Difference between Immigrate and Emigrate

Emigrate means to leave one location, such as one’s native country or region, to live in another. Immigrate means to move into a non-native country or region to live. Migrate refers to a temporary movement of the animals or birds from one geographic location to another, due to seasonal changes. The words, immigrate and emigrate are originated from the word migrate, which also refers to the permanent movement of people. Emigrate is not an alternative spelling of immigrating. Emigrate means to leave a place, such as a country of origin, to settle in another location. The point of destination or arrival is important when we talk about immigration, but the point of departure is significant in the case of emigration.

The words immigrate and emigrate both lies under the umbrella term of migrate which means “to move from one place or country to another in the search of work or better living conditions.” Due to the very reason, there is a confusion with respect to their usage. An immigrant is “a person who has moved to another country, usually for permanent residence.” While immigrate means entering a new country and settling there permanently. An emigrant, on the other hand, is “someone who leaves a country or region.”

Difference between Immigrate and Emigrate –


  • Immigrate implies to come to reside in a foreign country permanently. Immigrate means to enter and settle in a different country, for the rest of life, which is not your native one.
  • The word immigrate refers to permanently settling into a country, after leaving the native one, due to reasons like war, conflicts, job opportunities, or anything else. On immigration an individual moves to another country, which is not native to him for lifelong residence.
  • The process of shifting of people to a country is called as immigration, and the ones who immigrate are known as an immigrant in the host country, i.e. the country which adopts the citizens of another country.
  • Immigrate concentrates on the new country, in which the person enters.
  • Example: Immigration rules are very strict.


  • Emigrate means to exit or leave the home country to permanently shift to another country. Emigrate refers to a situation when a person is permanently leaving his native country, to reside in another country.
  • The word ’emigrate’ means to go away from a country permanently, so as to settle in another one. We use the word emigrate to express a condition when a person leaves his native place and resides in another country for the rest of his/her life.
  • The process is known as emigration, and the people who move from one country to another are known as an emigrant in the home country.
  • Emigrate stresses on the country which a person exit (i.e. his/her homeland), to settle in the new one.
  • Example: He left with no choice except to emigrate.