Repatriation is an issue that requires specific consideration for any company that temporarily sends employees to overseas subsidiaries or headquarters. Often, companies assume that the return to the expatriate's home country will be a smooth transition because the home conditions and culture are believed to be unchanged. Assuming such a scenario, many companies believe that repatriates easily transition back into their former lives foregoing the need for support. As a result, repatriation is often the forgotten phase of the expatriation cycle leading to many repatriates reporting significant difficulties upon return to their home country. .
Prior to the corporate globalization boom of the late 20th century, expatriates companies typically turned to high-ranking managerial executives to head up overseas ventures and projects. However, as the global economy has grown so has the pool of expatriate candidates taking on significant projects for the first time. This "modern expatriate" is often seeking a way to gain experience and grow within the organization while gaining a sense of ownership. Repatriation, often, becomes an issue because the repatriate grows accustomed to this new leadership role abroad only to return to a reduced role upon re-arrival in his/her home country. In some cases, repatriates have seen their career opportunities diminish, as opposed to expand, due to their time overseas.2 Some skills and expertise developed in in the host country may not be seen as useful in the home country which can often lead the repatriate to feel a sense of boredom or under-utilization. .
Modification of salary and other compensation benefits/perks is typically the biggest re-adjustment that repatriates and their families must make upon return to their home country. Adjusting to lower standards of living where the average income loss is 30% is a difficult transition in any situation.