Top 5 Tips For Repatriation

11 November 2013



Returning home is as much a challenge as leaving home. Many think that repatriation comes naturally, simply because it is just the act of coming home and because of that, there are important things that might be overlooked. Here are a few things you need to know if and when you decide to make the move back to your home country.


1. Plan Early and Plan Well


Plan everything as early as you can. Your living situation, activities, job, community, everything! You need to fall back on a pattern where you can feel comfortable and settled in going back and not feel like a fish out of water in your own country. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been away for just a year or 10 years, a place is never exactly the same when you left it.


Make sure you’re also prepared financially before you start the moving process. Save up and don’t be cheap when it comes to picking your freight services. Quality and safety is very important in moving. Save enough money to sustain yourself for a few months upon arrival if in case you don’t have a job lined up and also to give yourself some time to settle down before going back to work if you already have a job.


2. Seek Proper Assistance


Don’t try to do everything yourself. Sure you can be as hands on as possible in your plans and actions to set everything in motion for your repatriation, but keep in mind that there are simple options available to you in case you can’t handle everything yourself.


If you are repatriating for medical reasons, check your international health insurance coverage. Most coverage for expats includes repatriation services or medical evacuation services that might save you all the hassle of taking care of everything yourself.


While there are lots of options for repatriation services out there, remember to always check the credibility of the companies you sign up with. Never forget safety and quality of services should always be your priority.


3. Allow Yourself to Settle, Don’t Rush


Include the time to settle in your pre-repatriation plan. Allow yourself 1-2 months to settle down and get used to your “back to home life” before you start to work or before you start to look for work. Take your time to feel at ease before you slide back into the daily routine back home, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.


If you are repatriating with your family, take this time to settle your kids down too. It’s given that you’ve arranged which schools they should attend etc., but you don’t have to throw them back into school too soon either. Adjusting to move back home is a bigger challenge for children who have grown up mostly in a different country. Make sure that they are firmly settled and comfortable before you go back to your normal routine and especially before you push them back to school.


4. Proper Documentation


This is something that most people tend to overlook when it comes to moving back home. Prepare and keep important documents. Organize all your important documents that you might have carried with you such as educational certificates, birth certificates, licenses and the likes. Be sure to have them at easy access. File everything in secure folders and don’t send them in freight carriers, keep them with you either in your carry-on luggage or in your check-in bags. This way, you won’t misplace them and it won’t be too hard to look for them once you’ve arrived.


Try to have a scanned copy of all the important documents during your years as an expat. All your company contracts, immigration letters and most importantly tax returns and receipts. If you have children, also be sure to secure all of their school records and certificates before your leave. This should be in your top priority. You wouldn’t want to be chasing the school for these things when you’re no longer in the country.


5. Ending and Restarting Services


Be sure to check your current service contracts like home utilities, visas, phone plans and everything tying you down to your current country of residences. Check how long it takes to disconnect your services and make sure they are really disconnected before you leave.


After arranging the end of your contracts in your current country of residence, start the process to restart your local resident services in your home country such as government services, taxes etc. Find out if there’s a few things you can start to do online before you even arrive home to smoothen things out and minimize the things you have to take of when you get there. Make sure all the important things are settled like taxes, health care and insurance, then you can move on to things like setting up a bank account if in case you don’t have one in your home country.


Consider everything before you start cancelling your international services like international health insurance and offshore banking, since these are things that might still be useful for you even if you intend to stay in your home country.