Expat or immigrant

General chat about life in the Land Of Smiles. Discuss expat life, relationship issues and all things generally Thailand and Asia related.
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Bamboo Grove
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Expat or immigrant

Post by Bamboo Grove » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:25 pm

I have never heard any of my acquaintances or friends living in another country call themselves immigrants, they are always expats.

This is a good article about the topic.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-deve ... ?CMP=fb_gu
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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by europtimiste » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:46 pm

Exiled, sounds better.

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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by handdrummer » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:37 pm

right, we aren't immigrating, we're just parking for either a st or a lt.

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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by Gregjam » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:49 pm

My visa says I am not an immigrant and I thought that expat applied to those foreigners employed by usually a large company on a fancy package including lots of perks. Not sure how I would describe myself, perhaps the nearest thing would be a pikey without wheels.

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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by caller » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:25 pm

I suppose the truth of it is that until recently, many exporting their skills to the wider World, were white and from a western background.

It's certainly the case that when my sister moved to live in Australia over 30 years ago, that she 'emigrated' and as a consequence, she's never used the term, 'expat'.

As for me? As stated in post above, I am specifically categorised as a 'non-immigrant' and as I don't know how long I will be here for, bearing in mind my reliance on an OA visa, then I think expat is a fair term.

An immigrant to me is the type of person that my sisters circumstance is lumped in with and I'm not really sure why it's an issue?
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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by Bamboo Grove » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:27 pm

I don't think it matters what is says in the visa. The thing is, are you planning to live there for the rest of your lives or almost all of it. Or are you just migrating for winter. I remember clearly that in many places it read "alien" meaning us but I never felt myself being an alien or maybe I was wrong.
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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by Vital Spark » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:37 pm

A thought-provoking article, BG, but maybe written by someone with a teeny weeny little chip on his shoulder. Quite frankly, I don't care what label is put on me. I'm a non-Thai working in Thailand. One of the definitions I found stated that an 'immigrant' was a person moving to another country to better their life, which would suggest that said person's life was pretty poor in their native country. There are many reasons why Europeans (or white people) decide to live in Thailand, but they are not generally leaving a destitute life for riches in the 'Land of Smiles'.

I'm quite happy being an Alien :alien: in Thailand.

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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by migrant » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:41 pm

To me immigrant brings someone getting citizenship, even though the direct description may say other. Mrs m was a immigrant to the USA, my parents were immigrants also. I don't believe I will ever become a Thai citizen.
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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by Bamboo Grove » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:55 pm

VS wrote:
One of the definitions I found stated that an 'immigrant' was a person moving to another country to better their life, which would suggest that said person's life was pretty poor in their native country. There are many reasons why Europeans (or white people) decide to live in Thailand, but they are not generally leaving a destitute life for riches in the 'Land of Smiles'.
Agreed, but not everyone has arrived in Thailand looking for more money as there are other things in life as well that make one's life easier and better in Thailand, for example lower living costs when you are not earning that much any more. But not everyone is after more money when they want to improve their lot, certainly wasn't the case with me. :D
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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by Dannie Boy » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:04 pm

According to Miriam-Webster: the word “Expatriate” is actually a verb or an adjective and means someone “living in a foreign land”. the word “Immigrant” is a noun and means “a person who comes to a country to take permanent residence”.


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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by Vital Spark » Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:10 am

Bamboo Grove wrote:Agreed, but not everyone has arrived in Thailand looking for more money as there are other things in life as well that make one's life easier and better in Thailand, for example lower living costs when you are not earning that much any more. But not everyone is after more money when they want to improve their lot, certainly wasn't the case with me. :D
I certainly didn't come to Thailand to make more money - but I did want a different and better quality of life (and I've got it). I think the word 'immigrant' is more about forced choices: e.g. leaving a country because of persecution, war, or poverty. I'd class the Burmese and Cambodians working in Thailand as immigrants rather than expats. Not because of their nationalities, but because they have few options in their native country, and they can earn more money here to send back home.

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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by handdrummer » Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:49 pm

migrant wrote:To me immigrant brings someone getting citizenship, even though the direct description may say other. Mrs m was a immigrant to the USA, my parents were immigrants also. I don't believe I will ever become a Thai citizen.
last time I checked to become a thai citizen some of the requirements were: the ability to read, write and speak thai fluently, sing the national anthem and the king's song. good luck with all that.

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Re: Expat or immigrant

Post by redzonerocker » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:25 pm

From Wikipedia;
An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing, as an immigrant, in a country other than that of their citizenship.
Covers all the angles. :wink: :D
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