What is the attitude towards emigrants in your country?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Etcetera, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)

    How are people who moved to other countries viewed in your culture?

    I'd say that in Russia, the general attitude is something of admiration. I have the impression that the number of people who want to leave Russia is declining, and I actually know people who have left Russia long ago and would like to return. But still, a person who moved, say, to Finland, or Canada, or Israel, or the U.S., is often admired, especially when they have succeeded in their new countries ("succeeded" in the sense that they have a home and a steady income, hoewever modest it may be).

    And if a person says that they don't like their emigrant life and dream of returning to Russia, people tend to suspect that they simply couldn't cope with life in a foreign country.

    What are your opinions?
  2. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    There is little attention to emigrants from the U.S. in the U.S. Those who leave to live elsewhere are small in number, and most have gone abroad for studies or professional reasons, and found a partner who lives elsewhere, or have fallen in love with another country.

    Long ago there were people who left for political reasons, and such people were generally admired or reviled, according to the political views of those making comments. Such emigrants were small in number. There were also a few who left in search of artistic stimulation or the ability to earn a living at their art. This was notable with the Jazz musicians who left the U.S. for Europe. They too were small in number, and there was not widespread opinion voiced about them.
  3. heidita Banned

    Madrid, Spain
    Germany (German, English, Spanish)
    Not many emigrants in Germany. The ones who do emigrate are rich people who buy a house here in Spain. Most of them go to the coast of Valencia or Murcia. Actually my very own favorite bar-owner in my city went to live in Mazarrón. People don't look for a better life, but for the sun, mainly. Some parts of Germany are really sad, you know. Grey in grey, it is always raining.
  4. tepatria Senior Member

    Onondaga, Ontario
    Canadian English
    Canadians who move out of the country often choose the United States. Many professionals take advantage of the less expensive university education system here and then take jobs in the States because they can earn more money. This is not appreciated by those of us who give it some thought, but many feel they have the right to earn the best wages they can. Then there are the Snowbirds, the retirees who live most of the year in the warm southern states and retain a residence in Canada to take advantage of our free health care. In the middle of winter we envy them. Immigration is far more common than emmigration here and if we could warm up a little we wouldn't need Florida and Arizona. Maybe global warming will favor us!:)
    The other category of emmigrant I can think of is people who return to their country of origin. I have cousins who had never seen Scotland or Ireland but moved there to embrace their heritage. I think that is just strange, but don't get me started about my family!:eek:
    Canada is a great multi-cultural society where one can visit pieces of Greece, Russia, China... just about any country, right in our own cities. Why would we need to emmigrate?
  5. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    American English
    argentina84, I think Etcetera is asking about people who emigrate from your country -- citizens who leave the country, not immigrants who come to your country.
    A couple of sites I found online estimate that there are 4 million American citizens living outside the U.S. I don't know where they got that number, and the U.S. Census refuses to count expatriates, so take that number as a very rough estimate. Even if it is high, it suggests that the number of Americans living abroad is close to 1% of the total population of the U.S.

    Most Americans that I know could not imagine why someone would want to live outside the U.S. They consider this country the best one on the planet, and they point out the large number of immigrants that beat down our doors trying to get in, who are escaping from the violent, poor and filthy countries that make up the rest of the world. In addition, since Sept. 11, more Americans are more rabidly patriotic than ever before. Bush's ultimatim to be "with us or against us" just exacerbated the worst attitudes that accompany patriotism.

    In short, most Americans are either perplexed by emigrants or they openly scorn them. Emigrants are at best, confused people or deviants; and at worst, traitors.
  6. Fernando Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    There is a relatively small number of Spaniards living abroad. Despite Spain has been traditionally a country of emigrants (by the millions), most of migration stopped in the 70s and, since 1995 or so, about 4 million people (roughly 10% of population) have moved into Spain.

    Those who emigrated have either returned or settle in their new countries (S America and N Europe).

    The traditional emigrant was seen as a kind of superior man. It was called "indiano" when he return from S America, usually (or that is the urban legend) with much money to buy land and a huge house in his hometown.

