Meaning of Terms

WHO’S WHO

Asylum seeker

Someone who is fleeing persecution in their homeland, has arrived in another country, made themselves known to the authorities and exercised the legal right to apply for asylum.

Refugee

Someone whose asylum application has been successful and who is allowed to stay in another country having proved they would face persecution back home.

‘Failed’ asylum seeker

Someone whose asylum application has been turned down and is awaiting return to their country. If it is not safe for unsuccessful asylum seekers to return, they may have to stay for the time being.

Illegal immigrant

Someone who has arrived in another country, intentionally not made themselves known to the authorities and has no legal basis for being there.

Economic migrant

Someone who has moved to another country to work.

© The Refugee Council