Difference Between Emigrant and Immigrant

Emigrant vs Immigrant

Difference between emigrant and immigrant is considered confusing by many people mainly because the two terms are similar in appearance. However, they have very different meaning. In fact, they are antonyms. The confusion people have with the difference between emigrant and immigrant has simply to do with the perspective of a person from his geographical location. If you are an Indian citizen and moving out of the country to settle in the US, you are an emigrant for all your friends and relatives back in India. In fact, to all those who reside within Indian boundaries, you will be labeled as an emigrant. But, for those in the US, you are an immigrant. That is because you have come from another country to settle in their country. So, for US people, you are an immigrant.

The common word that describes the movement of people from one place to another is migration. Migration means both emigration and immigration. Historically, migration has been a phenomenon in all parts of the world. Even within a country, when people move from rural places to metros in search of employment and better opportunities, they are called migrants. The biggest migration in human history took place in 1947 when India and Pakistan got independence from Britain and millions moved from their places to another country.

Who is an Emigrant?

So, it is clear that an emigrant is a person who moves out of his country to another country. Emigrant is a person, and the act of emigration is the process of relocating from one country to another. Emigrant is a noun. In the same manner, emigration is a noun. An emigrant migrates to another country. Traditionally, people from under-developed or developing countries have chosen to migrate to developed countries in search of greener pastures. They are labeled as emigrants in their respective countries but are called immigrants in the countries where they arrive.

Difference Between Emigrant and Immigrant

Emigrant is a person who moves out of his country to another country.

Having too many emigrants can be a problem for a country, especially when most of those emigrants are the most talented people of the country. That can harm the economy of a country. This process of is known as Brain-Drain in economics. As you can see, even that term has an ominous sound because it is not a pleasant thing for the country experiencing Brain-Drain. True, educated people leave their country as emigrants to have a better opportunity in another country. However, by doing so, they are neglecting the duty they have for their own country where they have gained all the knowledge.

Who is an Immigrant?

An immigrant is a person who arrives in a new country from his country. Immigration is a process that is a continued process and at all times, people keep on immigrating from one place to another. An immigrant arrives from another country. All countries of the world have set up immigration departments to limit the number of people coming inside the country. Only people with a valid passport and visa are allowed to immigrate. In doing so, their numbers are kept in check. This is done to prevent illegal people from immigrating to the country. Illegal immigrants are a huge problem to countries.

Emigrant vs Immigrant

An immigrant is a person who arrives in a new country from his country.

Legal or illegal when immigrants arrive at a country, the people already living in that country have to face problems socially and economically. Economical problems arise because the people who are already citizens of the country have to compete for jobs with the immigrants. At the same time, with immigrants, different cultures also come. Sometimes, the bonding of the existing culture and the immigrant’s culture may be not that easy. Also, with illegal immigrants the government faces a lot of problems as they have to look after them as they are also people.

What is the difference between Emigrant and Immigrant?

• Migration is the process of people traveling from one place to another, and the words emigrant and immigrant were developed from this word.

• An emigrant is a person leaving his country to relocate to a foreign country whereas an immigrant is a person who arrives at a foreign country from his own country.

• The process of relocating in a foreign country is immigration. The process of leaving one’s own country is emigration.

• Huge number of immigrants creates problems in the foreign country they settle down. They may create cultural, social and economical problems.

• Huge number of emigrants also creates problems such as Brain-Drain to the country they are leaving.


Images Courtesy: The Last of England by Ford Madox Brown and Hungarian immigrants in Cleveland in 1913 via  Wikicommons (Public Domain)