    People living in Europe (mainly in the 50s and 60s) came back with a high standard of living (namely, with a car) to shock their school friends who had stayed here.

    Nowadays, the trend is to stay in Spain since there is a kind of feeling that "Well, we are not the richest country in the world, but you will never live so well in any other country. Afterwards people from all over the world come here either to work or to holiday.":rolleyes:
  7. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Portugal has been a country of emigration for a very long time, but I honestly can't think of anything to say about it right now, even though I have several emigrants in my own family. It's a normal fact of life, I guess. People do what they need to survive. Let's face it: Portugal is not the right place for an ambitious person. If they can be more successful abroad, more power to them. And many immigrants come back, bringing with them what they earned and learned aboard, or at least on holiday.

    The only observation I hear with some frequency is that emigrants often have more conservative views and tastes than the ones who stayed behind. It's as if they've stopped in time. But that's kind of charming, most of the time. :)
  8. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Yes, it's often said about those Russians who left the country after 1917. For example, the Russian they spoke was changing less rapidly (well, taking into account the way the Soviet regime treated the language... :(), and they preserved the pre-revolutionary culture in their families.
  9. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I think this is a gross overstatement. I do think it might puzzle many people why someone would want to live elsewhere, but I don't think the people who emigrate are considered "confused" or "deviant" by the average American. I don't think this is unique to Americans. I've met many French people who have a hard time understanding why their fellow countrymen would live anywhere but in France. :)

    I've heard many people speaking of Americans who retire to live in Mexico with admiration and envy, mostly because of the tremendous difference in the cost of living. These are not considered "emigrants", though, in the sense of leaving the U.S. permanently, even though they may have sold their house in the States and have no other permanent residence. They still identify themselves as American.

    I have never heard anyone who emigrated spoken of in scornful tones, nor have I heard them being accused of being traitors. That is simply hyperbole, in my opinion.

    I think this is a much more accurate characterization of the typical reaction.
  10. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    American English
    I wasn't trying to be hyperbolic. Negative attitudes towards expatriates are common in Texas and Arizona, where I have spent most of my life, especially among the middle class. I believe that the desire to live abroad is hard to understand for: people who hold strong values of patriotic loyalty and nationalism; people who have worked hard to gain a comfortable lifestyle and are committed to maintaining it; and people who are unfamiliar with other cultures.

    I think most -- at least 51% of -- Americans fall into one or all of these categories, (although in my experience it's more like 75%).
    I agree wholeheartedly. :)
  11. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I have no problem with accepting that your experience in these two states has been such, but please keep in mind that this is not a broad cross-section of America. The combined populations of California and New York, for example, represent nearly a sixth of the entire U.S. population.

    To assign a characteristic to all Americans based on experiences in Arizona and Texas, which I would characterize as two relatively conservative and insular states in the spectrum of states, does not give an accurate representation of our country, in my opinion.
  12. Número Uno Senior Member

    Ireland has, historically, also been a nation full of emigrants. This was dramatically spurred on by the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840's, in which it is thought that 1 million people died and another 1 million emigrated - mainly to Britain and the US. This can be seen today as around 10% of the US population are said to have Irish blood in them, second only to German-Americans. You'll also find large Irish communities in cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, London and Liverpool.

    I think Irish people are proud of their counterparts now living abroad because it is part of our history and has only made being Irish a positive thing...I don't know many people who dislike the Irish. It is 'cool' to be Irish, that's why everyone has the opportunity on St. Patrick's Day, lol.

    In recent years, however, as Ireland has become arguably one of the wealthiest countries in the world - in terms of living standards - and probably the most progressive nation in the EU economically, emigration is no longer the first thing on every person's mind because there is so much opportunity at home now. There is, however, still a great desire for Irish people to travel and represent the modern image of 'Irishness' around the world.

    Well...that's my view, hehe.
  13. TRG Senior Member

    english USA
    There is a saying, slogan really, in the U.S.: "Love it leave it." It represents the sentiments of a small but significant minority (of which I'm not one). I don't personally know anyone who has left this country, but I know many people do and for their own good reasons.
  14. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    Here is one example of how a country treats its emigrants:


    If a Danish citizen choses to live outside Denmark, he loses his right to vote. Even if he stays inside the EU - which by sctually should be considered "inland" – he only keeps right to vote for Danish EP-candidates, or for those of the country where he is living, if he choses so.

