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A refugee is a person who has been forced to flee their home country due to persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. A refugee is often afforded some sort of legal protection, either by their host country’s government, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or both.
An asylum seeker (asylee) is someone who has left their country and presented themselves at an international border in order to legally request permission to enter a country due to persecution, armed conflict, or ecological disaster. An asylee is one who has not been formally recognized as a refugee but is awaiting a decision on their asylum claim.
An immigrant/migrant is a person who chooses to move from their home country for any variety of reasons (e.g., work, education, family reunification), but not necessarily because of a direct threat of persecution or death. Immigrants can enter legally in accordance with the admission policies established by the host country.