What is migration?

Migration is the movement of individuals or groups of people in a geographic and social space, associated with temporary or permanent changes in their place of residence. The reasons for such movement are varied, and therefore migration can be divided into several categories.


Foreign or international migration involves the movement of people across the borders of sovereign states, associated with a permanent or temporary change of residence. In contrast, internal migration is the movement of people within one state.


Based on voluntariness, we can talk about voluntary migration or forced migration. In the case of voluntary migration, the reason may be employment or education. Forced migration involves the involuntary departure from one’s country of origin due to political and social problems, war conflicts, natural disasters, serious existential and economic problems, or other long-term crisis situations.


Legal and therefore regular migration involves crossing the border of a country with a valid travel document, as well as valid visas and permits if required for entry into the country. Its opposite is illegal migration, which is the unauthorized crossing of a country’s border without valid travel documents, visas, or residence permits, or unauthorized stay on the territory of a country after the validity of documents, visas, or residence permits has expired.


We can also encounter circular or round-trip migration. This allows migrants to spend some time abroad and work without increasing permanent migration. It is a flow of migrants from third countries to the EU and from the EU, which has a repetitive character. An example is seasonal employment, education, or professional training and implementation of a research project.


Temporary migration is migration with a specific motivation or purpose with the intention of returning to the country of origin later.


In the context of migration, we may also encounter the term migration balance, which represents the difference between the number of immigrants and the number of emigrants. It is therefore the migration increase or decrease in a given state.


You can learn something about the history of migration from this video on the Dejepis Inak YouTube channel.


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