NRI

What’s the difference between Immigrants and Expats


Immigrants and expats are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing.

An immigrant is a person who moves to a different country in order to live there permanently. This means that they intend to become a permanent resident and eventually a citizen of that country.

An expat, on the other hand, is someone who moves to a different country for a period of time and does not intend to stay permanently. Expats usually come from developed countries and go to developing countries to work or study.

The main difference between immigrants and expats is the duration of their stay in a country. Immigrants usually have the intention of staying in a country permanently, while expats plan to leave after a certain period of time.

Immigrants also have to go through a long process to get permission to stay in a country, such as obtaining a visa, while expats can usually stay in a country for a shorter period of time without having to go through this process.

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Another difference between immigrants and expats is the reasons why they move to a different country.

Immigrants often move in search of better opportunities, such as employment or educational opportunities, while expats are more likely to be motivated by a desire to experience a different culture or lifestyle.

Finally, immigrants and expats have different legal statuses in the countries they move to. Immigrants typically become citizens of the country they move to, while expats generally remain citizens of their home countries.

Expats usually have access to certain benefits, such as tax breaks, that are not available to immigrants.

Who are considered expats?

Expatriates, often referred to as expats, are individuals who live and work outside of their home country.

Expats are often characterized by their high level of mobility, living in various countries or regions over the course of their life.

Most expats are highly educated professionals who are looking for new opportunities in different parts of the world, such as higher salaries, better job prospects, a more cosmopolitan lifestyle, or access to new markets.

Expats can come from any country, but typically come from countries with high levels of economic development such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Germany. Many expats are also from countries in Asia, the Middle East, and South America.

The term “expat” is sometimes used interchangeably with “expatriate”, although there are subtle differences between the two.

An expatriate is someone who has left his or her home country to live and work abroad on a permanent basis, while an expat may live and work abroad for a period of time before returning home.

Expats often face numerous challenges when living abroad, including cultural differences, language barriers, and adapting to different laws and regulations.

However, many expats find that living abroad provides them with unique opportunities to explore a different culture, learn a new language, and gain valuable experience.

Why do they call them expats?

The term “expat” is a shortened version of the word “expatriate,” which refers to a person who has left their native country in order to live and work in another.

Expats are individuals who move to a different country for a period of time, usually for an extended stay, with the intention of furthering their career, lifestyle, or educational goals.

The term expat originated from the Latin word “expatriatus” which literally translates to “one who has abandoned his country”.

This was used to describe people who left their home countries to pursue opportunities elsewhere. This concept of moving away from one’s home country dates back centuries, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that the term began to be used more widely.

The term expat has become increasingly popular in recent years as globalization has made it easier to move between countries. More and more people are taking advantage of this opportunity and opting to become expats. They do so for a variety of reasons, including career advancement, lifestyle changes, or simply to experience something new.

Additionally, the term expat has also come to refer to those who are temporarily working abroad or are part of a long-term relocation process. These individuals may be sent abroad by their companies or governments, or they may have taken the initiative to move overseas themselves.

In any case, expats are typically characterized by their desire to live in a foreign country and often form strong connections to their new home over time. The term “expat” is used to differentiate them from tourists, immigrants, and other travelers who may be visiting a country for a short period of time.


I'm an Entrepreneur, Blogger & Mentor. Having lived in the USA for almost 7 years, I got bored and returned back to India. While doing so, created this website as a way to curate and journal my experiences. Today, it's a movement with a large community behind it. I hope this website helps NRIs planning to move back to India, make their transition smooth and easy. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. Happy to help!

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