What is the Difference Between Immigration and Emigration?

Photo by Metin Ozer

Migration is the process in which people move from one geographical location to settle elsewhere for several reasons. These reasons could be grouped as religious, political, educational, marriage, vacation, or work-related purposes.

The people who migrate are referred to as migrants. Immigration is the movement of people into a particular city, region, or country. This applies to both those moving permanently to another country as well as the temporary ones. For instance, workers who temporarily migrate to another country for seasonal work are still referred to as immigrants by the country they are visiting

Emigration on the other hand involves the exit or movement of people away from a location. People that undergo emigration are referred to as emigrants.

It should be noted that a moving individual is both an immigrant and an emigrant. Let’s consider a scenario where Sean decides to move from the USA to the UK. He would be referred to as an emigrant in the USA and as an immigrant in the UK. So, we can rightly say that Sean emigrated from the USA to the UK and vice versa.

Immigration could boost the economy of a country through an increase in the workforce. An emigrant on the other hand improves the payment balance of the country he migrated from when he sends money back.

Immigration Process

An essential aspect of the immigration and emigration process is visa application. To move to, work, or study in another country, you will have to apply for a visa. In many cases, this process can be done and completed online. There would be a need to provide biometric information for both applications made online and those done at a physical application center. Your digital photograph, fingerprints, and other personal information will be required as well.

Before you travel out of your country, you need to apply for the right visa. Your intentions for the migration would determine if you want to extend your stay or apply for permanent residency and citizenship.

There are different processes for skilled workers and those who are seeking depending on how the point system works. The UK offers a global talent scheme for skilled scientists and researchers without job offers to come into the country.

For those looking to emigrate to the UK as a student, you are required to have secured admission to a UK school. You should also be able to communicate well in English and have enough funds for school fees and self-support.

Most times, a visa isn’t required for a visitor if the visit is within 6 months. It is required to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa if you want to get married in the UK although there are a few exceptions to this.

Individuals would need to use the provided online service or a physical document to access their immigration status and use it as proof. You could employ the services of a legal practitioner of the city you intend to legally settle in for more guidance and all immigration-related issues; for example, immigration lawyer Liverpool.

The process of emigration needs to be carefully examined and well planned. You need to have a passport and of course, money to move to a new country. Asides from those, there are several things to be considered. Are you just going for a vacation or you plan to permanently relocate? Also, moving to meet your family members in a foreign country is very different from you intending to start a new life in another country.

Most times, your emigration process would not be successful if you have no means of livelihood. No country wants a nuisance. You should be able to sustain yourself and be able to pay bills. You should apply for jobs, universities (if you are a student), or have a business plan as soon as possible. Proper preparation will prevent you from getting stranded in a foreign environment.


As an emigrant in your own country, your status also doubles as an immigrant for the country you are moving into. You should make quality research about the country you are leaving to, the cities in it, the most suitable for you and all. Make sure you are familiar with the dos and don’ts of your potential location. Learn about the culture, history, leadership, and economy of your destination. You can get in touch with the residents of your potential destination to get more information about what it feels like to stay in that particular place.

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