Migration: Quick guide

Definitions

    Migrant

    Immigrant

    Refugee

    Asylum and asylum seeker

    Illegal immigrant

    EU Citizen

More on definitions

Migrant

A Migrant is someone who leaves one country for another. Anyone seeking to work in another country is an Economic Migrant.


Other definitions
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An Immigrant is someone who comes to a country in which they were not born with the intention of settling there. Immigrants include Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Economic Migrants, EU citizens and the spouses of UK citizens.

A Refugee is someone who has come to another country, fearing or fleeing persecution in his or her home country because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.



The right of Asylum is an ancient, juridical notion in which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs, or fleeing serious harm in his or her own country, may be protected by another country.


Asylum is a fundamental right and granting it is an international obligation.

Asylum protection is given under the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.   Check out the full Convention and Protocol

The UK is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits sending someone to a country where there is a real risk that he or she will be exposed to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


Asylum seeker

A refugee becomes an Asylum Seeker as soon as he or she applies for asylum in another country. It is up to that person to prove that his or her claim is well-founded.
Check out the UK Border Agency explanation of Asylum

Refused or Failed Asylum Seeker

Someone whose application to remain in this country has been refused and is therefore liable to deportation.


Illegal immigrant

An Illegal Immigrant is someone who has entered the country evading passport controls, for example, by hiding in lorries or trains, or who has stayed on after his or her visa or leave to remain has expired.


EU Citizens

EU Citizens have the right to study, live and work in any of the member states. Some restrictions were imposed by some member states on citizens of the A8 countries  (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) at first when they joined in 2004. Citizens from Romania and Bulgaria who joined in 2007 faced similar restrictions.


Roma

Members of Roma communities in central Europe, particularly from Romania, have not always been welcomed in other member states, notably France and Italy, who have sought ways to return them to their home country.

The period 2005 – 2015 is the Decade of Roma Inclusion in Europe.
For more information on this see: Decade of Roma Inclusion in Europe 2005–2015