    So in effect they have made it simple and easy to go a and settle in a different country and in turn deprive them of their citizens' rights.

    Very few countries I know treat their emigrants like that.
  15. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    Are we making a distinction between emigrants and expatriates in this discussion? It might be useful.
  16. papillon Senior Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    Russian (Ukraine)
    How would you define this difference?
    I don't have any official definition, but the difference between an immigrant and an expat appears to be about which group you are talking about. Generally speaking, it seems that a Dominican or a Russian living in New York is an immigrant. A Cuban living in Miami can be either. A Dane living in Saudi Arabia is definitely an expat.

    What would be the difference between an expat and an emigrant?
  17. Fernando Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    An expatriat is a person who KNOWS he is going to return. He is been payed by the parent company all the time. So the time abroad is just a temporary one, with no break (or partial) with their mates in their home country.

    A emigrant (regardless his payroll) goes to work to another company in other country.

    You can find the difference useless or not for the purpose of the discussion but there is a difference. I do not know if it makes the difference.
  18. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    Fernando's definition covers part of it for me. I'd say that an American living in Paris, for example, but retaining ties with the U.S. both through language and citizenship is an expat. He has not moved to France with the intention of becoming a French citizen, raising his children as French, or renouncing his U.S. citizenship. He is simply "an American living abroad" for however long that may be. He is a legal alien resident of France but a citizen of the U.S. I'd call UK citizens who retire to the southern coast of Spain expatriates if they retain their culture, language, and citizenship but reside in Spain.

    An emigrant, on the other hand, would be a person who leaves his own country for a new one and adopts that new country as his own. In other words, an emigrant is an immigrant as seen from the point of the view of the country he has left.

    My nephew is a nearly-permanent expatriate. He works for USAID in concert with the U.N. He and his family come home for visits once a year, but they have lived in various countries for over a decade now, wherever they are assigned by USAID to work.

    The reason I bring up the distinction is that I think expatriates are often seen as rather classy and exotic, people who have seen the world and have interesting experiences to relate from their lives abroad. Emigrants, on the other hand, tend to slip under the radar, unless you happen to have known them before they left.
  19. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    American English
    Even though your distinctions between expatriates and emigrants appear logical, I disagree with the distinction. According to the WR dictionary, both words mean "someone who has relocated to another country". Therefore, someone who is an emigrant is also an expatriate, and someone who is an expatriate is also an emigrant.

    In addition, WR's definition of expatriate also includes the concept of exile, which the definition of emigrant does not include. So if your distinctions are valid at all, then they should be reversed so that "expatriate" refers to "permanent relocation".

    While in business there is much talk of "expatriate" assignments that are temporary in nature, most people I know who live abroad who describe themselves as expatriates (or more commonly, "expats") are there permanently. They retain many ties to the US, to be sure, but most of them have no intention of returning.
  20. danielfranco

    danielfranco Senior Member

    In the Mexico of my youth, the emigrants were secretly admired, but generally maligned. They were often qualified as "malinchistas", or worse. That is, like Texans and Arizonans (is that even a word?), they were seen as somewhat traitorous for choosing a foreign country over their country of birth.
  21. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I can see what you're saying about the dictionary definitions, fenixpollo, but I think in practical terms the distinction is made between "emigrant" and "expatriate" as one who leaves to settle permanently in another country and one who lives outside one's own country but still identifies oneself as a citizen and member of the original country.

    I know Wikipedia is not the most reliable source, but I think it at least shows that this is not a personal distinction I've invented:


    "Emigration is the act and the phenomenon of leaving one's native country to settle in another country. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin."


    "An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently resident in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence.

    The difference between an expatriate and an immigrant is that immigrants (for the most part) commit themselves to becoming a part of their country of residence, whereas expatriates are usually only temporarily placed in the host country and most of the time plan on returning to their home country, so they never adopt the culture in the host country - though some may end up never actually returning, with the distinction then becoming more a matter of their own viewpoint."

