To return to your home country, follow similar steps to "Before the Departure" and close down your household. The peculiarities of repatriating are explored in the article, "The Art and Science of Repatriation".
You will need to end your lease, close your bank accounts, give notice to your current employer or close down your business, if applicable. If you end your lease before your minimum period, this may result in penalties. Try to time your departure so that it coincides with the contract anniversary. When you leave, pay your final utility bills and take a final reading of the water, electricity and gas meters in your house. Keep them, in case you need them for future reference. Close down your telephone, TV and internet subscriptions.
Make a detailed inventory of your goods that will go through customs and secure a proof of change of residence, to help you through customs. If you use a shipping company, they will most likely take charge of the documentation for you.
In parallel with shutting down your foreign house, you need to prepare your next location, including finding work, searching for a new apartment or preparing your house to be re-occupied. A visa may be necessary if you are moving on to a new country. Research the process in advance, for you and your family as well. If moving with your pet, check with the country you are going to. You may need to update vaccines up to one year in advance.
If you are moving with children, you will need to choose the right school, and register them well in advance.
Contact your consulate as well, to find out about recommended procedures such as pensions or unemployment.
To prepare for your next city, consult our other EasyExpat Guides.
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