Expat vs. Immigrant

Expat vs. Immigrant


15 December 2022 5 min read
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As an expat, you can always count on Moovick to move you to a new country when you change jobs. Since we are a company that was created by expats for expats, we talk about expats a lot. 


But what is an expat, and what is the difference between an expat and an immigrant? 


An expat or an immigrant is someone who leaves the country they were born in to move to a different country. The main difference between an expat and immigrant is the reason for their move. 


An expat often moves because of work or their love for a specific city. Maybe they have even fallen in love with someone in another country, or they just feel like they need to move.  They move because they have the means to do so, and they can also choose to return to their own country at any time. Their living standards are high, and expat immigration is in a way a privilege. 


An immigrant on the other hand is often someone who leaves their country involuntarily. For example because of war, famine, economical crises, or political conflicts. Most immigrants do not want to leave their country, but they are forced to do so. Very often they have to leave everything they own behind. Most of the time they can’t pick the country they are moving to, and they can’t return either. 

What is an expat: how to identify foreigners 

We have established what an expat is: someone who moves out of their country for work or other personal reasons. But where do you find them? 


You may be able to identify them by how they speak the language of the country or their inability to do so. They might also have some trouble adapting to the new culture and environment, and there might be recognizable cultural differences by which you can tell them apart from the non-foreigners.

Typical myths about immigrants and expats

One of the most typical myths about immigrants and expats is that they would be unwilling to learn the culture or the language of their new country. Very often they are willing to learn the language and the culture, but it’s not always easy, and it takes a lot of time. They know that learning the language of the new country might be very helpful because it is often easier to speak the language at least a little bit when settling in a new country, as not everyone speaks English. 

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Another myth is that they would be taking our jobs. A lot of companies hire expats, because they can’t find the level of expertise that they need within their own country.  Most immigrants get low-entry jobs in fields a lot of people do not want to work in to start with. 

Lastly, there is the myth that expats and immigrants are here to stay. 


Most expats return to their country after a couple of years, and some keep moving to different countries. Many immigrants would love to return to their country as soon as it is safe for them to do so. 

Have a move, project or a task in mind?

Contact Moovick team to sort it out
Contact Moovick team to sort it out

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