Emigrant vs Immigrant redirects here.
When a person emigrates, she leaves one country or region to live in another, either temporarily or permanently. When she immigrates she arrives in that other country. In other words, she emigrates from one country to immigrate to another country.
|Definition||To "emigrate" means to leave one country or region to settle in another.||To "immigrate" means to come to a country of which one is not a native, usually for permanent residence.|
Point of View in Emigration vs. Immigration
The difference between emigrant and immigrant relates to the point of view of which country is the country of origin and which is the destination country.
Immigrate vs. Emigrate Examples
The Polenski family leaves Poland in 1943 to resettle in Canada. In that scenario, all of the following sentences would be valid.
- The Polenskis immigrated to Canada in 1943.
- The Polenski family emigrated from Poland in 1943.
- "The Polenskis do not live here anymore. They emigrated to Canada in 1943." This example illustrates this idea from the point of view of someone in Poland, so the Polenskis have "moved away" from their perspective. As such, emigrate is used.
- Almost all inhabitants of the United States are descendants of immigrants.
- The Patels do not live here any more. They are emigrants because they have resettled in Hong Kong.
Both words originate from Latin — emigratus and immigratus, respectively. While emigratus referred to "moving away," immigratus referred to "moving into."