One may wish to return home after completing their employment obligation as per the contract or upon termination of contract by self or employer. Before returning home one should ensure the following: –
WHEN LEAVING EMPLOYMENT ENSURE YOU
PREPARATION BEFORE RETURNING HOME
- Complete your work commitments and inform your employer before you leave the country.
- You have to leave the country you are working in before your visa expires; if you have applied for an extension of your visa and it was rejected, you have to leave the country.
- Once the term of the employment contract is over, your employer is supposed to arrange for your travel back to Kenya and pay for the air ticket according to the Emigration Act.
- In case of emergencies, remember that the affidavit that the Recruitment agent submits to the NEA states that the agent has to take responsibility for the worker; so the RA will have to work with your employer to get you back to Kenya.
- You need to get a No objection certificate (NOC) from your sponsor/employer before leaving the country of employment.
- Your employer will have to pay you your final wages along with any other unpaid dues.
- You should withdraw any money left in your bank account in the country you are working in (if you opened an account in a bank there).
- Transfer the money to an NRE account in an Kenyan bank or send it home through any of the other methods that were explained in Module 7 on remittances.
- Make sure you have your original documents (passport, visa etc.) with you. If your employer has your original documents and is unwilling to return them, contact the Kenyan Mission/Post immediately and register a complaint.
- If applicable, ensure that you obtain letters of certification which enumerate the skills you learnt and the work experience that you gained during your employment.
THE JOURNEY BACK HOME
- Remember to the same airport & flight procedures you used when arriving apply.
- Make sure you have all your original documents with you (passport, NOC, visa etc.) along with photocopies of the same.
- If you are carrying foreign currency worth USD 5,000 or more, you have to declare it at the airport in Kenya and sign a form to that effect.
- You can carry used personal and household items like kitchen utensils and small electronics (for large appliances like TV sets and fridges bigger than 300 litres, you will have to pay import duty if you are bringing them back to Kenya).
REINTEGRATION AND REHABILITATION
- Migrants returning home often find it difficult to reintegrate into their communities. They may not make the best use of their skills or their savings.
- After getting used to higher wages in the foreign country, workers may struggle to find jobs at home that they can accept.
- The worst affected are the victims of trafficking who will return with no funds and may not be readily accepted back into their home communities.
- Migrants may struggle to fit in with families and communities upon their return if they have been away for a long time and are used to the culture and lifestyle in another country.
- Just like you may have missed your home when you first went abroad, you might find yourself missing the foreign country and your way of life there once you return.
- You may have saved a considerable amount of money while working abroad but you need to put it to good use once you get home. A lack of knowledge on how to use one’s savings well is a big issue for many returning migrants.
- The government has launched a number of migrant reintegration programmes. We shall update their details here soon.
Migrants, even if they have developed skills while working abroad, may not have any certified skills, which can make it difficult to re-migrate to another country after returning home, according to the ILO study.
HOW TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS
- You have to accept that your relationship with your family, especially your husband/wife and children, will have changed if you have been away from them for a long time. It is important to spend time talking with them to rebuild these relationships.
- Reach out to friends, relatives and people in your community who have migrated abroad for work before; they can give you advice and help on fitting back in.
- Reach out to your extended network of friends and family for employment-related opportunities, help on starting a business and investing your savings wisely.