However it happened, you fell in love and moved here to be with your special person.

You expected it to last forever (especially since you expatriated for this someone) but, unfortunately it didn’t.

Heartbreak and breakups are tough to deal with even under the easiest of circumstances. Figuring out what to do when all you want to do is flee the country and repatriate back home feels almost impossible!

Take a deep breath. We’ll walk you through the process of breaking up, moving out and possibly even going home.

First Things First: Getting Some Space

Your best bet, for now, as awful as it feels, is to move into a spare room if there is one. If there isn’t any room to spare, ask your ex to crash with a friend for a few days while you figure out your options.

Your ex may not be amenable to this plan but the simple fact is that, depending on your visa and citizenship status, you may not be allowed to simply pack a bag and rent an apartment of your own yet. Explain to your new ex that you need to meet with a lawyer and immigration officer to figure out what you are allowed to do.

Note: If you aren’t yet cleared to work, ask your lawyer to help you get cleared right away. International moving is expensive and you’ll need to save up!

Getting Out of Your Current Home

Right now you may be absolutely convinced that you want to move back to the States (or UK or wherever you lived before moving here). Before you can do that, though, you need to meet with your lawyer and figure out your options. Even if moving home is the goal, that is a process that can take weeks or even months to arrange. Right now what you need is to be able to secure your own housing. Your attorney will help you find a way to legally do that (getting deported might seem like the easy option now but it’s like declaring bankruptcy: best avoided at all costs).

When you’re given clearance to move, do it. Find, for now, a temporary apartment or long term (and reasonably priced) hotel to stay in. Take only what you need to survive for a few weeks. The rest can go into local storage. That way if you need something you can easily get it. And, if you decide to stay here, you don’t have to worry about international moving contracts, etc.

Working on Repatriating

Your attorney will help walk you through the steps of repatriating to your original country of origin. These steps are going to vary depending on where you hail from but trust us: you don’t want to try to figure all of this out on your own. Work with a lawyer or a case worker to make sure that you’re doing everything correctly.

Be prepared to have to fork over a lot of cash both for the visa you’ll need to travel home, as well as your moving expenses.

Actually Moving

Packing and moving domestically is headache enough. If you actually decide to move home, you’ll want to hire long distance movers—preferably movers experienced with international relocation. They’ll know how to pack and ship your things. Trying to send things yourself is a nightmare and will likely cost more than simply hiring a company to do the heavy lifting (metaphorical and actual) for you.

Finally, remember that repatriating can be difficult! It will take time to readjust to being home and more time to work through the aftermath of your painful breakup. Be patient with yourself and take things one step at a time.

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