When you repatriate you will need to re-register with the relevant taxation body.
In the time running up to your return home you should also start to consider how things might have changed whilst you have been away. One area that you should consider carefully is the cost of living in your home country and how that compares with the country that you have been living in as an expatriate. In addition to this, you should consider how costs might have changed in your home country whilst you have been living away. You should monitor your financial situation carefully and ensure that any contract you negotiate as part of a job acquisition will be sufficient to cover the living costs when you go home.
One area that repatriating expats find challenging when they return home concerns establishing a financial foothold. If all ties with the home country have previously been severed it can be very difficult to arrange any type of credit or mortgage upon your return. Again, it is crucial that you do as much research as possible before you return home so that you are prepared for any difficulties you may face. If you have been using an international bank, such as HSBC, it can often be prudent to try and transfer your account with the same bank as this will help with any credit rating.
Once again you will need to turn your attention to your family and attempt as far as possible to prepare your children mentally for the return home. The advice provided in our section on living abroad with children will be just as important in the run up to repatriating as it is in planning a move abroad. The more time you spend discussing the move home with your children and preparing them mentally for the change in lifestyle they will experience the better.
Repatriating need not be a stressful experience and should be viewed as an exciting new start. You will be richer for the experiences you have had overseas but will also have the reunion with your home country to look forward to.
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