If we consider issues EU citizens have in other EU country, expat issues, wouldn't it be logical to allow questions concerning interstate migration in the US, Brazil, India, or any other big country to be on topic on expats.se?

Aruba has been mentioned, so extrapolating on that I would say that questions on Scotland or Wales are spot on. I also was told that interstate relocation in India can be a lot more complex that within the EU.

From my perspective internal relocation in some big countries should be considered expat related. Any thoughts?

3 Answers 3


I think if their nationality or country of origin adds complexities to their relocation plans, it's probably on topic here. Most questions we have here are very simple questions if you're just an ordinary citizen living in the country you were born, what gets complicated is being a foreign national :)

Interstate relocation in the US .. probably not on topic, as they have a very tight-knit federal government an unification of the states. India? Probably very on-topic, and even countries that have "Special Administrative Regions" like China.

I can't really enumerate a list of countries where it would be on-topic, but I know more than a few exist.

If the question author can explain why the question becomes interesting because he was not born in the target country, there's a reasonably good chance they're in the right place.

  • I don't think it's on-topic if a citizen of India moves from one Indian state to another, regardless of the level of bureaucracy involved, because, as @RobHoare says: it's not an expat problem.
    – gerrit
    Mar 14, 2014 at 21:38
  • USA, Australia, Canada - all have different tax, voting, license and other laws in their different provinces/territories/states. I highly believe it'd be on topic for those. However for others, I'm not sure - eg moving cities in New Zealand, most laws are just the same...opens up a can of worms if we limit it to say 15 countries tho :/
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 15, 2014 at 4:43
  • @gerrit Jammu and Kashmir is a state in India that enjoys special autonomy as per the Indian Constitution. People based in other states, for example, cannot purchase properties in J&K, while the same is possible for almost all other states.
    – asheeshr
    Mar 16, 2014 at 17:48
  • @AsheeshR Sure. I certainly believe that relocation in India can be more involved than in, say, France. But I don't think the bureaucracy of relocation as such makes something an expat question. I propose we stick to living in or moving to other countries — otherwise the boundaries will become awfully hard to determine.
    – gerrit
    Mar 16, 2014 at 17:54
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    I'd say, let's keep a relatively open mind initially (I'm particularly concerned about Chinese immigration to / from special administrative regions, which (for all intents and purposes) is like changing countries) - I think we need a few more of these questions in order to be certain, and there might be a few cases that we should accept.
    – user100
    Mar 17, 2014 at 4:25

Although problems moving between states and provinces in big countries are relocation problems, they're not expat problems.

For example, Canada has fairly different health care systems between each province. When moving between them it might be useful to know this, even as a Canadian. But it's not really relevant to a "question and answer site for people living abroad on a long-term basis", as, for a Canadian, it's not "abroad".

I do think questions should be limited to questions about living outside your home country. For this purpose, groupings of countries, like the EU, or Australia and New Zealand, should be considered different countries even if they have some freedom of movement.

States within a big country are often very different from each other, but that's really a domestic issue for the nationals of that country, not within the scope of expat questions.

Otherwise, it basically becomes a "how to do things that affect your life" for the whole of planet Earth. Which would be an interesting site, but a bit broad in scope!

  • 1
    How does moving in the UK fit? Are you an expat if you move to England from Scotland, Bermuda, or the Isle of Man? Why not just let people decide if they think they are an expat?
    – StrongBad
    Mar 15, 2014 at 18:05
  • Or moving from Guernsey to Sark, Laughlin NV to Bullhead City AZ, Canberra to Queanbeyan? Each of these is moving to a place that has different laws to the previous place, but do people really consider themselves expats just because of that? I agree your definition is reasonable though: if somebody thinks they are an expat, they are.
    – Rob Hoare
    Mar 15, 2014 at 19:38

I would give such questions a chance. It's really the question, how to you define expatriate.

You can stick to formal definition of someone being abroad more than 1 month, or make functional definition, that expatriate is someone who moves to the other environment with different laws, culture and language.

I don't think moving inside US would cause any issues comparable to being expatriate, because you have the same language, the same form of economy, the same legal system (based on the same constitution) with slight legal differences, and slight taxes differences. But as fair as I known, regions in India have completely different languages, and laws may have there quite a big local variations.

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