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Expat Repatriation: Planning Your Trip Home

Many people leave their country of origin looking for a better life. But for whatever reason, their new lives don’t work out, and they want to return home.

airplaneWhatever your reasons for returning home, it’s important to plan your return in advance. Going back to your country of origin can be an ordeal in itself.

So here are some key areas worthy of your consideration.

Consider Your Children First

As adults, we often forget how severe an upheaval can be for children. Moving from one country to another is an ordeal for anyone. But for children, it involves adjusting to a new environment that they are not used to.

Their school will change. Their friends will change. And they’ll have to adapt to a different culture. That means that for repatriation to be a success, you need to consider all members of the family.

Perhaps you could sell the move back home as an exciting new start in life. Or maybe you could tell them about all the great benefits of living in Britain. Maybe they’ll get to see grandma and grandpa more often.

Get Your Finances Sorted

When you moved away from your home country, you would have been set as a non-resident for tax purposes. But now that you’re returning home, this will need changing. That means that you’ll have to register with the relevant tax authority.

The economy may also have changed significantly while you’ve been away. You may have found that while you were abroad, you could afford to live on a single income. But economic conditions in your home country may mean you need two incomes to make ends meet.

Prices may have gone up significantly while you were away. And that means you’ll have to earn either more when you get back or spend less.

Returning expats often find it difficult to build a financial foothold on their return. If they have been abroad for a long time and have severed all links when they left, banks may be unwilling to give out loans or mortgages.

The solution to this problem is to do your research in advance. Find the people who are experts in dealing with cases like yours. Doing things like transferring your account in the same bank can help keep a good credit score.

Prepare Emotionally

When you moved abroad, it’s likely that there were a lot of people who weren’t entirely happy with your plans. You may have been called selfish. And your motives might have been questioned.

Now though you’re all set to return and it’s likely a lot of those people still harbour ill-feelings. If you plan to reinsert yourself back into a community you left, be prepared for resistance.

You may also find that you suffer withdrawal from your previous home once you return. The so-called “expat flu” can make the first few weeks back even more tumultuous as you get used to a new environment. And you may feel a sense of loneliness upon your return which you did not expect. The place that you used to live is now changed so much that you hardly recognise it.

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