What is an economic migrant

Economic migrant

A person who leaves their country of origin for purely economic reasons that are unrelated to the definition of refugee, in search of material betterment in their livelihood.

Synonym (s)

  • Migrant for economic reasons
  • Economic refugee

Generic term (s)

Sub-term (s)

  • Migrant worker
  • Guest workers

Related term (s)

  • controlled migration
  • Economic migration

Usage note (s)

  1. Economic migrants do not fall under the criteria for refugee status, so they cannot benefit from international protection as refugees.
  2. Economic migrants are sometimes referred to as economic refugees, but this is a misuse of the term “refugee”.


  • UNHCR Master Glossary of Terms (not available in German)
  • This EMN glossary was created by the European Migration Network (EMN). The European Commission and the national contact points that make up the EMN disclaim any responsibility or liability with regard to the use of the information contained in the glossary. This also applies to the content of the specified websites.

Published by: RechtEasy.at

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