I HATE the word expat. Just say immigrant like, what.
More specifically, I hate white people using the word expat, bcs they're literally going to say "immigrant" for poc and "expat" for white people. Yikes.
I correct people whenever they call me an expat like no sir, that ain't me.
Ofc if poc want to use expat for themselves I understand it's more complex, but in general I would just scrap that word away entirely, make people uncomfortable & just say immigrant all the time & watch them squirm.

@lokenstein In my brain (not saying it's right or anything by any means)

"immigrants" is all encompassing, where expats are a type of immigrant, but there are others (such as forced migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, etc.) so all expats are immigrants but not all immigrants are expats.

Also, idk if this is correct, but I see expats as people who have no intention of returning as well where some other types of immigrants are only there for study or hope to return home when things are safer etc

@guerrillarain That's very interesting! Because if you look at the words themselves, immigrant and expat mean exactly the same thing (out of birth country, basically).
So what type of immigrant is expat then for you, as you say it's "a type"?
I wonder if it's a European vs US thing, but for me it would be more the opposite, like immigrant is more long term vs expat is more diplomats & their family aka more short term.
This is so messy 😅

@lokenstein Oh my gosh hahahahahaha yeah then it's all messy.

I wouldn't classify diplomats as expats in my brain because it's so short term and it's still very attached to their country of citizenship

whereas I'd classify myself as an expat (whenever I arrive) because I have no intention on moving back, and, other than my family, I keep no ties.

words don't do humans justice

@guerrillarain Ahh that's fascinating tbh!
Idk if it's a European or French thing, but for instance esp when white people go to live in Asian countries there's this whole "expat" culture that they basically only stay in the expat neighbourhood and meet other expats and never really "integrate" or even try to learn much about the local culture.
So at least this adds to my idea that expat is more temporary. But do you have this dimension in the US?
Note: English is not my native language so yeah

@lokenstein @guerrillarain now I'm wondering if this of a non English thing too, because to my understanding, an immigrant is someone that cuts ties to their home land and leaves for good for a new life integrated into a new country while an expat is someone who left the country because of a job or retirement and may or may not return, but expats are an insular community that don't integrate or try to become locals. It's like small scale colonies

@popstar @lokenstein @guerrillarain

The way I always understood the terms, is that immigrants leave their country out of economic necessity and expats because of lifestyle choices, intra-company transfers, etc.

But I guess it can be hard to draw that line.

@VoidDrone @popstar @guerrillarain That's very vague, like if you think about it, isn't an intra company transfer an economic necessity in itself?
I left France to live with my fiancée and when I arrived I had to find a job. I'm called an expat too often. The exact same thing happened to my Sri Lankan friend, who came to live here with her Finnish husband, but she's called an immigrant :thonking:


@lokenstein I would argue that an intra-company transfer is actually a privilege and not a economic necessity as workers who are transfered are as far as I know very good compensated for their transfer. Most transfers are also for a limited time.
You are certainly right that I did not think about people leaving for another country because of their partners and that's where I think it is harder to draw that line, but I still think you could draw it somewhere. It would be pretty much arguing semantics though.

I naturally will not argue with you that the common perception of what people think you have to be when you work in another country is pretty much informed by racism and perceived class most of the time.

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