Difference between Immigration and Emigration| Immigration vs Emigration

‘Emigration’ and ‘immigration’ are two words you might have come across quite often. It is possible that these words confused you a little. The main reason behind this being the similarities in spellings and pronunciations. The English language is slightly tricky in this aspect. There are multiple pairs of words which confuse users of the language. Learning what they mean and how they differ in their usage is what will help all language learners to construct error-free sentences and speak fluently.

Table of Contents

Table Summarising the Difference between Emigration and Immigration

Immigration Emigration
Meaning Change of a person’s residence to a new country where they are not natives or possess citizenship. Leaving a person’s country of citizenship to settle in another country

Used as a noun.

Example Strict immigration laws can prevent people from relocating to the US. One of the major reasons for emigration is the lack of employment opportunities.

Meanings of Emigration and Immigration

Though both terms sound the same, they mean totally different things. Immigration is the term that refers to a change of a person’s residence to a new country in which they have no citizenship rights. Immigration can be based on the idea of seeking refuge/work in another country, or family reunification. The process of immigration can be difficult, and involves many factors such as the skill set required for the job, age restriction, and waiting periods.

Emigration is the process in which people leave their country of citizenship to live in another country. There are many reasons why someone might want to emigrate, of which one of them would be to start a new life in another country where there are more opportunities.

Examples for Immigration and Emigration

The following examples illustrates the difference between the two words:

  • Immigration laws differ from one country to another.
  • The closure of the coal industry over the last few decades has resulted in high unemployment rates and emigration from our islands.


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