We're closing questions and pointing folks to the help center to see what kind of topics they can ask about, but that page is currently was profoundly unhelpful.

Here's my first stab at what should go as the middle paragraph with a bullet list, please vet this as soon as possible so that I can get it in place.

Begin Copy

If your question is about:

  • Complications in every day life due to living in a foreign country as a non-citizen
  • Questions about immigration, as they would apply to someone of your nationality living, or planning to move to a foreign country
  • Questions about laws and governance in your country of residence, that might apply differently to non-citizens than they do to citizens

... then you are probably in the right place to ask your question! Expatriates Stack Exchange is here for questions surrounding ordinary life, just complicated by your status as an expatriate.

End Copy

What did I miss? How could I be more succinct? Does this look good to get in quickly (because we're getting all kinds of traffic at the moment). Have at it, lets try to get this done :)


What I posted here slightly varies from what has been sent live to the help center (something better than what we had needed to get in there in a hurry). Edits I've made beyond the first proposed copy are subsequent to answers I've received here.

Thanks for the help, folks!

  • 1
    I hate to rush this in as I've done without proper consensus, but we're currently on the front page of Hacker News, 6+ of our questions are in the network-wide 'hot list', and we're climbing on Reddit. These are not bad problems to have, but I positively (as currently, the only active mod on the site) need something in that entry :)
    – user100
    Mar 19, 2014 at 15:30
  • so when are you adding it? ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 25, 2014 at 2:27
  • Looks like another question needing the scope tag. Mar 27, 2014 at 21:35

4 Answers 4


I would expand the section on immigration to:

  • Questions about long term (1 year+) work and residence visas, permanent residence, and nationality programs, continued as after the first coma

As it stands the on-topic will clash with travel.SE (Short term visa questions).

  • Good catch. Fixing.
    – user100
    Mar 19, 2014 at 15:14
  • 2
    Instead of using a duration would a potentially better distinction be tourist vs non-tourist visa? I am not sure if every country makes hat distinction.
    – StrongBad
    Mar 19, 2014 at 21:37

I'd add:

  • Questions about laws and governance in your country of citizenship, that apply even though you're no longer resident

That would hopefully cover things like telling your old country you've gone, voting issues (including compulsory voting), tax complications for non-residents (esp. for Americans), that sort of thing

  • I like the spirit of that, I need to think about the wording, but that's definitely one of our common questions.
    – user100
    Mar 19, 2014 at 15:31
  • 1
    Put in as Questions about what laws in your home country apply to you as an expatriate, and to what extent they apply - Thanks!
    – user100
    Mar 19, 2014 at 15:35

I would also add:

  • Psychological and physical effects of the immigration to a different country, effects of weather, different culture and language
  • Education and work seeking questions for the person migrating from a different country.
  • Workplace ethics and common practices for the newcomer to a country (may need to check with workplace.SE).
  • 1
    Not sure on workplace ethics, as the wording there has to be 'ethics as a foreign worker would need to understand' and that's just darn hard to articulate. Let me work on mixing the other two in, and we'll see what we get question-wise that manifests as the third and go from there.
    – user100
    Mar 19, 2014 at 15:19

Currently (July 2015), the Expatriates and Travel "What topics can I ask about here?" pages can seem contradictory when it comes to certain work visas. Expatriates says:

  • Questions about long term (1 year+) work and residence visas …

are on-topic here. Travel says that "working while on the go" is on-topic on Travel, but "work visas" are off-topic on Travel, and should be asked here, instead.

But what about work visas that might be for less than a year? This was a point of confusion on a recent question.

I'm guessing that

  • Questions about long term (1 year+), work, and residence visas …

with a comma, is what we really want to say: that the "long term (1 year+)" guidance applies only to visas that aren't officially work or residence visas.

But commas are small, so just putting in a comma won't make everyone understand it when they read it the first time. What about separating "work and residence visas" from the "long term" ones? For example: (changes emphasized)

  • Questions about work or residence visas, long term (1 year+) visas, permanent residence, or nationality programs, as they would apply to someone of your nationality living in, or planning to move to , a foreign country
  • I like these changes, done.
    – SztupY Mod
    Jul 7, 2015 at 12:49

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