Emigrate, Immigrate or Migrate?

Let’s have a look at the differences between these three confusing words in English today.

  • To Emigrate means to move out of a country.

           My cousin emigrated from India in search of a better job.

  • To Immigrate means to come to a country.

          My cousin immigrated to the U.S. as he got a better job.

Though it is confusing, there is a memory trick that can help you remember.

Emigration is to exit, both words start with the letter ‘e’.

Immigration is to come in, both words start with the letter ‘i’.

  • To Migrate means to relocate to a different location, within or outside the national border.

          Birds migrate to the South in winter.

To judge which of these three words to use, you have to keep in mind the point of view of the sentence.

What’s the difference?

  • While it is only an individual or a family that immigrates to a country (or emigrates from it), it’s an entire population or species (like birds, fish or people) that migrate from one place to another.

Incorrect: The Jews emigrated from Europe to other parts of the word.

Correct: The Jews migrated from Europe to other parts of the word.

  • Emigration and immigration are words used for movement of people whereas migration can be used for animals as well.


Scroll to Top