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Migrant, Refugee & Asylum Seeker: What’s the Difference?

A migrant is…

someone who chooses to leave their country to seek a better life. They choose where they migrate to and they are able to return whenever they like.

A refugee is…

any person 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 forced outside their country of nationality and is unable to seek its protection.

An asylum seeker is…

a person who is seeking protection as a refugee and is still waiting to have his/her claim assessed. Between 70–90% of asylum seekers who have reached Australia by boat are typically found to be genuine refugees.


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