There were many concepts for the topic of the site, but it seems that people who see that site primarily for legal questions (visa, work permit etc.) have won and now everything that could possibly affect locals is likely to be closed as off topic.

The problem is, that many issues apply to both locals and expats, but almost only expats would ask them. Why?

Because those are things that are obvious to locals, because they learn it from childhood. They know where to buy X, they have opened bank account, registered for social security immediately after reaching adolthood, they know all strange legal regulations, for example that drinking beer in the park may be illegal.

But for expatriates, it's all black magic.

The reason I've supported that site on Area51 was, I was primarily interested in understanding that black magic.

So my question is, is the decision about such narrowing of the scope final and absolute? Is any question that possibly could apply to local automatically off-topic? Or there are some more common sense rules, for example the topics that apply to locals as well, but are primarily asked by expats, are allowed?

Please consider, that if 'anti-boat programming meme' was applied to Travel, you couldn't ask there about city tickets, or musea etc., because they apply as well?

Or you want to keep the scope as narrow as possible, and all 'settling down' questions should be redirected to another (new) site?


1 Answer 1


I don't really see any problems with closing too many questions. I'm usually doing two checks to determine whether something seems on or off topic:

  • The issue does affect most expats
  • The issue does not affect most locals

The hard thing is the second point: there are things that seem to only affect expats, but will actually also affect a lot of locals, especially ones who try to move around, or ones who just got into a new state of their lifes (like turning 18/21/finishing school, moving away from their parents, new job, etc.), or have issues that usually don't affect locals (like having a very bad credit rating)

I ususally try to keep questions open when I think that the problem affects expats even a tiny bit more than locals who get into a new life situation. But if the topic would also greatly affect locals (especially those type of locals who I mentioned before), then it's probably off topic. If not, I keep it open.

But, as I've said I don't really find issues with recent questions, so I've checked some recent closures:

I would also include this question which I reopened because it did fit the criteria: Where I can cash a paycheck in London without a bank account (you can find my reasonings in acomment). On the other hand the question was very badly worded (it still is), if it would be something like "I got my first paycheck in the UK, and I would like to cash it in. What's the cheapest way to do it" would be better, indicating why exactly you don't have a bank account.

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