I think I have said it before but I still have difficulties understanding the hostility to “immigration” questions on Travel S&E. I think there is a lot of overlap and just merging/welcoming the topics discussed in the expat proposal would be the best way to get it off the ground while helping this site grow and attract more expertise and good content. With a handful of questions every day, it's not like the site would become unmanageable.
The most puzzling aspect of this problem is that I really cannot see any meaningful difference between questions that get quickly disposed of (OK, it's called “on hold” now but it's still a slap in the face) and others that were allowed to live and went on to receive useful answers (thus proving it was not an absurd thing to ask in the first place).
For example, what's the difference between the following three questions?
- What is the simplest visa requirement for a New Zealander to work in Argentina?
- Is it really permitted for travellers to work while visiting Georgia on a tourist visa?
- Restrictions for an EU citizen travelling through EU and working along the way?
It seems you need to carefully explain that you're specifically interested in short-term work, you're an insider who knows the rules of the site and you want to travel the world with as little communication as possible with those nasty creatures known as “expats” to avoid seeing your question shot on sight because it says “work”. Turns out the last question really was about working while traveling and should definitely be reopened under any reasonable interpretation of current rules on that basis alone but it does illustrate how arbitrary the distinction is and how differently we react based on details that are completely orthogonal to what's actually being asked (myself included as I wrote a since-deleted comment describing the question as off-topic before answering it instead).
Another recent example is Can I enter Spain with a French visa "long sejour"? (questions is not closed as of writing this but it did receive a negative comment). Again, some negative response to the fact that the lady asking is apparently intent on emigrating to Europe. Evidently, you need to travel even if you want to live somewhere and your status as a resident of some country can have consequences for travel in other countries. In all cases, the subject matter is the same: laws and regulations regarding entry and stay in a country. Why draw some arbitrary line based solely on who “feels” like a “traveler” and who seems to be an “expat”?
Other than that, it's the same type of questions, requiring the same type of expertise (namely, as with any visa question, some knowledge of the laws of the destination country). It's perfectly answerable, interesting, objective (objectivity could be a good topic for another rant that I will keep for another day…) and it could be useful to other people. If anything, content-wise, it would make more sense to have a site for air travel, one for mobile phones and one for visas than the sort of identity politics I see here around who counts as an expat. It is simply untrue that questions about this or that sort of visa are fundamentally different from each other or that a question about a short-term visa has more in common with questions about being bumped to business class than with a question about entering a country on a long-term visa.
Shouldn't we just accept these questions? (And please don't just quote a “rule”, we can easily change the FAQ or whatnot if there is a consensus for it. I believe such decisions should be based on actual reasons, not dogma and that just stating “that's the way we do things” is not going to convince anybody of anything.)