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Asylum Seekers

Last Updated: Thursday January 20 2005 12:33 GMT

Asylum seekers and immigrants - who's who?

Asylum seekers leave their homes and move to other countries, where they feel they will be protected.

Asylum seeker
In the UK it's someone who has made a claim for asylum and is waiting to hear if they will be allowed to stay in this country. They must be over 18.

Bogus asylum seeker
Someone who pretends that they left their home to escape danger when really they moved countries to get a better job and improve their lives. It would be safe for them to go home if they wanted to.

Economic migrant
Someone who left their country to get a better job and earn more money. Most bogus asylum seekers are really economic migrants.

Immigrant
Someone who leaves their home country and goes to another country to stay there permanently.

Illegal immigrant
Anyone who enters the UK by breaking the rules on immigration. They might use false papers or say they are coming on holiday when really they are coming to the UK to live. People who come into the UK by hiding in trains or lorries are illegal immigrants.

Overstayer
Someone who had permission to stay in the UK but didn't follow the rules they were set. They might have come as a student but not gone home at the end of their course. If they get caught, they can be sent back to their home country.

Refugee
Someone whose application for asylum was accepted and is allowed to stay in the UK permanently.