My Repatriation Story
When I left Canada for Korea in the summer of 2000, I did so with a duffel bag of stuff, a sense of adventure, and the attitude that if it didn't work out, I was just a plane ride away from simply going home.
A marriage, 3 kids, a masters, a bit of travel, a bunch of cool experiences later, I am about to start a new life back in Canada. While I am definitely excited, there is a sense of grief in realizing I am saying goodbye to the place I've called home for the last 23 years.
Here, I will detail the steps I am taking in this repatriation process.
Making a List, Checking it Twice?
More than twice, actually! Here is a continuously updated and evolving list of things I need to do, look into, and prepare for. I'll try to organize this into categories as I go.
Purchase one-way flight tickets (DONE).
Contact shipping company for estimate.
Advised to ship sets of Korean children's books, as they are expensive/unavailable in Canada - good resale value?
Border Services forms to declare tax-free items (https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/mrc-drc-eng.html)
Get Korean Immigration statement of length of residency in Korea.
Set up Korean pension.
Transfer pension to RRSP? (https://www.mondaq.com/advicecentre/content/4506/Transferring-A-Foreign-Pension-To-Your-RRSP)
Get banking and tax documents from Korean employer to transfer savings (more than Cdn50,000$) to Canada.
Get driving records from Korean insurance company.
Get driving record from Korean DMV to submit to earn credit for more than one year of driving (https://www.ontario.ca/page/exchange-out-province-drivers-licence)
Get appropriate vaccinations for kids to enter Canadian school.
Get kids' report cards from Korean school. + certificate of attendance (info about leaving Korea here https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/south-korea/seoul/moving/leaving-south)
Get International Driver's License for first few weeks in Canada.
Get Criminal Background Check (lapsed records - online?) from Korean police (online request: https://crims.police.go.kr/main.do)
Create letter of permission to travel with kids without my wife.
Renew Hanson's passport.
Activate my dormant SIN number with Services Canada.
Create SIN numbers for kids.
Get temporary health insurance until OHIP kicks in.
Visit tax office for 2023 income tax.
Apostille service for documents (https://www.apostille.go.kr/index.do%3bjsessionid=k9zna6z_NNaUykjB56r7eIghhFyaVVOEa14dHQrTlNuutXp8xFzG!-553428232)
Look into sentbe for transferring money more cheaply.
Arrange to get key money from current landlord - inform 90 days prior (mid-May)
Terminate utilities, phone contract and arrange final payments.
Terminate Korean Life Insurance.
Gather evidence of cohabitation with my wife for eventual permanent residency application.
.......... (more to come I'm sure)