Eureka: What is exactly an immigrant? by Akli Hadid

migran01_400Now that leaders around the world are talking about deporting illegal immigrants and restricting immigration, what exactly is an immigrant?

Roughly, there are seven types of foreign nationals that can reside in your country. Such foreign nationals can move from one category to another during their stay in your country, such as someone who came as a student, found employment, then married a local. Others come as students and start businesses, dropping their studies, while others come as tourists or short-term students and overstay their visa, while still others did not have authorization to enter your country, and came by hiding in a car or vessel that entered the country legally.

Now to the different categories of immigrants.

Type 1: Foreign government officials and dignitaries

They used to be the most common form of immigrant, and it’s safe to say they are now among the least common type of immigrant. Governments, armies or state-owned businesses can send dignitaries or officials to work in your country. It’s difficult to find sub-categories as some of them can be quite blurry: in the United States embassy staff can not assist local business or find business opportunities and can only serve as go-betweens and there’s a clear line between business, the military and government. In East Asia for example the line between diplomacy, business and the military is a lot more blurred, that is you can have an army official who has an office at the embassy but also actively seeks clients for his country’s mobile phone company or construction company among others. The length of stay varies from dignitary to dignitary and from country to country. African and Middle Eastern states are famous for sending dignitaries to a foreign country for a lifetime, while other countries like to change their rosters frequently.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!


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