    The interesting thing to me is that I didn't read these Wikipedia articles until you brought up the dictionary definition of the two words. They popped up in my definition search. My impression of the words matches closely with the definitions in Wikipedia, so it may be a popular though possibly inaccurate understanding of the distinction between the two words.
  22. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    American English
    I wasn't suggesting that your distinctions (or Fernando's) were arbitrary or personal inventions... just that I don't agree with them. Since they appear to be the practical/popular definitions, I will have to yield to them. :(
    It was simply this concept that I was trying to point out -- that these distinctions between "emigrant" and "expatriate" are largely a result of one's point of view. But for the purposes of this discussion, they are valid enough. :)

    Yes, Dan, residents of Arizona (whether they are expatriates or not) are called Arizonans. :D
  23. Fernando Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    "My" definitions are largely influenced by what a "emigrante" and a "expatriado" are in Spanish (or rather, Spanish business jargon) and may not be proper English, so I gently leave them alone to be destroyed by "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune".
  24. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    So are we talking about emigrants in this discussion, in the sense of those who move to another country and adopt it as their own, or expatriates, as in those who live temporary or for an extended period of time in another country but still identify with their "home" country?

    I suppose that's a question for Etcetera to answer.
  25. mirx Banned

    I would also back up Daniel's Opinio, at leats in México, emigrants are seen as traitors, people have bad attitudes specially towards emigrants in the U.S.A, it is much different when the emigrant goes to Europe.

    Now, many Mexicans move easily through the Mexican-american border, many of then live in México and work in the Satets, these people are seen juts like any other Mexican.

    I think what we don't like is when our emigrants come back home with foreing trends. Mexicans think that México is the best country ever, in this appplies to other peoples and their respective countries.
  26. nightlone Senior Member

    The idea of emigrants being seen as traitors is kind of hard to understand for me. In the UK there's no way people would think you were a traitor for wanting to start a new life somewhere else, it would usually be seen as a positive thing (although it's true that not many people emigrate from here due to poverty anymore). Whinging is a national past-time here and if you say you think the country is crap, miserable weather, bad public services, too many taxes, etc, you'll probably find more people agreeing with you than anything else, even if they have no intention of ever leaving here and deep down love the place. I would say there is an interest in the the lives of those who have emigrated, there have even been soap operas based on that very scenario.
  27. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    Bolivia reminds me very much of the Ireland of the old days, with a huge percentage of its population leaving for Argentina, Spain, Brazil or the U.S. in search of work. Like Irish ballads, so many of the lyrics of Bolivian songs are of separation, lost love, and longing for home. Almost every family has members abroad.

    Bolivians say that the money sent home from expats is worth more than the country's GNP, but I'm too lazy this morning to look up statistics to prove or disprove that statement.

    The attitude among most Bolivians toward their expats jives with what Outsider has described - that it's a normal fact of life. There isn't the sort of admiration that Etcetera described in her first post; nobody maligns them for leaving; there's just the sense that people do what they have to do. I met one grandmother who grieved that her grandsons in New York spoke English, but regarded their presence there in the most matter-of-fact way.

    One huge issue is separated families. As only one example among many, I met one man, the tenant of some friends, whose wife was working in Spain as a domestic. He was at home in charge of their thirteen-year-old daughter, and had never been separated from his wife before. Having just received a long-awaited letter from her, stuffed with photos, he missed her more than ever, was drunk before noon, and drank his way steadily through the afternoon.
  28. argentina84

    argentina84 Senior Member

    Göteborg, Sweden
    Argentina Spanish
    Do most people consider moving to another country (in general)where you live? Why? What are the most common reasons for moving to a different country?

    I would like to know your ideas. Personally, I would like to live in different countries and learn about different cultures. But people look at me as if I were...well...not all right. It is not very common for people to move here..they die in the same cities or villages where they were born.

