Are you considering a move back to your home country? There's lots of things to take into consideration when repatriating
24 July 2016| Last updated on 6 September 2021
To repatriate means to move back to your country of origin.
As expats abroad, sometimes the idea of packing up everything and returning 'home' sounds like a dream.
Whether it's because you've done your stint of the expatriate lifestyle, or you've tried it and life abroad just isn't for you, there can be lots of reasons to repatriate.
Nonetheless, if you are considering repatriation, there are some main things you should take into consideration.
1. Emotional ties and concerns
In the same way that us expats experience culture shock when first moving abroad or to a new place, you'll probably find that repatriating will toss you a similar set of emotions as you readjust to your previous way of life.
Of course, you may feel like it will be a piece of cake; you've lived there before, you know the environment, the people and the area. But when you've been abroad for some time, your mannerisms, attitude and prospects alter, and so you may find yourself a stranger in familiar territory once you return home.
Nonetheless if you're properly prepared beforehand, as with any move, it should help to avoid stress and help you to approach the task in a calm manner.
2. Financial matters
When you have been living abroad, you may have been non-resident for taxation purposes in your home country. For example, those leaving the UK for expatriate life in the UAE are moving to a tax-free country, and so any ties or relationship with the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the UK will cease to exist as a non-resident.
Consequently, when you repatriate, you will need to re-register with the relevant taxation body in your home country.
Not only that, but you should do some extensive research into just how much the financial situation has changed back home since you moved; especially when it comes to cost of living. You should compare this with the situation that you have been used to in your expat country, and consider how costs may have changed while you've been abroad.
Our advice is to monitor your own financial situation carefully in the months leading up to repatriating, and make sure any contract or job that you acquire will be sufficient enough to cover the costs when you move back.
An area that many expats find difficult when repatriating is the ability to create a financial foothold in their home country. More often than not, a lot of us have severed ties with our home country financially, and so re-establishing a financial history or credit rating can prove difficult.
In this instance, perhaps a financial advisor would come in handy, or if you have a bank account with an international company, moving your account to their franchise based in your home country could help you to establish a financial history once again.
3. The practical issues to consider
Remember all of the stresses of moving abroad for the first time? Well, now you'll face them once again as all of the same aspects will require your attention when you repatriate.
Things like shipping companies, pet relocation, schooling, health facilities, where to live, how to find a job... All of these will need research and planning once again.
You may find our country guides and information useful at this stage, as we've collected relevant information that you'll need when moving back.
4. What about your family?
If you're a parent, you will no doubt have to turn your attention to your children and family unit as you repatriate together and prepare yourselves for the return home.
As parents, the more time you can spend talking to your children about your move home in the run up to the big day, the better. We have lots of information about travelling and moving with children that may come in handy for you!
If however, your children have been born abroad and are returning to what is your home country, you may face a spot of anxiety and apprehension as they move into unfamiliar territory.
Perhaps take the time to show them old pictures of yours, share information and memories about your favourite spots and places and things to do there, and keep them involved in the repatriating process as much as they're able to understand.
If you're not a parent on the other hand, repatriating means you will be able to return to familiar territory, with family and friends close-by... Which is always a plus!
Make sure to establish your network of acquaintances and friends once you get back. We're sure their advice, help and guidance will help you to settle back in without any main issue.
5. Keep in touch
We're very sure you've established great relationships with colleagues, friends and even family while living abroad. It's the same as when you moved in the first place; make that extra effort to nurture your existing relationships. There's no doubt you've created a great network of new friends from all different places and cultures, so just because you're moving doesn't mean they have to end.
Make a Skype or Zoom date!