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Difference between an expat and a immigrant (or permanet resident) in Poland


sobieski 107 | 2,128
24 Aug 2011 #1
I have since a long time friendly discussions with my (equally foreign) friends. What is the difference between an expat and long-term residents? Is the how well you speak Polish? If your social circle is Polish or foreign? If you have a Polish partner or not? If you stick to typical expat pubs?.

Take my example...90% of my social circle is Polish, but my best friends are Canadian, French and Polish. I speak every day at work from the morning till the evening Polish. I listen to Polish radio all day (Radio Zet and Radio PIN) but in the evening I prefer my Flemish TV programs (exception for 'Kropka nad I").

When I am in Belgium, they consider me half-Polish because in discussions when I mention "where I live" means for me Warsaw.
I avoid typical expat places but like Nowe Miasto. I take a passionate interest in Polish politics and vote whenever I can.
I came here for my Polish wife...
What does that make me?
pip 10 | 1,660
24 Aug 2011 #2
It makes you just like me. Only I have a different nationality than you.
In my opinion an expat is somebody who only lives in a foreign country for a designated amount of time- they tend to stick to the expat community. An immigrant is somebody who usually is leaving a poorer country behind and usually has no intention of returning. (this is simplified of course). A permanent resident is somebody like me who has no idea what the future brings. Will I live in my native country or will I stay here. I own a business, have a family and all the other things you mentioned- but there is an uncertainty of where I will be in 10 years time.
grubas 12 | 1,390
24 Aug 2011 #3
What does that make me?

It makes you an immigrant,just like this dumb canadian broad.An expat is someone coming to a foraign country for a limited period of time with no intention to seek permanent residency.You are both immigrants,not any different than a Pakistani or an African living in Poland, wheter you like it or not.
Natasa 1 | 580
24 Aug 2011 #4
Southern explained it better. Expat is a term reserved for the privileged ones. Immigrant for the rest of the world.
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
24 Aug 2011 #5
But I came from a rich country (Belgium) to a not so rich country (Poland) with the intention of staying.
Natasa 1 | 580
24 Aug 2011 #6
In a hypocritical world, you are an expat.

If we strive for the correct definition, you are an immigrant. But that sounds bad.
pip 10 | 1,660
24 Aug 2011 #7
It makes you an immigrant,just like this dumb canadian broad.An expat is someone coming to a foraign country for a limited period of time with no intention to seek permanent residency.You are both immigrants,not any different than a Pakistani or an African living in Poland, wheter you like it or not.

dumb Canadian broad. right. who is the unemployed one- me or you.

I am not an immigrant because I don't know if I am staying.

But I came from a rich country (Belgium) to a not so rich country (Poland) with the intention of staying.

I said usually.
I don't think immigrant sounds bad at all it is all in the way it is said.
grubas 12 | 1,390
24 Aug 2011 #8
I am not an immigrant because I don't know if I am staying.

Who cares,nobody is going to wait untill you make up your mind.You are an immigrant,period.
pip 10 | 1,660
24 Aug 2011 #9
I don't take immigrant as an insult. doesn't bug me. However, what I have at this moment is permanent residency status- I am not a citizen of the country which is what the goal of an immigrant is.
poland_
24 Aug 2011 #10
An alien may be granted permission to reside in Poland for a specified period of time (temporary residence) or a permission to settle (permanent residence).

Permission for temporary residence may be granted, if the alien demonstrates that his/her residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland for a period longer than 3 months is justified, because of obtaining permission for employment, conduct of economic activity, studies, a marriage to a Polish citizen, etc.

The permission for temporary residence may be granted for a period of up to 2 years, with the possibility of an extension.
The permission for Permanent residence may be granted to an alien who has stayed in Poland for at least five years as a temporary resident, can demonstrate the existence of permanent family or economic ties with Poland and has got secured accommodation and support in the Republic of Poland.

I would suggest both Pip and Sobieski are " Legal Aliens" in the full sense of the words.

Sting sums it up well in his song " Englishman in New York "

youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=C3lpJ5LAPhE
BBman - | 344
24 Aug 2011 #11
IMO, expats/permanent residents are people who move from a wealth country to a not so wealthy country.

Immigrants move from poor to wealthy countries.

The former prefer to be called expats/permanent residents because it sounds like they are people of a higher class, more sophisticated, wealthy, not moving to seek a better life instead moving because they can or want to.

The word immigrant often has a negative connotation (poor, dirty, desperate, refugee, etc).
Wroclaw Boy
24 Aug 2011 #12
When you move to another country regardless of your personal status you are an IMMIGRANT - period.

Permanent Resident, whats that all about?

MO, expats/permanent residents are people who move from a wealth country to a not so wealthy country.

Immigrants move from poor to wealthy countries.

Thats not your opinion though, thats what society has imposed you, you assimilated that information without even being aware of it. You wouldn't call a rat a mouse would you.
poland_
24 Aug 2011 #13
The former prefer to be called expats/permanent residents because it sounds like they are people of a higher class, more sophisticated, wealthy, not moving to seek a better life instead moving because they can or want to.

In its broadest sense, an expatriate is any person living in a different country from where he or she is a citizen. In common usage, the term is often used in the context of professionals sent abroad by their companies, as opposed to locally hired staff (who can also be foreigners). 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'. There is no set definition and usage does vary depending on context and individual preferences and prejudices.
Wroclaw Boy
24 Aug 2011 #14
In its broadest sense, an expatriate is any person living in a different country from where he or she is a citizen.

