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Expat Or Immigrant

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Confused, perhaps someone can explain ...

 

According to Wikipedia, “an expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing.

 

So according to that defintion, you would expect that any person living or going to work outside of his or her country, for a period of time would be an expat, regardless of his skin colour or country.

 

So why are some people in Thailand described as expats, others as immigrants, and some simply as migrants. Is it just the colour of the skin that determines if you are an expat or not ?

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Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?

Surely any person going to work outside their country is an expatriate? But no, the word exclusively applies to white people

 



Expats or immigrants? Photograph: Matt Brandon

Mawuna Remarque Koutonin

Friday 13 March 2015 21.52 AEDT Last modified on Saturday 14 March 2015 05.35 AEDT

 

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In the lexicon of human migration there are still hierarchical words, created with the purpose of putting white people above everyone else. One of those remnants is the word “expatâ€.

 



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What is an expat? And who is an expat? According to Wikipedia, “an expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (‘out of’) and patria (‘country, fatherland’)â€.

 

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Defined that way, you should expect that any person going to work outside of his or her country for a period of time would be an expat, regardless of his skin colour or country. But that is not the case in reality; expat is a term reserved exclusively for western white people going to work abroad.

 

Africans are immigrants. Arabs are immigrants. Asians are immigrants. However, Europeans are expats because they can’t be at the same level as other ethnicities. They are superior. Immigrants is a term set aside for ‘inferior races’.

 

Don’t take my word for it. The Wall Street Journal, the leading financial information magazine in the world, has a blog dedicated to the life of expats and recently they featured a story ‘Who is an expat, anyway?’. Here are the main conclusions: “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.â€

 



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The reality is the same in Africa and Europe. Top African professionals going to work in Europe are not considered expats. They are immigrants. Period. “I work for multinational organisations both in the private and public sectors. And being black or coloured doesn’t gain me the term “expatâ€. I’m a highly qualified immigrant, as they call me, to be politically correct,†says an African migrant worker.

 

Most white people deny that they enjoy the privileges of a racist system. And why not? But our responsibility is to point out and to deny them these privileges, directly related to an outdated supremacist ideology. If you see those “expats†in Africa, call them immigrants like everyone else. If that hurts their white superiority, they can jump in the air and stay there. The political deconstruction of this outdated worldview must continue.

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" Expats usually move for work and usually want to return home "

 

It seems a worker who is not western can never be an expatriate in another country, from what I have read this appears to be true. Interesting it appears to be an exclusive term to westerners who locate to another country, wherever that is and any other nationality are refered to as immigrants.

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I always thought expat refers to a temporary situation, immigrant as permanent relocation and migrant was referred to employment.

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Certainly a grey/gray area. My take was always that expat was a person posted or instructed to work in some country other than their home country for the benefit of their employer. Though I accept you could be an expat working for a company based in your destination country. A migrant worker on the other hand is someone traveling to another country simply in order to secure work, of any kind, or at least better that they would otherwise be able to find at home. An immigrant is someone wanting to settle and become a citizen of the destination country.

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" Expats usually move for work and usually want to return home "

 

It seems a worker who is not western can never be an expatriate in another country, from what I have read this appears to be true. Interesting it appears to be an exclusive term to westerners who locate to another country, wherever that is and any other nationality are refered to as immigrants.

 

There are many expat Japanese. :neener:

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I thought the origin of the term "Expatriate" was more of a description of a contract or clause in a contract, than a person. Ergo a western legal term, unlikely to be replicated in Abrabicanonlegalnonsense or Japanesearcanescrollypaper

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There are many expat Japanese. :neener:

In the US as well as in Thailand.

 

A Norwegian, for example, who becomes a landed immigrant in Canada or a lawful permanent resident in the US is an immigrant

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" There are many expat Japanese. :neener: "

 

I'm not aruguing with anyone, just trying understand if the term expat applies to everyone working in another country.

 

So are we saying the term "expat" could be an hispanic Mexican working temporary as a teacher in the US for example, and becomes an immigrant when it becomes permanent.

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