Professionals: More than 50% of expats want to come back to their home country...

Published 2020-03-04 10:40

A study run by and aiming at uncovering the repatriation habits of expats has found 65% of working expats seek work abroad but only want to live abroad temporarily. Indeed, only 35% of them consider permanent expatriation. Out of which a certain amount ends up coming back anyway.

The split between professionals who want to return to their home country and those who want to settle abroad for good might not be as tight as we might think. Indeed, of the above 3, 000 working expats who responded to the survey, 65% said they had been looking to settle abroad but only temporarily, on the other hand 35% of expats responded that they initially decided on a permanent expatriation. 

The main reason expats give for seeking expatriation is the urge to find a better quality of life, professional reasons and the particular liking of a country. Why permanently, however? For most, the economic situation in their home country. Working expats who are looking for a permanent expatriation experience had their minds set on Spain, Vietnam and surprisingly, Saudi Arabia as expat destinations.

Expats who choose to settle abroad because they’re looking for a better economic situation tend to choose Canada, Thailand and Saudi Arabia as an expat destination. The political situation in the home country was also cited as a reason to settle abroad. Working expats seeking a better political situation seemed to be interested in Spain, the United States and Portugal as an expatriation destination.

Regarding expats who are looking to return to their home country after their time abroad, most give professional reasons for settling abroad, even temporarily. Better quality of life and financial reasons were the second and third most frequent responses.

Out of the 65% of expats who wanted to settle abroad permanently, 30% finally decided they wanted to return to their home country. They were mainly the expats who had wanted to settle abroad for professional and financial reasons and who had chosen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam to do so. Why do these expats cut their expat experience short? Most often because of adaptation problems and to be closer to family back home.