Expat's fine, its pretty self explanatory any way as in - ex patriot -. Permanent resident is a snobs way of calling themselves Immigrants IMO.

True enough though you wouldn't categories a bunch of Somalians living in South London as permanent residents or expats, its always immigrants. Its just interpretation.
f stop 25 | 2,513
24 Aug 2011 #15
Expats are us. Immigrants are "them". ;)
enkidu 7 | 623
24 Aug 2011 #16
You know - the poor people. ;)

They are "immigrants".
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
25 Aug 2011 #17
I am not an immigrant because I don't know if I am staying.

Why don't you know if you're staying?
pip 10 | 1,660
25 Aug 2011 #18
Permanent resident is a snobs way of calling themselves Immigrants IMO.

you really are an *******. whatever. I am not a snob.

Permanent residency is the status I have. I have a little Polish card in my wallet - this is the status I have. I am not a citizen of Poland.

Why don't you know if you're staying?

Because we just don't know. I can't see myself living in Poland for the rest of my life. Our goal is to retire young and spend time in Canada and time in Poland. I think my kids will also go to Uni in Canada- this could also be a factor when we get there.
Nojas 4 | 110
25 Aug 2011 #19
Expat - Relocated professional with a contract.
Immigrant - The rest.

In my opinion. Even though the correct one from a language point of view is that anybody not residing in their country of birth is an expatriate*.

/wiki/Expatriate
al111 13 | 89
25 Aug 2011 #20
Expats are us. Immigrants are "them".

Sure sums up how we all abuse these two terms, Us and "them" that has a strong connotation and don't need anybody to correct me on this.

It's similar to "Western" once it meant the geographical positions of the referred countries now it means more than that some even use it as a racial term.

U're an expat if you have a workpermit that states how long you'll be working in that country for. As regards to here in the EU i guess politically correct we're all citizens of the Union coz we have the right to live and work without all the other requirements.Then again we could be immigrant workers coz most of us end up staying in our adopted countries the most nuetral term i have heard is Foreign Worker (Ask the MPs in the UK) coz it simply states that you're not originally from that country whether u're there permanently or temporarily...
Wroclaw Boy
25 Aug 2011 #21
I am not a citizen of Poland.

I lived in Poland for 5 and a half years as an immigrant although i did also have permanent residency. I also never intended on staying there for ever.

OK pip, you're a permanent resident - happy?
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
25 Aug 2011 #22
There is another twist to this story. There are quite a few Pollacks on this forum. They do not live in Poland, maybe they come here once in a few years. They look to Poland as every ignorant Tea Party twit.

On the other had you have the "alien long-term residents" here in Poland. They live here, work here, often have Polish partners, pay taxes here...Feel at home here because they (as I do) consider this to be also their country. Yes we long-term residents were not born here. But neither were these Pollacks.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
25 Aug 2011 #23
There is another twist to this story.

sobieski the Belgian, I think you need to learn the meaning of both the words "twist" and "story". Given the title of your thread you just made an off topic post and you even misspelled its ethnic slur making you look both ignorant and oafish.
pip 10 | 1,660
25 Aug 2011 #24
there is always a twist, isn't there.

If somebody wants to call me an immigrant- they can, I have no problem with it but I don't think it is what I am. I will probably become a citizen but at this moment I am a permanent resident. (I am Canadian, I come from a long line of immigrants)

I didn't immigrate to Poland, I came here for work, specifically my husbands. Now I have a business and we are settled- but I still don't know if we will stay or go.
MyMom 6 | 137
25 Aug 2011 #25
Living, working, paying taxes etc. in Poland alone doesn't make you even 1% Polish. In fact, I know an immigrant who hates Poles but lives and works here and even dates a Polish girl. The fact that you use the word "Pollack" proves the point exactly. When you bash people of Polish origin just because they are proud of their Polishness - then you are a lowlife at best in the eyes of Poles.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
25 Aug 2011 #26
Immigrate: To come into a country, of which one is not a native, for permanent residence (from Merriam-Webster) thus "immigrant" and "permanent resident" are synonomous.
Wroclaw Boy
25 Aug 2011 #27
If somebody wants to call me an immigrant- they can, I have no problem with it but I don't think it is what I am.

Pip its not a question of what you think you are its only what you are, and you are an immigrant.

I will probably become a citizen but at this moment I am a permanent resident. (I am Canadian, I come from a long line of immigrants)

Even if you become a citizen you'll still be an immigrant. You'll always be an immigrant IMO.

I didn't immigrate to Poland, I came here for work, specifically my husbands. Now I have a business and we are settled- but I still don't know if we will stay or go.

No, you actually got that one half right, you didn't immigrate - you emigrated to Poland, but once there you are an immigrant because you emigrated. Immigrants emigrate.

I know this because im smarter than you.
modafinil - | 418
25 Aug 2011 #28
Immigrants emigrate.

I know this because im smarter than you.

You will find that immigrants immigrate, and emigrants emigrate.
in the same way as internal and external

I know this due to common sense.
poland_
25 Aug 2011 #29
Polish origin just because they are proud of their Polishness

"We cannot escape our origins, however hard we try, those origins which contain the key - could we but find it - to all that we later become."

James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son, 1955
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
26 Aug 2011 #30
I lived in Poland for 5 and a half years as an immigrant although i did also have permanent residency. I also never intended on staying there for ever.

Do you consider yourself "out of Poland for good", or do you intend to move back at some point?


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