Difference between Immigration and Emigration

Immigration and emigration occur when a person or group moves from their country to another. The term immigration is used to name the entry of people to a country of which they are not nationals, with the intention of staying and living in it. On the other hand, emigration means the movement of people from one country to live in another.

The migration also involves movement through different places, including changing between regions. This movement can be both humans and other living beings. Let’s check below what is the difference between Immigration and Emigration.

What is the difference between Immigration and Emigration

Immigrate and emigrate are two visions of the same movement. For example, if you were born in Mexico and went to live in the United States that means that you emigrated from Mexico and immigrated to the United States.

What is immigration?

Immigration is used when a person enters a foreign country to live, leaving their country of origin. Immigration involves a permanent movement and applies only to people. For example: “My grandparents immigrated to the United States in the 1920s.”

Although there are specific laws for immigration and emigration, immigration is strictly controlled by the host nations.

What is emigration?

Emigration occurs when a person or group leaves their country to settle in another. Emigrating implies a permanent movement and only applies to people. For example: “My grandparents emigrated from Spain.”

Emigration is enshrined in the fundamental law of principle 2 of article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to leave the country in which they are, including their own, and the right to return to their country”.

Immigrate or migrate

Immigrating generally refers to the act of crossing national borders of different countries, to settle in the host country. In the case of migrating, this act includes both movements between countries and between regions of the same country, not being necessary to travel to foreign lands.

For example: “Many people are migrating from the interior to the capital of their cities.” In this case, people are not moving to a foreign land, just migrating from one region to another.

In addition, migrations can be permanent or temporary, for example:

  • Many people who lived on the outskirts of the city migrated to the capital in search of work (permanent movement).
  • Many workers migrate south during the agricultural season (temporary relocation).

When migrating is applied to animals, such as birds, it generally means a seasonal or temporary change in habitat. For example, when birds migrate south during winter.