A cikk írója: Lingojob
If you are a foreigner living in another Country, do you consider yourself an expat? Having now lived in Spain for nearly nine years, I often come across the word expat especially in forums. So whats the difference between an immigrant and expat?
I guess that question poses quite a debate!
“Expat” could be a word used by well educated and wealthy professional westerners and other first-world foreigners to distinguish themselves from the poor, non-western or second- and third-word foreigners.
Therefore, “expats” and “immigrants” are the same thing, and the word “expat” is just a social marker. True or false?
Immigrant or Expat? Here are some other definitions;
Expat (expatriate) – One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.
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, I moved to Spain from the UK over 8 years ago, 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.
Spain has seen immigration rise from 2% to 12% in the last 10 years, 5.6 million. Spain has pretty much had an open borders policy and still sees many boats from Africa end up on it’s coastline.
One thing that could be seen to separate immigrant and expat is employment! That is only my opinion but I am sure most Romanians, Moroccans and South Americans come to Spain for economic reasons and to work, where as a large part of the expat community don’t need to work or are retired? What with Spain having 20% of it’s population unemployed, this may have a cause to slow down the flow of foreigners moving to Spain.
“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.
Look up ‘Expats in Spain’ v ‘Immigrants in Spain’ and see how many forums and information sites there are for both.
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 they read this, they will tell me and post a comment below. Could the term have come about as an alternative to immigrant because it carries a different status connotation?
One last thing, 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 and I will never say never, but 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 Gurri’ living in Spain my adopted home Country.
Shoulders, Paul “Living in Spain – Expat or Immigrant?.” Living in Spain – Expat or Immigrant? EzineArticles.com. http://ezinearticles.com/?Living-in-Spain---Expat-or-Immigrant?&id=6566263
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