Copyright

When to Use Emigrate or Immigrate

Instructor: Charles Kinney, Jr.
There has been a lot of news about people emigrating and immigrating, but these words can be confusing to use. In this lesson, we will look at the correct usage of both words and examine different word forms of both emigrate and immigrate.

In The News

There has been a lot of talk in the news about immigration and emigration. People coming in boats, leaving a war, coming for work, leaving for a better life. But wait, who's going where, or are they coming? What is the difference between 'emigrate' and 'immigrate'?

The basic difference between emigrate and immigrate is the same as go and come. It depends how you look at the meaning of the sentence using the term. Let's look at the words a little deeper.

Emigrate

Emigrate is a verb, which is an action word. 'Emigrate' means to leave one's country to go and live in another. You use this word when someone is departing their country.

  • Joe has decided to emigrate from the United States to Canada. (Joe will leave the United States and go to live in Canada)
  • It is difficult to emigrate and leave your family behind. (It's difficult to move to another country)
  • Many people emigrate to find a better life. (Many people leave their country and move to another one)

A person leaving a country (but not a tourist) is emigrating to another country.
passport

Immigrate

Immigrate is also a verb. 'Immigrate' means to come into another country to live. You use this words when someone is arriving to live in a new country.

  • You must have the proper papers when you immigrate to a country. (when you come into a country)
  • The community center will have a meeting to welcome people who immigrated to our city. (people who came into the country and now live in a new city)
  • When people immigrate to the USA, New York City has traditionally been a center. (when people move to and arrive in the USA)

A person arriving in a country (also not a tourist) is immigrating to that country.
passport2

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support