Immigration is the act of settling into a country or relocating into another place, whether permanently or temporarily. In contrast to a visitor, tourist or traveler, an immigrant is someone who plans to permanently reside in a certain country. Immigration in the modern sense is defined as the transfer of people from one nation to another, in which they are not permanent residents or citizens of that place. Immigration, unlike short term visitors such as tourists cannot be considered immigrants.
Immigration is often related to different criteria such as citizenship (which is the primary known reason why most people migrate), passports, law of nationality, and permanent border controls. Citizens of a certain country are bestowed by an immutable right of residence, while immigrants usually are subject to the conditions of the immigration law. This paper will discuss the different causes of immigration, as well as the barriers and different concepts to immigration. It will also provide global statistics on the different cases of immigration.
Causes of Immigration There are different factors that cause migration in different countries. One of these is the economic factor. Labor migration is usually caused by the difference in wage rates. There is a greater chance of having a higher income in a more developed countries compared with poor or developing countries. The idea of escaping from poverty is a great factor that can influence one’s notion of relocating to another country. Migrants went to other countries because they can be able to send remittances to their families back home.
Natural or environmental factors are also a factor that can influence one’s view regarding immigration. Natural disasters that usually visit a place can trigger its citizens to look for a safer place where they can continue their source of living. For some of the immigrants, education becomes the primary factor regarding their migration. Some countries have schools that offer a higher quality of education that is why more and more students tend to go in those countries.
Retirement migration is also another factor because some senior citizens opted to relocate to other lower cost countries at their old age. This is because they sometimes find solace and peace of mind in a certain place, such as Spain, where most of the retired senior citizens from Britain chose to spend their retirement. Cultural or health related reasons become the primary justifications for some people who want to relocate to other place. Other factors include political reasons like escape from dictatorship.
Still others justify their immigration using personal reasons like to be with their loved ones. A very few cases of immigrants reasons out that they want to immigrate to other country in a case of transferred patriotism. Some move to other countries because of criminal reasons like escaping an arrest from the country they were from. Barriers to Immigration Aside from the legal issues of immigration, natural barriers can also be very powerful.
Leaving a country means leaving everything he/she has been familiar with all his/her life – family, friends, other relatives, culture, and support network. The need of asset liquidation often carries a large cost. The idea of going home is indeed a hard thing to do, but being in another country proved to be another problem. Confusions and uncertainties follows which includes finding a new job, a new place to stay, new language, new culture, and new norms. There is also a possible issue of racism. These barriers are known to limit international immigration.
Global Statistics of Immigration Immigrants usually go to a higher income country because financial benefits are greater in higher income countries than in those who have lower income. This is according to the Report of the Secretary-General on International Migration and Development which states that over 90 million immigrants opted to stay in high-come countries. The states that 91 million migrants in 2005 are in high-income developed countries. On the other hand, those countries with lower-middle income rates have 51 million migrants.
The United States have the highest immigrants among any other countries in the world, with 39 million people going into that country. Moreover, immigrants that are known as the “labor force” immigrants are usually found in Middle East countries, the highest of which is the United Arab Emirates amounting to 90%, followed by 86% in Qatar, 82% in Kuwait, and 64% in Oman. It is also important to note that immigration does not only happen from poor to rich countries. According to statistics, about one third of international immigrants move from one developing country to another.