Migrants and immigrants: What are the differences?
In this article, we briefly discuss the definitions and differences, changes that have had effect on the movement and resettlement and life of Iranians during last four decades away from Iran. We welcome any real-life story and photos for keeping this discussion alive and suggestions that could help us to continue and open many issues relevant to these topics for Iranian.
Immigrants and migrants usually are in search of new conditions and environment which would offer a more favourable economic condition to live or work. Detailed classification and historical approach to this as how some of the countries have been formed by movement of people to those countries is outside the scope of this article.
During the last century, after each world war, there were flood of displaced and homeless people that were settled in other countries in search of employment opportunities. The western countries and richer economies due to the shortage of labour force were welcoming these newcomers with almost no control in place. During the past decade, due to various reasons, there has been fundamental changes in laws and rules for the control in numbers of immigrants. Many harsher and more financial conditions were implemented in the host countries to reduce and control the immigration and the number of migrants.
Again, going through particulars of each countries will be outside scope of this brief paper, we however hope that will be expand on this issue again, in order to help most our readers with further information in the future.
Who is an immigrant?
An immigrant is someone who makes a conscious decision to leave his or her home and move to a foreign country with the intention of settling there. Immigrants often go through a lengthy vetting process to immigrate to a new country. Many become lawful permanent residents and eventually citizens.
Immigrants research their destinations, explore employment opportunities, and study the language of the country where they plan to live. Most importantly, they are free to return home whenever they choose.
Who is a migrant?
A migrant is moving from place to place (within his or her country or across borders), usually for economic reasons such as seasonal work. Like immigrants, they were not forced to leave their native countries because of persecution or violence, but rather are seeking better opportunities.
Main Conditions for being Accepted as Immigrant and Migrants:
The developed countries over last few decades have set certain conditions for accepting immigrants and migrants that will in line with their economies, these could be.
Finance – People with certain level of wealth will be accepted as an immigrant to transfer their capital and create employment and job opportunity.
Skills and Expertise – If they have shortage of certain skill or just sometimes manual labour, they may accept migrants under certain condition purpose that they set for this purpose.
Iranian Immigrants and Migrants after the Uprising of Feb1979:
After the fall of late shah in Feb 1979, many Iranian pro-Pahlavi regime either had already liquid assets abroad or they liquidated their wealth in Iran and brought assets and started their lives in the other countries as immigrant. They were mostly satisfying the moderate financial condition which was existed then. The financial conditions have significantly changed after the flood of immigrant from former Soviet Union dis-integration in 1990s.
Those Educated and skilled Iranians who were critical of the regime, they were often asked directly or indirectly by hard-line regime to leave Iran if they cannot tolerate the iron fist of the IRI rules on democratic rights of people.
By the turn of millennium, Iran was facing ‘Brain Drained’, and during the Iran-Iraq significant number of skilled and educated Iranians fled from Iran due to the unbearable condition of the war and uncertainty which followed after the war.