Ask the Editor
Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor
The Difference between Immigrate and Emigrate
Friday February 23rd 2018
What is the difference between immigrate and emigrate?

Immigrate and emigrate both mean that someone is moving from one country to another. Sometimes they are used in the same way, but when they aren't it can be difficult to understand the difference.


Immigrate is usually used to mean "to come to a country to live there." Below are some examples of how immigrate is used.

  • My family immigrated to America when I was 12.
  • He immigrated to Spain last year.
  • To start a new chapter in her life, she immigrated to Canada.


Emigrate is usually used to mean "to leave a country to live elsewhere." Below are some examples of how emigrate is used.

  • My parents emigrated from Peru in the 1950's.
  • She emigrated from Israel to the U.S. a few years ago.
  • He plans to emigrate from Hungary with his siblings.


Immigrate is usually used with "to" because you immigrate to a new place. Emigrate is usually used with "from" because you emigrate from a place you already live.


I hope this helps. For more posts about words, idioms, grammar, and usage, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!