Factors affecting Repatriation Process

2nd December 2021 0 By indiafreenotes

Traditionally, expatriates have been primarily managerial executives, with the role of controlling an overseas branch of the parent company. However, the increasing Globalisation of business has led to an expansion in the range of personnel that is sent overseas to work and gain experience. Engineers, information technologists, and other specialists are increasingly moving into a globalized work arena. The resulting diversity of repatriated personnel generates two challenges. First, the processes and policies relating to repatriation must be more rigorously developed and documented in order to facilitate equitable and efficient management of the program. Second, there should be a greater awareness of the need to develop such programs in order to increase the retention rate of experienced expatriates.

Repatriation Process

  1. Preparation: before 3-4 months of expatriate return
  • Developing plans for future and info about new position
  • Checklist of items before leaving (closure of bank a/c, bills etc.)
  1. Physical Relocation
  • Removal of personal belongings , breaking ties with friends, colleagues before returning
  • Re-entry training for home country’s update, socio-cultural contrast orientation, psychological aspects etc.
  1. Transition
  • Finding accommodations, school for children, opening bank A/c etc. for comfortable living.
  • Relocation consultants used.
  1. Readjustment
  • Coping with aspects as company changes , reverse culture shock and career demands
  • Eg. Repatriate returning from country where power distance is large as Thailand may experience stress on returning to small power distance countries like Denmark.

Repatriation of Expatriates

  • Repatriation
  • Return to one’s home country from an overseas management assignment
  • Reasons for returning
  • Formally agreed-on tour of duty is over
  • Expats want their children educated in the home country
  • Unhappiness with foreign assignment
  • Failure to perform well
  • Major concerns of expatriates
  • Cultural Re-entry
  • Financial Implications
  • Nature of job assignment

Multinational responses to repatriation

  1. Staff availability: current and future needs
  • If repatriate promoted ,International assignments as a positive career move
  • If repatriate demoted or given pink slips so vice versa.
  1. Return on investment (ROI)
  • Expatriates are expensive
  • Accomplishing assignment objectives at the expected cost
  1. Knowledge Transfer
  • Cross-fertilization of ideas and practices that assist in developing competitive advantage.
  • Build upon international experience of repatriates

Designing a Repatriation Program

  1. Mentor programs (Pairing expat with a member of home office senior mgmt):
  • Maintaining contact with the expatriate throughout the assignment
  • Ensuring that expatriates are kept up- to-date with developments in home country
  • Assisting expatriates in repatriation process
  1. Inviting repatriates in developing repatriation program

Steps suggested for smooth transition:

  • Arrange an event to welcome & recognize the employee & family.
  • Establish support to facilitate family reintegration.
  • Offer repatriation counselling or workshops to ease the adjustment.
  • Assist the spouse with job counselling, resume writing & interviewing techniques.
  • Provide educational counselling for the children.
  • Provide employees with thorough debriefing to identify new knowledge, insights & skills to provide a forum to showcase new competencies.
  • Offer international outplacement to the employee if no positions are possible.
  • Arrange an interview with the expatriate & spouse to review their view of the assignment & address any repatriation issues.

Many people face both work-related and personal repatriation challenges:


  • Loss of visibility and isolation
  • Changes in the home workplace
  • Adjusting to the re-entry position
  • Others devaluing the international experience


  • Making assumptions of how quickly you will fit back in
  • Unrealistic expectations of life at home and how it has changed
  • Social readjustment as friend and family relationships have changed
  • Difficulty supporting family members experiencing reverse culture shock