Going Home

The common challenges of expat repatriation

Thinking about going home? We have put together a handy list of the main challenges of expat repatriation and how to overcome them.

Expat repatriation

By Expatica

Updated 29-2-2024

An increasing number of people spend time living abroad for work or pleasure, though not everyone sees themselves as a long-term immigrant. But when the time comes to move back home, what are the most common challenges of repatriation? Whether your relocation has lasted months or years, there are many things expats need to consider when returning to their home countries. International currency brokers explain the three main issues of expat repatriation that you may face with advice on how to tackle them.

Reverse culture shock

Many people expect the culture shock that comes with moving abroad. It can take months to overcome language barriers and social differences while dealing with separation from family and friends. However, reverse culture shock, which can follow expat repatriation, may come as a surprise.

Things that were once familiar might seem unusual. You may have to re-acclimatize to a warmer or colder climate. Your friends and family members could be in different stages of their lives.

The important thing to remember is that it’s normal to feel disconnected when you first return home; keep in mind that this feeling will pass. Staying in touch with the latest news from your home country in the weeks leading up to moving home can help. Don’t hesitate to keep an eye and an ear on the place you’re leaving; whether it’s reading the news or keeping up on the latest movies, you don’t need to let go of your adopted home completely.

Make sure you also say a proper goodbye to your adopted country.

Expat repatriation: the logistics of relocation

While there are more processes involved in emigration than expat repatriation — given that you won’t have to consider things like visas or healthcare when you return home — there is still plenty to think about and organize.

Packing and transporting your belongings, selling your foreign property, purchasing or renting accommodation for your return, and finding employment should all be priorities. Planning expat repatriation well in advance and tackling it one stage at a time makes it more manageable and less stressful.

Friends and family may also be able to help ease your transition. They can, perhaps, utilize their business contacts or view prospective homes on your behalf. The relationships you’ve made in the country of your emigration may also be beneficial. In particular, locals can give you specialist insight into areas like the housing market and removal firms.

Repatriating your funds

After spending a prolonged period abroad, you may have built up savings in a foreign bank account. You may also have the proceeds of a foreign property sale to manage. Taking the time to look into your options when moving these funds home can leave you thousands better off; it pays to be proactive during the process of expat repatriation.

While you can use your bank to manage this kind of transfer, reputable currency brokers are able to secure competitive exchange rates and give you access to specialist services. One such service is the option of fixing a favorable rate up to two years in advance of a trade. As exchange rates are highly volatile, having the chance to lock in a rate when it moves in your favor means you can maximize your money when it’s time to move it home.

Additionally, currency brokers don’t charge the transfer fees levied by most banks. That way, you’ll see even more savings — which makes returning from abroad that little bit easier.