Difference Between Immigration and Emigration

Immigration and emigration are two completely different terms which are often confused with each other. Immigration is defined as the movement of people to a particular country whereas emigration is the movement of people from a specific country.

A person who migrates to another country is known as immigrant in that country. In contrast, a person who migrates away from his country is known as emigrant. Besides, immigration has been derived from a Latin word immigrare (to go into). On the other hand, emigration comes from a Latin word emigrare (to move). Although, the meaning of both the words includes ‘moving into’, but there is a difference in the direction of the movement.

Related: How to Prepare for an Immigration Visa Interview


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    It can be defined as the movement of people into a particular region or country in which they are non-residents or non-native. There are many different reasons for immigration which mainly include temperature, economy, politics, breeding, natural catastrophe, poverty or family reunification. A great number of people migrate from one country to another every year. Most of the immigrants go to the developed nations like UK, USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and China from developing countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

    In the past few decades, the developed countries have made the immigration laws very strict so as to have a better control over the population, economy and other affairs. The laws are stricter for workers as compared to students or businessmen.

    Related: List of Immigration Lawyers in London

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    It is defined as the movement of people from their own country or region. Though, it is same as immigration, but from the viewpoint of the native country. The most common pull factors which urge people to emigrate include better educational and employment opportunities, rising economy, stable political system and freedom to choose religion. Contrarily, deficiency of employment opportunities, lack of political or religious rights, racism, lack of freedom, failing economy, warfare, famine or cultural discrimination are included in the most common push factors.

    In the last three centuries, a great number of people have emigrated from Europe to USA, Canada, Argentina, Australia and Brazil. Mostly, emigration is referred to a voluntary migration from the country of origin. However, some traces of involuntary migration have also been found in the history. The main reasons for involuntary migration include ethnic cleansing and population transfer.

    Image courtesy:  gettyimages.co.uk

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