WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN IMMIGRANT, AN ASYLUM SEEKER AND A REFUGEE?

An immigrant is any person that has left their country of origin to live in another country. Immigrants may have left their country of origin for various reason, for example, to study abroad or to find a job because they couldn’t make a living in their country of origin. A refugee is an immigrant who has left their country of origin because of war or persecution. However, before being officially called a refugee, a person must go through the asylum process in which a state will try to establish if it is true that a person is fleeing because of war or persecution and therefore needs protection. When a person is in the asylum process they are called an asylum seeker. If it is decided that a person is fleeing because of war or persecution, then they will be recognized as a refugee and are entitled to stay in that state until the threat in their country of origin is over, they will receive support for their living and to integrate. This is the official use of the terms immigrant, asylum seeker and refugee. However, the term refugee is widely used by members of the public, NGOs and other services to describe people fleeing war or persecution, whether or not they have been officially recognized. Therefore, if an NGO or service is offering support for refugees, it does not necessarily mean they only support recognized refugees .