Expat vs. Immigrant

Why is an American in Taiwan an expat and a Chinese in Ameirca is an immigrant?

Maybe because Chinese people are allowed to play a full part in American society, make it their home, get a USA passport etc…
In Taiwan we will always just be ‘waiguoren’
Also, It’s not somewhere I would emmigrate to. Even though I have, my heart will belong somewhere else.

Because traditionally, most Americans in Taiwan have been expatriates, with packages, etc., and even now most don’t intend to call it their home in a permanant fashion. I think the biggest factor is that they don’t see themselves as immigrants; they see themselves as expats for the most part and act accordingly, whereas most Chinese in America go there with the intent of settling down and living the rest of their lives there as citizens.

Say’s who? How can you even equate the two? Expats don’t stay, immigrants do. All American’s in Taiwan are not expats, nor immigrants, most are merely travelers. Not all Chinese in America are immigrants, just expats, students, and travellers. It really isn’t until one decides to make a foriegn land his/her home that we can call them an immigrant.

Hope this answers your question, if not go buy a dictionary and a couple of books on immigration. But most surely, stop listiening to the idiots around you on CNN, ABC and your local paper who are filling your head with such igorant trash talk.


I am with Chodofu on this one, expats are only ‘temporary’ in a country, mostly seconded by a foreign company and usually with no ambition to settle down (unless they perhaps get married).
Hard to find true immigrants in Taiwan - of American or rather Western origin that is.

This is quite simple. An expat is a business term referring to someone sent to a foreign country to work temporarily. They are given a “package” (high salary, housing, car, etc) to facilitate their stay.
USUALLY this move is somewhat involuntary but not always.

An immigrant is someone who moved to another country and lives there permanently obtaining citizenship, etc. USUALLY this move is somewhat voluntary but not always.

There can be Taiwanese expats in the US and American immigrants in Taiwan.

Just checked the dictionary and here’s what I found:

expat (expatriate): n. (-t, -t)

  1. One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.
  2. One who has renounced one’s native land.

immigrant: n.

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

Looks to me like you can be both simultaneously.

Dictionaries aside, I think it sounds a lot more glamorous in US culture to say “expat” rather than “immigrant.” Expats have a choice if whether they want to stay or not, expats are members of the American Club, AmCham, etc. Immigrants are those people standing in lines at the INS. This is a goofy exaggeration, but you get my drift.

I suppose technically, the term overseas contract worker (OCW) more accurately fits the description for most of us. The filipinos have been using this for a long time and it implies that working and therefore the right to residency is based on an employment contract and nothing more.
It’s hard to accept that people have to resort to picking up a dictionary to figure out the difference between an “expat” and an “immigrant.” Is your command of English really that weak? I can’t wait for the next topic, but this sure as hell reminds me of Peter Schartz, for those of you who can remember that far back.

Monkey, after you having mentioned it, I do think that OCW would be the more accurate description for the situation. Thanks.

As to my weak command of English, do you possibly mean that you agree with the definition of an expat as someone who receives an expat package? Work with me here, dude, my English is weak. If so, how do you describe the expat writers and artists of the twenties? C’mon, you know, those guys like Hemingway, Stein and Pound, the Lost Generation? I think they were also described as expats but I don’t recall any expat package. With your far better command of English, maybe you can suss it out for me, please? Maybe it IS this weak English thing…damn.

I also look forward to your next post; I love people who try so hard to be sarcastic and fail so miserably.

Love ya, sweetheart, and next time I’ll bring peanuts.

[quote=“crack Harry”]I love people who try so hard to be sarcastic and fail so miserably.

Aaaaaah! Self-love. The love that needs no partner. :wink:

Well, now I know why it’s called a peanut gallery. Why don’t you tell all what you think an “expat package” is, and we’ll discuss it here and get back to you.

I only know of one non-Chinese / Taiwanese to immigrate to Taiwan. He used to be named Locke. There was a big write up about him doing his mandatory military service in

[quote=“EOD”]I only know of one non-Chinese / Taiwanese to immigrate to Taiwan. He used to be named Locke. There was a big write up about him doing his mandatory military service in

Dictionary definitions aside, 'cuz my English ain’t so good neither, from a legal perspective, the US classifies those in the US with an immigrant visa or who have been naturalized as “immigrants”. Those in the US with non-immigrant visas, such as students, are non immigrants. Pretty simple.

Man, if I’d just known you were on that ship at the time, I would have just told my officers “Screw these 24-hour drills” and gone to see a movie.

Probably would have been just as effective. Why would anybody serve in the R.O.C. army if they didn’t have to? I mean the French Foreign Legion, the Gurka’s even the American Coast Guard gets more respect and could do the job better.

Hey, Sandman: I actually got a chuckle out of your post. It was clever, really. I even got it with my weak command of English. I must say, though, I was rather disapointed as given the number of postings on your tag, I expected you to really sock it to me. You disapointed me using that cliched posting. C’mon, every 12 year old is doing that; given, it is cute, but it just doesn’t hurt and you actually don’t have to stick your neck out with a stance, but then I’m new here and I haven’t actually had time to read through other’s postings enough so that I understand who is the top dog and how the new guy is treated. Don’t act like the boy hiding behind the book making comments at the teacher’s expense, drop that book and let me have it; frankly, right you now sound like a sixth grader run amok with an ADSL connection. Hurt me, honey, and do it fast, I’m losing all respect.

Hey, Monkey: Why don’t you tell me what you think is an expat package? I have no idea what they are but given, but even with my weak grasp of the English language, I kinda have a clue of the stereotype of what one is. Why don’t you enlighten me?

As to your peanut gallery post, I can only say, WTF? I’m overwhelmed with your verbosity and intelligence. Why hasn’t my company hired you? There must be a million jobs waiting for such a logical, on- the-ball dude who is focused enough to actually stay on topic. Send me your resume ASAP. And Sandman, the same goes for you, too. Just do the right thing.

BTW, what IS wrong with self-love? I engage in it daily and Maggie Cheung has practically became a god-monther to my son; to quote Tom Waits, ‘‘making a scene with a magazine…’’ Sorry Sandman, didn’t mean to show how easy it is.

Honestly, if we want to continue with this bashing, and I do love it so, let’s create a new thread so we don’t distract from others who really care about the topic. What do you say?

Finally, I’ve got a presentaition to prepare for and a business trip so don’t take a non-reply as ‘I won’t answer’, I will but you have got to give me time.

I was just trying to find out if they are the same person. Are they?

EOD, mellow out, dude. T.C. Lin is cool, he made a very difficult choice and I respect it. I read his journal daily and although I have no intention of doing the same, he didn’t do anything wrong. I worry about my son having to do military service even though his grandfather is a major national hero here and I really liked the guy. My son is a dual-national and my wife is a former KMT party runner and even though I find the Nazi like uniform sexy, I’m happy my wife no longer follows her mother’s or the party’s call. Personally, I think you should say bye-bye to Taiwan and go back to the US. I’m forever an American, and although you are ‘my people’, I’ll stand with T.C.Lin when it comes to Taiwan, please leave. A fellow American.