Friday 30 May 2014

How does an expat differ from an immigrant?

Expat comes from the word expatriate, it means to live in a different country from where they were born and brought up. Expats are considered to be people living temporarily in their host country, with the intention of returning home at a future date. 

Expats are not to be confused with Immigrants. Immigrants are people who have moved to live permanently in a new country.

With the recent elections in the UK, there have been lots of comments about immigration in relation to UKIP, especially about how people move to a new country and expect to live exactly the same but in better conditions than their home country. I commented on an immigrant post on twitter about how he had the right to live where he wanted and to have the same rights as people who were born in the UK. He made a comment about ALL white people and I suggested that the use of the word ALL was racist and maybe he should use the word some. He replied with 'what is it with white South Africans?' to which I replied I was British and although I didn't like a lot of the laws of my host country, I had accepted that I couldn't change the way things were for me.

Now here's the thing....If I want to stay in South Africa I have to accept the laws of the country that I have chosen to live in, whether I like them or not, but it seems to me that a lot of people who chose to live in the UK, don't like the laws and want them changed.

Now as an expat I'm not entitled to work, vote or have a bank account without my husbands permission. Yes I could work (illegally) if I could get someone to take me on, or I could apply for residency next year so i can work and pay taxes or I could simply return to the UK if I was that dissatisfied with life here.

11.5 million people voted for Jacob Zuma to stay as President of South Africa. 10 million people voted UKIP.

The population of South Africa is around 52 million and the UK 62 million. It just goes to show that a small number of people can make big changes.

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