Migrants, refugees, foreigners...

Migrants, refugees, foreigners...

A migrant is a person who leaves one country and moves to another country for a minimum period of three months, with the exception of reasons such as vacation, visiting friends, work trips, and the like. A migrant becomes an emigrant for their country of origin and an immigrant for the receiving country. The Slovak legal system does not use the term migrant, but instead uses the term foreigner.


The OSN distinguishes between two groups of migrants based on the length of stay. A short-term migrant is a person who moves to another country other than their country of permanent residence for a period of at least three months and less than one year. A long-term migrant is a person who moves to another country other than their country of permanent residence for a minimum of one year.


In relation to migration, which you can read more about in our previous article, there are several categories of migrants that one may encounter. These categories include economic migrants and environmental migrants. An economic migrant is a person who migrates for economic reasons, such as better living or working opportunities. For the vast majority of economic migrants, this occurs through legal means of migration.


Environmental migration is becoming very relevant in connection with global climate change. In this case, it involves the temporary or permanent relocation of residents from an area affected by sudden or progressive environmental changes that adversely affect their lives or living conditions. Examples include long droughts, floods, or rising sea levels, among others. Environmental migrants are thus forced to leave their usual homes, whether temporarily or permanently. They can migrate to another part of their country or abroad.


Anyone who is not a citizen of the Slovak Republic is considered a foreigner. Foreigners also include citizens of EU member states, the European Economic Area, and the Swiss Confederation.


A refugee is a person who has legitimate concerns about persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political reasons, or membership in a particular social group. Due to these concerns, they cannot or do not want to return to their country of origin or seek protection from that country. In Slovak legal system, the term refugee has been replaced by the term asylum seeker and asylum seeker.


An asylum seeker is a foreigner who has declared on the Slovak Police Force unit that they are seeking asylum in the Slovak Republic. An asylum represents a form of protection against persecution. It is granted to a person recognized as a refugee under the Convention on the Legal Status of Refugees. Asylum is granted by the country in which the refugee applied for it. In Slovakia, the Migration Office of the Ministry of the Interior decides on granting asylum. Asylum may also be granted for humanitarian reasons, but there is no legal entitlement to this form of protection. This form of protection is also granted for the purpose of family reunification.


You can learn more about the reasons for migration in this video.


Source: Aj my sme tu doma, IOM Medzinárodná organizácia pre migráciu