10 Types of Expats Around The World

types expats

People move abroad for many different reasons. I for one, have moved abroad for 3 different reasons: to the UK for studies, to the US for love and to India for… it’s complicated. My most recent move to the Pacific Northwest, I guess making it reason #4, was supposed to be a temporary visit to renew a visa which ended being a long-term stay. Two months have now turned into two years.

And I also have moved (within the US) for random reasons… “throw a dart at the map” kind of move. That makes reason #5. So, I’m not your typical expat.

Are you an expat? If so, what kind? The infographic below lists a few types based on real people. 

[click on the image to view it larger]


expat types infographic


Do you fit any of these types?


17 thoughts on “10 Types of Expats Around The World

  1. This is awesome!! I used to be a “family expat” when I moved around for my dad’s business, then “student expat” for college, and now I’m back in my home country. I’m working on becoming “the globetrotter” or “the career expat” soon! 🙂

    Somin // TCK Goes Home

  2. hahaha nice!! What a cool infographic!
    I have moved twice because of my studies (Canada and Switzerland), then once for love… and I ended up in Germany 😀 so today I am a romantic expat hahah ❤

  3. Thanks for sharing. I’d consider myself more of a “traveling spouse who pushed her husband into taking a job opportunity abroad to expand their horizons and travel opportunities.” I suppose that title was too long for the infographic 😉

  4. Hmm… am I just being contrary to say none really seem to fit? Perhaps because I’m an amalgam…

    You could argue I started as a :
    – “(Ex)-Student” – I have studied in countries like Germany, France, former Yugoslavia, India…
    – “Career” I’ve been recruited locally more than once (India)
    – “Foreign Recruitee” – Yet also recruited by a ‘local’ employer in a different country – Singapore. Had it not been that job, I never would have later chosen to set-up my company there.
    – “The Romantic” could describe why I moved back to India from Canada as my then spouse wanted to move back without either of us having any specific job
    – “Single Destination” is a default surface level way to describe my longer term relationship with India

    Yet none of these really seem to ‘fit’… do others feel the same way? Do you?

    1. The first time I read it I thought the same thing, that none really fit, but in a way I can fit the “ex-student” and “romantic”. But several of my moves don’t really fit, including my current one, which are more of “life happens-circumstances-&-God surrender” moves.
      Thanks for your input!

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