Paris Terror Attacks Transform Debate Over Europe’s Migration Crisis

Paris

This is the title from the Wall Street Journal posted on the 16th of November 2015. The full article can be read here.  I originally wrote the post below in 2011 and recent events are a poignant reminder to touch on the subject once again.

Expat (expatriate) One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.

 

Today, 19th November 2015 I did an experiment by typing a Google search for ‘images of Expats’ & ‘images of Immigrants’. The two screen shot images above are the results. You can do the same to get a clearer picture but I am sure you will agree, the two  sets of images show a massive contrast in the portrayal of the two words.What do they say; A picture paints a thousand words!

If I was asked now which set of photos I feel I belong to, it would have to be the Expat.

I personally think it is a bit of a class thing. Immigration has a bit of a negative connotation, a trait of an immigrant could be represented by a minority ethnic group.

 This is what I wrote back in 2011

 

Immigrant or Expat? 

Here is just a very small piece from Wikipedia, for the full low down go here Wikipedia

In common usage, the term is often used in the context of professionals or skilled workers sent abroad by their companies, rather than for all ‘immigrants‘ or ‘migrant workers‘. The differentiation found in common usage usually comes down to socio-economic factors, so skilled professionals working in another country are described as expatriates, whereas a manual labourer who has moved to another country to earn more money might be labelled an ‘immigrant‘ or ‘migrant worker‘.

There is no set definition and usage varies with context, for example the same person may be seen as an “expatriate” by his home country and a “migrant worker” where he works. Retirement abroad, in contrast, usually makes one an “expatriate”.

Expat (expatriate) One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.

 

Immigrant or Expat?

Immigrant or Expat?

 

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

So, where do you stand on this?

I reckon I am more of an immigrant.  Why?

Well, as you should know by now if you are a regular reader or at least if you have read the About page. I moved to Spain from the UK in 2003, at the time I didn’t consider myself either, just someone looking to make a better life for himself and his family!

So, is an expat, someone who leaves his native country to live in another country? and an immigrant, someone coming from another country and entering another country? I can’t see the difference!  Or is an Expat, someone who brings money from another country or gets salary paid from another country etc. (retirement, businessman, diplomat)? and an Immigrant, someone who is earning money inside the country out of its local sources (employment salary paid in local currency)?

You never hear the phrase ‘legal expat’ or ‘illegal expat’, but to hear ‘legal immigrant’ and ‘illegal immigrant’ is very common.

Oh, this is getting hard work! How about this.

“The difference between an expatriate and an immigrant is that immigrants commit themselves to becoming a part of their country or residence, whereas an expatriate see themselves, and are perceived, as living in a foreign land”. If that’s the case I am an immigrant.

I personally think it is a bit of a class thing. Immigration has a bit of a negative connotation, a trait of an immigrant could be represented by a minority ethnic group. So, although an expat can be a minority in the extreme sense, they often avoid the status of a statistical minority. I would say that’s something to do with the negative connotation of being termed an immigrant. I’m not sure how many expats are concerned with how they are termed but I hope if you are still reading this, please tell me by posting a comment below.

From what I have seen & read, just the term Expat is under dispute. Some articles on this subject have different views and there isn’t really a clear cut definition in dictionary’s either. The bottom line is, probably there is no real difference between an Expat and an Immigrant.

One last thing to mention here, is patriotism! Expatriate from the Latin ex patria – to be out of your native country. Patriot is from the Greek patris meaning fatherland.  May I suggest that the degree of permanence separates the two. The trouble is none of us know the future, many people have asked me if I would ever go back to the UK. I don’t know but I will never say never, although I am very comfortable here in Spain, as are my family.

So for now, I’ll leave the definitions up to you and I’ll continue to be un Guiri living in Spain, my adopted home country.