    What happens in your country?
  29. alexacohen

    alexacohen Banned

    Santiago de Compostela
    Spanish. Spain
    Well, judging from the amount of Spanish people living outside Spain, I would say that we don't hesitate when it comes to moving somewhere else. As long as somewhere else there is a fair chance that we will fare better than we do here.
    And as long as we don't have to leave our husbands (or wives) and our children behind.
  30. avok

    avok Banned

    Considering millions of Turks living abroad, people here in Turkey have always moved from some point to another (from Turkey or to Turkey). Actually turks/turkic peoples, right from Siberia to Anatolia, have always moved and keep moving :)
  31. tinlizzy

    tinlizzy Senior Member

    USA - English
    Propinquity - note what it says under modern usage.
  32. iaf Senior Member

    Hello, argentina84!
    I'm not sure we're talking about the same country! :confused:
    In our recent history, there have been several reasons for emigration. In my opinion, the most important reasons were the political and economic troubles we had to go through.
    Actually, I have a lot of friends living abroad.

    Un saludo,
  33. clairanne Senior Member

    East Sussex
    english UK

    There is not a general urge in my part of UK to up and leave the country for good.

    I know several people who have houses in France or Spain for holiday homes and spend part of the summer out there, but, most people around here seem to agree that there is no place like home and many still live in the villages they were brought up in.

    I live 10 miles away from where I was born (Eastbourne) and have never lived more than 30 miles from there. I think the fact that I know I could move out if I wanted to makes it seem less enticing. I am always glad to be back in familiar surroundings after holidays- the best part of a holiday for me is coming home as it makes me appreciate what I already have.

    I know I am fortunate to be living in the heart of the East Sussex countryside, maybe, if I was in a noisy dirty city I might feel differently and yearn for a better lifestyle.
  34. argentina84

    argentina84 Senior Member

    Göteborg, Sweden
    Argentina Spanish
    Well..I have also some acquantances that have moved abroad. What I mean is that it is not common to move. There are some countries in which people move three or more times in their lives.
  35. Marty10001 Senior Member

    Can't agree with this - in 2006 400,000 people left the UK; of which 200,000 were British. It seems they go to Spain (there are 1 million Brits leaving in Spain) and quite a lot go to Australia and NZ - the weather I suppose.
    In Ireland it is estimated there are approx 400,000 Eastern Europeans now living here in a population of 4 million. I must say they all seem pretty nice, especially the girls.
  36. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Moderator's note: The posts #28 - #36 were part of a separate thread (Do most people consider moving to another country in general where you live?) now merged with the already existing "What is the attitude towards emigrants in your country?"
  37. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    People move to other countries for a "better life".

    It may be at one extreme that their lives are in actual danger in their home countries - the genuine refugees - because of the political situation, the incidence of crime, natural disaster, and so on.

    The principal reason for most is their improved chance of making more money. Mel Gibson's father took the family from New York state to Australia to avoid compulsory military service. Mel has gone back to live in the US because he can make lots more money there.

    Some move because the weather is better. There are 1.5 million expats/immigrants in Spain, mostly on the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and the Balearic Islands.
  38. clairanne Senior Member

    East Sussex
    english UK

    "There is not a general urge in my part of UK to up and leave the country for good."

    Marty- I was not speaking of UK as a whole- in my part of East Sussex very few people seem to move - I am 53 and at my class reunion all but 6 of us still live within 20 miles of our old village. The others, 1 in France, 1 in Australia and 2 in the Midlands and 2 unfortunately have died. That means that 27 of us have chosen to stay put.

    Several of us have holiday homes but we all like England and are able to live comfortably in our own land. I am sure if we lived in a country destroyed by war, oppressive government and in economic turmoil many of us would also have moved out. I consider myself to be very fortunate not to be in this position here in England.
  39. The Lord of Gluttony Senior Member

    They are scolded and disliked because they attract a great deal of odium. Not only do they demean themselves but also they harm their fellow countrymen's reputation. And then their countrymen get the same unfair treatment or attitude even when they don't deserve it.

    How does it feel knowing you are being hated not only by foreigners but also by your fellow countrymen?
  40. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    It is funny that you should say this. All Russians I have known so far seem to look upon emigrants with a certain suspicion. Like they were betraying Russia by choosing to live somewhere else.

