Migrants vs Immigrants: Difference and Comparison

The term ‘immigrant’ is a subsidiary of the word ‘migrant’. When they are spoken casually, we reciprocate their meanings, but there is a slight contrast between them which is to be distinguished.

Key Takeaways

  1. Migrants are individuals who move from one place to another, either within their country or across international borders, for reasons such as work, education, or personal reasons.
  2. Immigrants are a subset of migrants who move to a new country to settle there, for better economic opportunities or to join family members.
  3. While migrants and immigrants involve relocation, the key difference lies in their destination, with immigrants settling in a new country and migrants possibly moving within or between countries.

Migrants vs Immigrants

The difference between Migrants and Immigrants is that Migrants are people who vacate their abode country(birthplace), migrate within/without their competence to accomplish their ventures, such as slogging as a seasonal worker, acquisition of property or other primitive conditions in the origin country.

Whereas immigrants vacate their abode country and come to settle permanently in a foreign region; for example, if a person moves to the United States and settles permanently (in this type of case they even acquire citizenship ), then we would refer him as an immigrant rather than a migrant.

Migrants vs Immigrants

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_______ is the agreement of the will of one contracting party with that of another or others, upon the object and terms of the contract

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Immigrants are provided with supplementary protection rights than the migrants within a state or country.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonMigrantsImmigrants
DefinitionMigrants are the people who migrate to another region externally or internally for a temporary stay in search of better resources and benefits.Immigrants are people who enter another foreign country, leaving their country permanently due to unfavourable situations in their origin country.
Pull Factors in the destination country.These are the following pull factors:
a) Economic prosperity
b) Social cohesion
c) More recreational centres
d) Availability of affordable housing
e) Favourable climatic conditions
f) Better medical and healthcare facilities
g) Better chances of marrying
h) Prospects for higher education
These are the following pull factors:
a) Political freedom
b) cultural freedom
c) Sense of security
d) The desire for religious freedom
e) Pollution-free environment
f) Substantial income prospects.
g) Access to adequate services such as police and better means of transport, including buses, trains, metros, railways, and airports.
Push Factors in the origin country.These are the following push factors:
a) Economic hardship
b) Social clashes due to different perspectives
c) Lack of entertainment centres or recreational centres
d) Poor housing
e) Primitive climatic conditions
f) Primitive medical and healthcare facilities
g) Poor chances of marrying
h) Lack of higher education facilities
These are the following push factors:
a) Political insecurity
b) No cultural freedom
c) Prohibition of religious practices and freedom
d) Polluted environment
e) No prospects for income
f) Lack of essential services such as means of transport, including buses, trains, and railway stations.
Accompanied byPrimitive migration and free migrationIllegal migration and forced migration


Who are Migrants?

Migrants are the people who relocate to another foreign or non-native region externally or internally for temporary or permanent (only in exceptional cases) stay in search of better resources, services and security.

Though there is no precise or international standard definition for the word migrant, it was suggested by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. OHCHR is a United Nations agency that promotes and protects all human rights under the international law of Human Rights.

The people who migrate for a momentary period, including tourism purposes such as educational tours, business trips or even temporary scientific research in a particular region, are not considered a migrant.

Origin of the word

Late 18th century: from Latin immigrant- ‘immigrating’, from the verb immigrate, on the pattern of the emigrant.

Migrants who have fled from their origin country by force or illegal migration are included under the category of refugee or immigrant with no personal belongings or wealth. It can also happen through human trafficking.

Migrants can make the conscious and voluntary choice of movement, unlike a refugee.


Who are Immigrants?

Immigrants are people who enter another foreign country, leaving their own country. They settle down permanently due to various security, business or marital reasons. Therefore, it has a rather precise definition even at the international level.

Immigrants need to get a lawful permanent resident status along with family-based sponsorship with the diversity lottery or other eligibility criteria if they want to acquire permanent citizenship in the immigrant country.

Some researchers claim that by breaking immigration barriers, we get a boost to the economy and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as there will be a skill as well as unskilled workers to sustain and support the growth of the economy for the immigrated country.


Main Differences Between Migrants and Immigrants

  1. Migrants have the optional choice to settle down in a particular region permanently (only in exceptional cases) as well as temporarily, whereas immigrants always intend to settle permanently.
  2. According to some researchers, the people who are referred to as migrants suffer from a sense of insecurity and trauma by the native community because they’re considered outsiders, unlike immigrants, who create a sense of social ties with the general public.
  3. A migrant is free to prefer voluntary migration, whereas, under immigration, immigrants are, in most cases, bound to migrate due to war, strife, or insecurity of human rights in the home country.
Difference Between Migrants and Immigrants
  1. https://www.medigraphic.com/pdfs/salpubmex/sal-2006/sal061b.pdf
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1982-23461-001

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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