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Expat vs. Immigrant Options
Priscilla86
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2016 10:24:54 PM

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These are taken from TFD.com:

Immigrant: A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another.

Expatriate: One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.


I don't really see the difference so when does one use 'expat' and when does one use 'immigrant'?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2016 11:02:49 PM

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There is not a lot of difference really, it is just a matter of your point of view.

An expat is someone who leaves your country and has settled somewhere else ('ex-' means 'away').

An immigrant is someone who has come from another country and settled in yours ('in-' means 'towards' or 'into').

Blodybeef
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 12:30:23 AM

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And please do not forget, there is also an emigrant, who leaves their country to settle in another.
d'oh!
Immigrants and emigrants can commonly be called as migrants.
thar
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 2:03:59 AM

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Also, being an immigrant is a permanent one-way move (although some may take advantage of the opportunity to go home in old age)


eg a person who moves to a new country, applies for citizenship, says 'this is now my country' is an immigrant. A person posted to a foreign country by their company or government, or just choosing to live there, with no intention of becoming a citizen, is an ex-pat.

Note the lack of 'permanent' in that second definition.
NKM
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 2:29:13 AM

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Note, too, that "emigration" and "immigration" are normally thought of as permanent (or at least long-term) moves, whereas "migration" is more likely to be seasonal or temporary.

Ashok Harkara
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 2:44:27 AM

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Expat is someone who is living in another country 'presently' for employment or any other reason and is not definite to continue there, and may or may not live there forever. Lack of premeditated permanency.

Whereas Immigrant is one who already decided to live permanently in another country.

In both cases, the kind of Visa or Residence status will vary normally. Expat may have the Work permit, with limited access to own property, whereas Immigrant will have all local citizen rights except to Vote and Contest Elections.

An Expat may choose at some time to become Immigrant.

And coming to Immigrant/Emigrant is: Immigrant is one who comes to another country, Whereas Emigrant is the one who leaves Home country.
thar
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 2:53:07 AM

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To show the etymology
migrant, immigrant, emigrant is move, move in, move out.

expatriate is ex (out of ) + patria (fatherland, native country). ie they are outside, away from , their own country. But they are still of that country.
It is not 'ex' as used in former, ex-wife.
Dynamina
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 3:01:49 AM
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expats are often economically 'OK'.

immigrants are more often NOT.
Priscilla86
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 3:09:48 AM

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I've been reading this article and the ensuing debate on the comment section.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/mar/13/white-people-expats-immigrants-migration#comment-48949379

Quite interesting. I must say I have to agree to a point with the writer: the words 'expat' and 'immigrant' seem to carry racial and/or social status connotations with them.

Some interesting excerpts (quoted from The Wall Street Journal) include:

Some arrivals are described as expats; others as immigrants; and some simply as migrants. It depends on social class, country of origin and economic status. It’s strange to hear some people in Hong Kong described as expats, but not others. Anyone with roots in a western country is considered an expat … Filipino domestic helpers are just guests, even if they’ve been here for decades. Mandarin-speaking mainland Chinese are rarely regarded as expats … It’s a double standard woven into official policy.

I think some people unwittingly make that distinction ('expat' reserved to describe people coming from higher social status, etc.). By definition, anybody who works in countries other than their own with no intention to settle down permanently can be called an expat. Yet, I don't think I've ever heard foreign domestic helpers (ones who only work overseas to get better wage so they can support their families back home but will still come back to their home countries one day) being described as 'expats'.

When I hear the word 'expats', I think of banking executives, or rich European / American retirees retiring on some South American islands Whistle
Dynamina
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 4:14:09 AM
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Hello Priscilla,

Good to see that you are using other sources than this forum for your information. You have come a long way.

Peter O'Connor - Dundalk
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 9:46:50 AM

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Unfortunately Dynamina has it right. Ex-pats are usually 'there' for work (or genteel retirement) - usually prearranged and well paid. Immigrants are seen as 'on the edge' and often as not not welcome (initially) though many can be better educated and even financially speaking better off (at one time) than many of those that complain about their presence.
Having been an immigrant and now planning my 'ex-pat getaway' I'm very conscious of the non-existent yet real gulf between the two.Brick wall
ellana
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 2:33:46 PM
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This discussion, without putting myself at the forefront, is very much about me as I have assumed and continue to assume one of these 'roles'. I have lived in a country where I have taken up citizenship (should I still consider myself an immigrant?) therefore carry two passports. But I have lived in some countries where I definitely felt like an expat, knowing that my stay, though longish, was temporary. I am currently an immigrant in France where my status is official/legal, however I lack affinity for this country, to its people and may I add that I'm fluent in French but I fail to fully integrate. It's not important to go into details but suffice it to say that I am very much considered an immigrant having to do the annual queue to renew my official papers. This leads to a form of schizophrenia whereby one does not know where one belongs, but on the other hand, am I not lucky to have choices??
Dynamina
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 3:12:09 PM
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It is a silly world.

