Immigrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees

There are various reasons why people move to other countries:

  • for a new job;

  • to seek a quality education for themselves or their children;

  • to move closer to friends and relatives;

  • to keep themselves and their families safe as it is too dangerous in their home country.


Various terms are used to describe people who move to new countries:


Immigrants – These are people who leave their home country to live permanently in another country. Most immigrants are economic migrants who move to look for better jobs and better wages.


Asylum Seekers – Many people are forced to leave their home country as it is dangerous for them to live there. When they first move to another country they are called ‘asylum seekers’ as they are looking for asylum or safety in another country. There are many reasons why people need to flee from their home country. These people may be at risk of danger as their political views are different to those of the government. They may also be at risk of harm or even death due to their religious views. They may be caught up in wars taking place in their country. An asylum seeker will only have very basic rights in the country they have fled to.


Refugee – When an asylum seeker is given permission to stay in the country that they have fled to they become a refugee. An asylum seeker will only be granted refugee status if they can prove that their life will be in danger if they are forced to move back to their home country. Refugees can stay permanently in their new country and have more rights than asylum seekers. Many refugees go on to become important members of the community in their new country.

Asylum Seekers from Africa

Asylum Seekers from Syria