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Emigration might sound like a permanent step, but for one reason or another it doesn’t always pan out that way. Indeed, no matter how hard they try, some emigrants simply cannot adapt to their new country of residence. Others lose their job, separate from their foreign partner, or miss their family and friends so much that they become physically homesick and are left with no other option than to return home. But remigration is no small feat and also requires careful planning.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to ensure that your remigration goes as smoothly as possible.
Inform everyone of your plan to remigrate
The first and arguably most important step is to advise as many people as possible about your pending remigration, both in your current country of residence and back home. Your social network will prove an invaluable tool that can offer practical assistance, such as helping you find a temporary home, or provide emotional support in the form of useful tips and advice. For this very reason it’s sensible to return to a familiar city or region where you have a ready made circle of family and friends. If you’re moving back to new area altogether, perhaps to start a new job or business, it’s advisable to have a ‘trial’ period (by renting a holiday cottage, for example) before you and the entire family settle there for good. After all, you don’t want to return home, only to end up feeling as out of sorts as you did abroad!
Surprisingly, even recently acquired friends and acquaintances in your current country of residence can be of tremendous help. You may know someone who is keen to buy some of your unwanted furniture for example, or who wishes to share the cost of a removal van. As far as your remigration plan goes, every little helps!
Plan your remigration methodically
You can set a date for your move back home as soon as you’ve have decided on your destination. At this point you should begin carefully planning all of the things that you need to arrange prior to remigration. Make two separate lists – one for all of the activities that apply to your current country of residence, such as terminating your rental agreement, selling your car, informing the local authorities etc., and another for tasks that you need to organise back home, including arranging (temporary) accommodation, enrolling the kids at school etc. It’s worth pointing out that the Dutch government offers financial assistance to expats wishing to remigrate to their country of origin. In fact, those who have lived in the Netherlands for one year or more, may be eligible for a special ‘remigration grant’. You can find out more at the Government of the Netherlands Support for Returning Migrants website.
Look forward, not back
Unfortunately, those who decide to remigrate often regard their original emigration adventure as a ‘failure’. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Remember – whilst many fantasise of a starting a new life in foreign climes, you dared to turn your dream into a reality. And, even though it may not have gone completely according to plan, this undeniably enriching experience will continue to shape and colour your life for many years to come.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants.