AskDefine | Define repatriate

Dictionary Definition

repatriate n : a person who has returned to the country of origin or whose citizenship has been restored


1 send someone back to his homeland against his will, as of refugees
2 admit back into the country [ant: expatriate]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. To restore to one's own country.

Extensive Definition

Repatriation (from late Latin repatriare - to restore someone to his homeland) is the process of return of refugees or soldiers to their homes, most notably following a war. The term may also refer to the process of converting a foreign currency into the currency of one's own country.

Refugee repatriation, post-World War II repatriation

In the 20th century, following all European wars, several repatriation commissions were created to supervise the return of war refugees, displaced persons and prisoners of war to their country of origin. Repatriation hospitals were established in some countries to care for the ongoing medical and health requirements of returned military personnel. In the Soviet Union, the refugees being seen as traitors for surrendering were often killed or sent to Siberian concentration camps.
Issues surrounding repatriation have been some of the most heatedly-debated political topics of the 20th and 21st centuries. Many forced back to the Soviet Union by Allied forces in World War II still hold this forced migration against the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
Expulsion from the Soviet Union was called repatriation in Communist propaganda. Poles born in annexed lands (Kresy) were deported to former German lands (Regained Territories) and told they returned to their Motherland.

Immigrant repatriation

Opponents of immigration have advocated various types of repatriation measures for immigrants. Illegal immigrants are frequently repatriated as a matter of government policy. Those who would go further suggest measures of voluntary repatriation, with financial assistance (there have been schemes of this kind), and also measures of compulsory repatriation. Such measures are highly controversial, especially if based on any kind of racial criterion, and encounter vocal political opposition in most democracies.

Repatriation laws

Most countries in central and eastern Europe as well as Germany, Greece, Armenia, France, China, Japan, Norway, Finland, Philippines, Ireland, Turkey and Israel have Repatriation laws. This gives non-citizen foreigners who are part of the titular majority group the opportunity to immigrate and receive citizenship. Repatriation of their titular diasporas is practiced by most ethnic nation states. The most famous repatriation law is Israel's Law of Return.

Economic repatriation

This refers to economic measures taken by a country to reduce foreign capital investment.

Repatriation of currency

When foreign currency is converted back to the currency of the home country it is referred to as repatriation. An example would be an American converting British Pounds back to U.S. Dollars.
Repatriation also refers to the payment of a dividend by a foreign corporation to a US corporation. This happens often where the foreign corporation is considered a "controlled foreign corporation" (CFC), which means that it more than 50% of the foreign corporation is owned by a US parent. Generally, foreign direct investment in CFC's are not taxed until a dividend is paid to the controlling US parent, and is thus repatriated. The foreign direct investment income of the CFC is taxed only by the country where it is incorporated until repatriation. At that time, income is subject to the (typically higher) US tax rate minus the Foreign Tax Credits.(FN: See IRC 951-965) There are currently hundreds of billions of dollars of Foreign direct investment in CFC's because of the disincentive to repatriate those earnings. (See Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Economic Accounts, Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts for the United States, available at

Repatriation of human remains

Repatriation also refers to the return of body parts to the nearest relative. In the USA Native American Indian human remains are uncovered and removed from their burial sites in the construction/land development process. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990 prescribes the process of returning Native American Indian human remains found on federal land to the culturally affiliated tribe/s. In previous eras it was common for British colonial authorities to collect heads and other body parts of indigenous peoples such as Indigenous Australians and Māori for display in British museums. The repatriation of these body parts is current ongoing. For an example of a successful body part repatriation, see Yagan.

Cultural repatriation

See Main article at Art repatriation
Cultural or art repatriation is the return of cultural objects or works of art to their country of origin (usually referring to ancient art), or (for looted material) its former owners (or their heirs).

Overcoming Repatriation

Repatriation is often the ‘forgotten’ phase of the expatriation cycle; the emphasis for support is mostly on the actual period abroad. However, many repatriates report experiencing difficulties on return: one is no longer special, practical problems arise, new knowledge gained is no longer useful, etc. These difficulties are highly influenced by a number of factors including self-management, spouses ’adjustment, time spent abroad and skill utilisation. What is crucial is that every individual perceives these factors in a different way.
Direct managers and HR staff often notice the difficulties a repatriate experiences, but they are not always able to act on it. Budget shortcomings and time constraints are frequently cited as reasons why it fails to be an agenda priority. Solutions for repatriation difficulties do not have to be expensive and can lead to great benefits for the company. Basic support can consist, for example, of good communication in advance, during and after the international assignment, or a mentor program to assist the repatriate. The expatriate and his/her family should feel understood by his or her company. Support can increase job satisfaction, thereby protecting the investment made by the company .


repatriate in German: Repatriierung
repatriate in Spanish: Repatriación
repatriate in Kazakh: Оралман
repatriate in Dutch: Repatriëren
repatriate in Polish: Repatriacja
repatriate in Russian: Оралманы
repatriate in Serbian: Репатријација
repatriate in Ukrainian: Репатріація
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