    Where I come from, almost everybody has relatives who moved to Canada at some time. I grew up in a relatively rural community. In my case - my brother, cousins, cousins of my mothers etc. Nothing unusual about that.
  41. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    How small is a small number?
    When an island of 6.4 million people like Ireland, loses over 3 million to emigration (in a strict legal definition of the word) that's lots. (Not talking dispora here.) So 6 million Americians, that's twice the Irish figure! Relatively small in comparison with the population of the US of A, but that's still alot of folks leaving ; surely? 6,000,000 people that's huge it anybody's reckoning!

    In answer to the original question, Irish people are far from indifferent to the plight of Irish emigrants. Generally those who've stayed behind have compassion for those who have had to leave for economic reasons. I suspect a little admiration too, although the phenomenon is now so wide spread I imagine this admiration has diminished over time, giving way to thoughts of how one might cope abroad should the need arise to emigrate oneself.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  42. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    As I said before, I'm not convinced I would classify those people as emigrants. We have American contractors, private company staff, overseas students, retirees, NGO workers, English language teachers, USAID employees, State Department staff, etc. All of those are non-military and living abroad. I know many, many people who have been stationed overseas for a period of years by their companies but in no way intended to adopt that country as their own. At 6 million, we're talking about 2% of the American population living abroad at any point in time. That would be the equivalent of less than 90,000 Irish living abroad.

    Still, I think you're comparing apples to oranges here.

    In almost all cases, natural-born Americans must renounce their American citizenship in order to become a citizen of another country. According to this New York Times article that number was 502 people in 2010 out of a 2010 census population of 308,745,538. That would be the equivalent of ten Irish citizens emigrating and becoming citizens of another country in a year.


    We are talking very small numbers here. I agree with cuchuflete's assessment. I think it would be safe to say that it would be hard to find an American who is personally acquainted with someone who was American but is now a citizen of another country. It is extremely, extremely rare.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  43. Judica Senior Member

    East Coast, US
    AE (US), Spanish (LatAm)
    As far as the US is concerned, aside from First Nations, everyone else emigrated from somewhere else in recent history. This includes forced emigrations. Pretty much the view of people leaving in the various States in which I have lived (including Arizona) is, 'okay have fun'. There's not much malice (probably a little jealousy). :)

    I don't know how many people emigrate each year but I'm thinking a lot is due to working for a corporation, retirements, and maybe some people who were born here returning to their parent's country of origin. There's not a lot of emigration because unlike Europe, one can change climates in the US simply by moving to another State.
  44. germanbz Senior Member

    Benicàssim - Castelló - Spain
    Spanish-Spain/Catalan (Val)
    As Spaniard I disagree...but it is not about opinion but the news.

    In the first semester of 2012 more that 40.000 Spaniards emigrated and numbers are growing up. I don't have the same optimistic sight of the situation...in fact a comment which is constantly heard is: with a grade, 10 years of experience and 3 languages here I just can work as a waiter....in the first opportunity I'm going to fly away.

    Then there are another second feeling quite common among people recently emigrated, known as "the falling in love of the first quarter". It's really usual to see when you read from forums or blogs of people with a couple of months in countries like Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Germany... You read to them and all there is perfect, people smiles, people is incredibily civic, professionals, all is clean, everybody is respectful. When you read from them, you just can imagine a world of rainbows and blonde ponies trotting through the parks. ....and even if you give them enough time (6 months could be sufficient) the began to say things like: well the problem is that "you", in Spain.....(as they had arrived to that country from Mars) .One winter later people usually becames more equilibrated in theirs viewpoints.
  45. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    All American citizens have to renounce their citizenship, not just naturally born. If some naturalized citizens already have some other citizenships by birth, they still have to renounce them theoretically, but nobody relaly follows them to check whether they keep another passport or not, and now the laws have become even more strict, although the oath has not changed. If someone wants to take another citizenship after they obtained American citizenship, they have to renounce their American citizenship with all its seriousness. The ex-President of Lithuania had to do it when he wanted to accept the office, because he was really only an American citizen (an American Lithuanian). So the law is equal to all. And I agree, that I would not classify most of the Americans living in other countries as immigrants -- just Americans living abroad. There might have been some real American immigrants during the Vietnam War.

