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3.7: Key Terms Defined

  • Page ID
    39494
  • Asylum seeker – those who leave the sovereign territory of one country in order to achieve refugee status in another, based upon claims of danger because of race, religion, nationality, or other pertinent identifiers.

    Brain drain – the collective loss of skills, education, training, and wealth that occurs when highly-skilled and educated people move away from a country (usually away from a relatively poor country).

    Brain gain – the collective gain of skills, education, training, and wealth that occurs when highly-skilled and educated people move into another country (usually to a relatively wealthier country).

    Brain waste – a phenomenon in which international migrants with high levels of education and/or training often are not eligible to work in their area of training due to regulations or certification requirements, resulting in a “wasted” potential in certain groups.

    Diaspora – a group of people sharing a common historical and ethnic connection to a territory, but who no longer live in that territory or country. Some members of a diaspora may have been removed from the traditional homeland for multiple generations but still identify with it as a “homeland.”

    Ecumene – human inhabited areas of Earth

    Emigrant – an individual who moves away from one country into another for a prolonged period. The definition of “prolonged” varies by country and is defined by the World Bank as minimum of one year.

    Forced migration – a type of movement in which individuals or groups are coerced into moving by an external set of forces, most notably environmental, economic, social, or political factors.

    Globalization – all those processes, technologies, and systems that result in greater connections, communication, and movement among increasingly distant people and places on Earth.

    Guest worker – someone without legal permanent status who has been granted permission to reside in a country’s territory in order to work for a specific set of time on a particular kind of work.

    Highly skilled migration – patterns movement by those with skills that are in high demand on the global market. Examples include nurses, doctors, IT specialists, actors/artists, and athletes who tend to enjoy greater levels of movement across borders than others.

    Highly skilled migration – patterns movement by those with skills that are in high demand on the global market. Examples include nurses, doctors, IT specialists, actors/artists, and athletes who tend to enjoy greater levels of movement across borders than others.

    Immigrant – an individual who moves for a prolonged period to another country. The definition of “prolonged” varies by country. In 2016 there were 246 million immigrants in the world.

    Internally Displaced People (IDP) – those who have moved or been forced to move from a homeland for the same reasons as refugees but have not crossed an international boundary and do not have refugee status.

    Laws of migration – generalizations about international migration as detailed by nineteenth-century demographers

    Migration – a permanent move to a new location

    Net migration – the difference between the number of immigrants and the number of emigrants in any given year

    Points system – a national immigration policy that seeks to attract people with a specific set of skills, experience, and job training to satisfy unmet demand among those currently in the country. Regardless of origin country, anyone with the prescribed set of skills, linguistic ability, and education may apply to migrate to that country if they have acquired enough points to do so. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and England all have a points system.

    Pull Factor – those forces that encourage people to move into a particular place

    Push Factor – those forces that encourage people to move away from a particular place

    Refugee – an individual who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable, or unwilling, to avail themselves of the protection of that country. An individual who has been granted “refugee” status is afforded a certain set of rights and privileges, mostnotably, the right not to be forcibly returned to the country of origin.

    Remittances – money sent “home” by international migrants. Remittances represent the largest single source of external funding in many developing countries. The global figure for 2016 was US$600 billion.

    Return migration – a return of a migrant to the country or place of origin

    Transnationalism – exchanges and interactions across borders that are a regular and sustained part of migrants’ realities and activities that transcend a purely “national” space.

    Undocumented migrants – those inside of a country without proper authorization or proof of residence.

    Visa – the legal permission granted by a receiving country to those seeking to enter. Examples include tourist, temporary work, and student visas. A visa is different from a passport.

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