We have a poster here with TWO passport and who has become (in her/his own words) 'schizophrenic' and can probably move to any country he/she chooses.

On the other hand there are millions of people on this planet still with no ID papers, no passport, with little prospectives and who are also probably schizophrenic and who would gladly stand in a queue WEEKLY (that is every week not once a year!) to renew their 'official papers'.

Now, who should be at the forefront?



Bareskin2000
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2016 3:30:58 PM

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An Expat is someone who has taken up Permanent Residency in another country BUT retains Citizenship of his original country, he will have ID documents for the new country but travels on the Passport of his Citizenship Country.

An Immigrant takes up both Permanent Residency and Citizenship of the new country.

Both are Migrants.
ellana
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 4:02:58 AM
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Dynamina... I am fully sympathetic to refugees and asylum seekers. The world is a mean place for too many. I was referring to the bureaucratic systems in place that prolong the agony, and no, I am not in agony, to allow people to find safe refuge and to move on with their lives. I am not at all of that sad category. My comments related to the definitions of expat vs immigrant. And I did add the comment that I am a lucky 'immigrant'.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 4:25:01 AM
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Ellana -

Until 3 years ago I have spent my whole life as an expat. My father was in the RAF and so we just went to live wherever we were told! When I grew up all sorts of things happened to ensure that my peripatetic way of life continued. This used to be a very common way of life for the British in Colonial times, but when I finally made my way back 'Home' to England in 2013 I got told that I wasn't really English at all!

Now THAT messed with my head! If I wasn't English then what the hell was I?

So I am, for the first time in my whole life, living permanently in the UK. And yet it feels like the most "foreign" country I've ever lived in a lot of the time, because of the remark above, made by one minor Government official: I feel as though at any moment I'll have to move on again!
ellana
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 8:51:32 AM
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Hi Romany,

We are of a category of people who have lived here and there through circumstance or choice and find ourselves 'uprooted' for lack of a better word. But choice is a definite luxury when one looks around or listens to the misery that people go through, especially at this moment of immigration crisis.
Dynamina
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 9:13:25 AM
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Now Romany, you just stay put in merry England and get your head un-messed. You are a strong person.

I expect that this social media 'The Free Dictionary' helps you a lot.

You have been very lucky to have lived in different cultures and to have learnt different languages.

Your posting underscores the deficiency of the RAF to help the families of their 'employees' to adjust to life 'hereafter'. I hope that this was just a one-off.



Litvinenko
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 11:13:21 AM
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Why America and Australia were "discovered"?
whatson
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 1:12:07 PM
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Litvinenko wrote:
Why America and Australia were "discovered"?

Because the Americans and Australians were less curious then others. They failed to be the discoverers of "new worlds."
eraigames
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 4:59:48 PM
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I get the impression, based on the construction of the word "ex-patriot" (or expat) and the contexts in which I generally find it used, that the word may have been invented to describe people living abroad in exile. I find that it is often used to describe former dictators who fled to the US or Europe when after their governments were overthrown or famous people who live elsewhere in protest or out of fear of assassination (ala Edward Snowden and Benazir Bhutto).


My instinct leads me to suspect that people who are well off enough to be able to choose to uproot and make a new life in another country are called expats as a sarcastic jab at such people.


That said, I do not think that there is a real difference between the meanings of the two terms and that they can be (and often are) used interchangeably.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 3:49:26 AM

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Australia seem to have it organised. These would be ex-pats, then.

tunaafi
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 4:53:34 AM

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eraigames wrote:
the word "ex-patriot" (or expat)


The word is 'expatriate'.


eraigames
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 12:30:56 PM
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Oops! I misspelled a word in the vocabulary section!

Thanks!
Dynamina
Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 12:53:01 PM
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yer...the word is indeed 'expatriate'.

In normal conversation (or at least in my vicinity) this sounds too posh and I usually hear just 'expat'.


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