Maybe it's a coincidence or maybe it's the tip of an iceberg, but a couple of new immigration questions have appeared in the last couple of days and are receiving up votes despite not being about travel at all.

I have downvoted, close voted, and put what I hope is a friendly message on each saying sorry but we don't do immigration or expat questions here and sending them to the immigration proposal on Area 51.

I think this will have to be something we specificalky address in the FAQ. I would be good to have a canonical something to link to when responding to these kinds of questions as off-topic.

  • 1
    Maybe the issue is one of fracturing the sites. Is immigration - at least as it relates to visas - really that different to traveling there and returning? A distinction between going one way and going both ways seems a bit arbitrary. (Residency, mayyyyybe, although refusing to answer people who want to travel for a long time as opposed to a short time also seems arbitrary.)
    – David
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 15:25

3 Answers 3


In the bud, perhaps? ;)

Noticed a few of those, I suspect it's always going to be an issue, same as the 'tell me about Germany, what is fun there?' type questions. All we can hope to do is catch them early and educate the other users about the FAQ, and specifically add details for clarity.

One feature I was thinking about was some way to look for certain words like 'immigration' or 'green card' and pop up a warning saying 'this is a site for road warriors and seasoned travellers - and questions about immigration are considered off-topic - do you wish to continue?' type thing. But this is more of a stackexchange-wide feature, and certainly we as moderators don't have the power to do this, as far as I'm aware...

@Dori? ;)

  • Did you or any of the diamonds weigh in on the Costa Rica one? I tried to help the OP whip it into shape and it has a bunch of votes now but I'm not sure if the OP felt more annoyed by me than helped or if I did help to rescue the question at all. Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 22:26
  • While mod's won't be able to modify much of the software parameters I'm pretty sure you can submit all the feature requests on meta.SO you can think of. I know some sites do indeed have their own tweaks. Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 22:27
  • Not me yet - hadn't seen it until now, wasn't flagged (at least not that I'd seen). My problem with them in that state is that then the questions is sometimes beyond rescue. I've posted some comments on it now to try and help them.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 23:01
  • No I didn't flag it, just tried to help the OP and brought up the topic here. I think of flagging as a negative action but maybe I should think of it as a "wake up mark" action (-: Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 23:06
  • lol, please don't ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 23:10

In my opinion, immigration is not travel.

I've heard once that the most important part in travelling is to go back home, otherwise this is called exile.

  • Travel is the movement of people, irrespective of length of time, purpose, and means. Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travel - Reasons for traveling include recreation, tourism or vacationing, research travel for the gathering of information, for holiday to visit people, volunteer travel for charity, migration to begin life somewhere else, religious pilgrimages and mission trips, business travel, trade, commuting, and other reasons, such as to obtain health care or fleeing war or for the enjoyment of traveling Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 0:38
  • at the moment, it seems that travel.se is only aimed at people travelling for short-term holiday purposes Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 0:40
  • -1 This is completely devoid of any argument, just a definition. You have heard it's not what the word “travel” means in some language (other than English, apparently), so what?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 7:11

Can I suggest that if anyone reading this has NOT currently committed to the Immigration Proposal, please do so? It takes like 30 seconds, and if we can get that into at least beta form, we'll have a site to send people to. It's good for them, AND good for us!

  • 3
    Immigration has been reborn... as Expatriates!
    – user82
    Commented Jul 28, 2012 at 0:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .