There are tons of people who are settled in foreign countries rather than their home countries. We all know a relative or a neighbor who is living in some other country. But are they Migrants or Refugees? Due to various similarities, both types of immigration are always confused with one another.
The major difference between a Migrant and a Refugee is that the former has gone abroad because they wanted to. Still, the latter has gone abroad because of a dangerous situation in the home country.
- A Migrant can be best described as an individual who has gone to a foreign country because he found it better than his home country and decided to live there permanently.
- One of the notable features of being a Migrant is that you go to a foreign country not because you were forced to or were having a crisis but because it was your own choice.
- Before settling in a new country, a person ensures he would have no problem living there. He ensures he has a place to live, a source of income, travel expenses, and food to eat.
- When settling in a new country, you can apply for four types of visas depending on your reason for going to a new country. A Migrant can apply for a tourist, work, Migrant, or student visa.
- A Refugee is best described as someone who came to a foreign country because of any violent situation in his home country or any situation that forced him to settle in another country. He or his family were no longer safe in their home country and had to leave from there.
- One of the major distinctions between a Refugee and a Migrant is that a Refugee travels to a foreign country not because he wants to but because he was not given any choice.
- A Refugee does not know what he will do; he might not have a place, income, food, or all.
- When traveling to another country as a Refugee, you can only apply for a Refugee visa.
Comparison Between A Migrant And A Refugee
|Meaning||It refers to any individual settling in a new country because he desires it. Usually, people settle down in foreign countries because they think they will have a better life, productivity, and opportunities in the foreign country.||It refers to any individual who is settling in a new country because he has no choice. Due to various crises and conflicts, their home country is no longer considered safe for them.|
|Visa||If a person wants to move to a new country, they can apply for either of the four visas: migrant, student, tourist, and work. It should be noted a Migrant can not apply for a Refugee visa.||If a person wants to settle in a foreign country as a Refugee, he can only apply for a Refugee visa. He is not a viable candidate for a Migrant, student, work, or travel visa.|
|Reasons for traveling||A Migrant generally wants to settle in a foreign country because of his own choice. However, a person may want to settle abroad due to n number of reasons, such as better job opportunities, education, quality of life, etc.||When an individual travels to a new country as a Refugee, his sole reason is that he has no choice but to settle somewhere other than his home country as there is a danger to his life and his family too.|
|Safety in home countries||Home countries are generally considered safe when an individual settles elsewhere as a Migrant. There is no safety crisis in the Migrant’s home country.||One of the hallmark features of settling as a Refugee is that their home countries are typically unsafe for them, and that is their sole reason for seeking shelter in a completely new country.|
|Decisions||When an individual plans to settle abroad, they take the decision with extreme peace because they want to ensure they know what they would have to deal with there. If they do not like the management of one country, they can think of shifting elsewhere.||When an individual seeks shelter as a Refugee, their decision is taken quickly. It is not even their choice. They have to do it whatsoever cause if they do not, they can lose their lives, get injured, lose their family, etc.|
|Belongings||Migrant gets to take their belongings or anything they like from their home country. They get to meet their families for the last time before going. They take their clothes, technological appliances, basic necessities, etc.||Refugees usually do not get to take their belongings to their new country. And when they can collect a few of their belongings, these are generally things of basic necessity. In many cases, so many Refugees do not know if they will ever be able to see their families again.|
|Pre-planning||It takes lots of planning when an individual wants to settle abroad as a Migrant. He has to find ways to manage a place to live, a source of income, food to eat, etc.||A Refugee does not get to plan anything. He has to hurry with everything. He has no idea where he will live, where he will generate income, what he will eat, etc.|
|Returning||If a Migrant does not want to live abroad anymore or wants to return to their home country, they can do without any problems.||A Refugee can not return to his home country no matter how badly he wants it.|
Major Differences Between A Migrant And A Refugee
Who exactly is a Migrant?
A Migrant is any individual who has flown to another country because he wanted to or because it is his choice. A person who goes to a foreign country as a Migrant knows what he will be dealing with.
Before going, he ensures he has a home, income, and food. He knows what to expect there. When a person wants to settle abroad, he can obtain his visa under four heads: student, work, migration, and travel.
Key takeaways: Migrant
- Any individual that is settling in a foreign country because he wants to or because it is his choice is known as a Migrant.
- A Migrant can go to a foreign country with the help of four types of visa: student, migration, travel, and work.
- The decision to settle or go to a foreign country is not taken in a hurry by a Migrant. Before going, he ensures he has everything there as and when he wants. For example, a place to live, food to eat, a source of income, etc.
Who exactly is a Refugee?
A Refugee is any person who has flown to another country because of his home country’s dangerous situation, making him no longer safe there. When people move to another country, they do not know what they are dealing with.
He has no idea if he will get a place to live, food, or a source of income. Most importantly, he does not know if he will ever be able to return. When a person is going as a Refugee, he/she can only get a Refugee visa.
Key Takeaways: Refugee
- Any individual who is settling in a foreign country not because he wants to but because he has no choice. Generally, in cases like this, Refugees are no longer safe in their home countries and have to settle elsewhere.
- A Refugee can settle in a foreign country only through a Refugee visa.
- The decision to settle in a foreign country is made in a hurry by a Refugee. He has no time to figure out where he will live, what he will eat, how he will generate an income, etc.
The Contrast Between A Migrant And A Refugee
- Migrant – It can be best described as any person who plans to settle down in a foreign country because he wants to. He could want that because he thinks a better quality of life and employment opportunities exist in that particular foreign country.
- Refugee – It can be best described as any person settling down in a foreign country because circumstances did not leave him with any other choice. In all cases of Refugees, the concerned individuals are considered no longer safe in their home countries.
- Migrant – When an individual is moving to a foreign country, he can do so by applying for four different types of visa: student, work, migration, and travel. Those individuals who are migrating to foreign countries because they are pursuing or are about to pursue education there apply for a student visa. Those who have got or are about to get a job and work there apply for a work visa. Those who are permanently settling there apply for a migration visa. And those who are traveling there as tourists apply for a travel visa.
- Refugee – To settle in a foreign country as a Refugee, one can travel only by applying for a Refugee visa. This visa specializes for those seeking shelter in a foreign country because they are no longer safe in their home countries because of a crisis, violence, or conflict.
Types of visa
- Student visa: Suitable for individuals pursuing education in foreign countries.
- Work visa: Suitable for people working or finding work in foreign countries.
- Migrant visa: Suitable for people thinking of living permanently in foreign countries.
- Tourist visa: Suitable for tourists.
- Refugee visa: Suitable for Refugees seeking shelter in foreign countries.
- Migrant – The hallmark feature of these individuals that also acts as a major distinction between a Migrant and a Refugee is that these people settle in a foreign country because they desire to. They have not been forced to do so; they are doing so because it is their choice. Generally, these individuals travel abroad for jobs and better quality of life.
- Refugee – The classic feature of these individuals is that these people travel to foreign countries not because they desire to but because they have been forced to do so because of their home country’s circumstances.
Safety in home countries
- Migrant – A Migrant, in most cases, settles in a foreign country because of his choice. No conflicts or crises in the home country make an individual settle abroad as a Migrant. He is considered perfectly safe in his home country.
- Refugee – One of the notable features of settling abroad as a Refugee is that these individuals are typically not considered safe in their home country. Many crises could happen in the home country, like wars, violent conflicts, etc. The home country’s being unsafe is the main reason for migrating as Refugees.
- Migrant – When a Migrant plans to settle in another country, their decision is not taken in a hurry. In fact, the decision is made with lots of planning and evaluation of every scenario. After an individual figures everything out, only then he finalizes the decision to settle abroad.
- Refugee – Unlike Migrants, Refugees do not have the privilege of making the decision to move in peace. Their decision to settle in a foreign country is always taken in a hurry or as an emergency. This is because there is an emergency in their home countries, and they must first go somewhere else to save themselves and their families.
- Migrant – Since the decision to go to another country is not taken in a hurry; thus a Migrant gets to take their belongings or anything they like from their home country. They get to meet their families for the last time before going. They take their clothes, technological appliances, basic necessities, etc.
- Refugee – Due to an emergency and danger to their lives, Refugees usually do not get to take their belongings to their new country. And when they can collect a few of their belongings, these are generally things of basic necessity. In many cases, so many Refugees do not know if they will ever be able to see their families again.
- Migrant – When a Migrant plans to settle in a foreign country, he ensures he has planned everything out. He should be able to know what he will be dealing with when he gets there. Here pre-planning could mean planning how he will travel, his budget, where he will live, where he will work, etc. After planning everything, he only travels to settle in a new country.
- Refugee – When a Refugee is going to a new country, he has no idea what he will have to deal with there. Moreover, in most cases, Refugees were not anywhere near planning to live in a completely new country. They just had to do it to save their and their family’s lives.
- Migrant – There is greater flexibility in moving as a Migrant than as a Refugee. Sometimes, people think they have made a mistake when settling in a new country. , But unlike Refugees, these people can return back to their home countries as and when they like.
- Refugee – One of the other major disadvantages of settling as a Refugee is that, in most cases, they can not return to their home countries. If they can, they have no idea when that will happen. So they live in hopeless hope of returning when they know going back is still a danger to themselves and their families.
Migrant.Refugee: A comparison
|Safety in home countries||Yes||No|
|Returning||Certain||Full of doubt|
People often get confused with the terms Migrant and Refugee, possibly due to various similarities.
However, the major difference between a Migrant and a Refugee is that the former leave their home country because they want to seek life in a foreign country for better opportunities.
In contrast, the latter leave their home country because they are no longer safe there and have no choice but to settle in a foreign country.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Q1. What makes a Refugee settle in a foreign country?
The sole reason people leave their home countries as Refugees is that they are no longer considered safe in their home countries, and to save themselves and their families; they have no choice but to move.
Q2. In which ways can a migrant go to a foreign country?
A Migrant can travel to a foreign country in four ways: as a student, as a worker, as a tourist, and as an individual who wants to settle there permanently.
Q3. How does a Refugee decide to settle in a foreign country?
A Refugee has no time to decide how and where he will settle. The decision to settle in a foreign country is taken in a hurry for a Refugee because he has no time to figure stuff out. His only priority is to save himself and his family.
Q4. What are the significant differences between a Migrant and a Refugee?
The superior difference between the two is that the former usually travel because of their choice while the latter travels because he has no choice but to settle somewhere. Also, the former can always return to the home country, but the latter can not.
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