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Migration, emigration and immigration - what's the difference?

Explanation of terms migration, emigration and immigration. Make it easier to find the service you need by finding out what is meant by each of the terms.

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Migration, emigration and immigration - what's the difference?

The term «migration» refers to the movement of people outside their place of habitual residence, across international borders or within a state. Migration combines two concepts: «emigration» and «immigration». Both words come from the Latin emigratus and immigratus, respectively. While emigratus means «moving out of», immigratus means «moving into». The difference between emigration and immigration is which country is the country of origin and which is the country of destination.


People migrate for a variety of reasons, but the main ones are the following:

  • Improving the quality of life

  • Finding the best place to work

  • The desire to be fulfilled in a more developed country

  • Avoiding conflicts of a military or other nature

  • Opportunity to get a quality education

  • The desire to reunite with relatives


What is the difference between emigration and immigration?

Emigration is the process of citizens leaving a country. This term is applied to a country that is left for the purpose of changing the place of residence. For example, emigration from Ukraine means leaving the territory of Ukraine.


Immigration is the process of entering a country for temporary or permanent residence. The term is applied to the country to which one moves to live. For example, immigration to Germany means that a person establishes a new place of residence on German territory.


For a simpler understanding of the differences between the terms "emigration" and "immigration", it is important to know that emigration is an exit, while immigration is an entry.


Types of immigration

Migration experts distinguish several classifications. Conventionally, immigration can be divided into political and economic. From the point of view of country legislation, immigration can be legal and illegal. It can also be classified depending on the purpose of the move. The most popular is business immigration, which is divided into 3 types:

  • The Investor Programme is the preferred option due to the absence of additional requirements for passing an exam, certain education or age. In case of using such a programme, the time for reviewing documents is reduced.

  • Self-employment - requires that the applicant has achievements in sports, cultural or scientific activities. In this way of immigration, there is no welfare check, but the fact that the applicant has the means to settle in a new place of residence is checked.

  • Programme for entrepreneurs - requires a preliminary interview, confirmation of the level of professionalism and the ability to organise business activities in the state. In addition, start-up capital is required for business development.


Immigration to the European Union

Today, there are several popular ways to migrate to the EU, but the most popular is repatriation, which means returning to your historical homeland. The governments of some EU countries, such as Bulgaria, Romania and Poland, provide an opportunity for descendants of citizens to obtain a passport under a simplified procedure. The main requirement for the applicant is documentary evidence of kinship with a representative of the chosen EU country.


Simplified repatriation procedure, eliminating the need for repatriation:

  • invest substantial sums of money in the state's economy;

  • reside in the country for a long time;

  • pass an exam on knowledge of the state language, history and culture;

  • prove their own solvency and the legitimacy of the origin of funds.

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