    And, what regards the attitude towards immigrants in the US -- it is really good, and friendly, unless someone is looking for trouble, or a drug-trafficer. The attitude may slightly vary from state to state. In New York it is very good.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  46. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    USA Northeast
    I just wanted to say that natural-born Americans in no way have to renounce their citizenship to become a citizen of another country. I became a citizen of France a few years ago and it is fine. I am in contact with other expats throughout Europe and most also have dual citizenship.
    There is no problem to my knowledge with taxation or having bank accounts in the US. However I do not earn more than $91,000 a year and am not transferring millions of dollars every day. So I do not pay taxes in the US, but on occasion transfer a few thousand dollars back and forth to accounts in the US and Europe. I have never had any problem whatsoever. Hope it remains that way.
    I also vote both in the US and France. The embassy also makes it quite easy to vote here. They automatically contact us at least a month before elections.
    I never have known anyone to renounce American citizenship.
    I do not know what the difference between an expat and an immigrant are. Perhaps immigrants will never ever return? I know Americans who have children here, so maybe that is their case.
  47. germanbz Senior Member

    Benicàssim - Castelló - Spain
    Spanish-Spain/Catalan (Val)
    I do not know what the difference between an expat and an immigrant are.
    I don't know the nuances in English, but in Spanish in its common use, there is a clear difference. Emigrante is someone who go abroad in orther to get a job because here he/she is not in a good economical or laboral situation. Expatriado, is more commonly used for professionals that go abroad to working for companies and for determinate amount of time.
    If I knock the door of HR office of a company in Canada and I say: Hello I'm ---- I've just come from Spain, I'm the new civil engeneer. = Expat.
    If I knokk the door of HR office of a company in Canada and I say: Hello I'm ---- I come from Spain, I'm a civil engineer, do you have any work here? = Emigr.
  48. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    USA Northeast
    I can see the way you are using the terms and it's not the first time I've heard that, but I also use expat for people who are not necessarily working. It just seems like a move abroad that might not be permanent. But immigrant for me seems definite, but also not linked with work. People immigrate for many different reasons, religion, politics, family, education, health, or perhaps they are forced to go... but it seems like they won't return ever.
    My use would be
    My parents are Spanish immigrants (they left Spain and didn't go back, so maybe I've never been to Spain in my life).
    My parents are Spanish expats (they are going back one day, probably me too with them).
    Expats don't necessarily want or try to adapt to the country they live in. They might continue living the same as always, as if they never left. They have ties to that country and are in contact with people back there. They might not send their children to local school.
    Immigrants do (usually) want to adapt, but I'm not sure if they all do. They learn the language, want permanent papers, send their children to local school, are acculturated, and care more about where they live then where they come from. Maybe they have cut their ties.
  49. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    That's good to hear about France, although I know people who have had difficulties obtaining resident permits in France, even when married to a French citizen. It's one of those things where the letter of the law and practice might be a little different.

    I think it does depend on the country. I don't believe you can become a naturalized German citizen, for example, and retain U.S. citizenship. If you know otherwise I'm happy to be corrected. Japan doesn't allow dual citizenship, either. I suppose you could obtain citizenship in another country and never go through official renunciation of American citizenship, but it could get quite complicated if relations between the U.S. and that country became strained.

    Your comment did get me reading about this topic, though. Thanks for bringing this up. It looks like the U.S. Government doesn't officially recognize dual citizenship but doesn't do anything about it if you claim dual citizenship, either.


    This part seems particularly hazy:

    "A U.S. citizen who acquires a foreign citizenship by marriage or who is granted another citizenship automatically doesn't risk losing U.S. citizenship, however a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may end up losing his U.S. citizenship if he applied voluntarily, by free choice and with the intention to give up his U.S. citizenship. The Intent to give up U.S. citizenship can be shown by the person's statements or conduct. "
  50. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    The situation may slightly change if you wanted to become the Prime Minister of France, one day. Then you might have to. :D

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