What is the difference between a migrant and a refugee?
A migrant is a person who moves away from his or her place of local or country of residence temporarily or permanently for a variety of reasons including better living conditions and economic opportunities. For example, persons in KSA who came by choice on a work visa and stayed in the country for many years.
A refugee (as described below) may also leave his/her country seeking better economic opportunities at first, but find themselves in a situation which prevents them from returning to their country, namely, due to a high risk for their safety which may amount to their persecution. The risk can be due to a general insecurity caused by war and conflict or individual risk of persecution because of the person’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group.
Who can seek asylum?
Any person who is outside their country of origin and is afraid or unwilling to return because of possible danger of suffering serious harm for reasons related to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group; or is at risk of cruel punishment, torture or death, can apply for asylum. UNHCR will assess each asylum application before deciding to register any case. According to the office’s current procedures, not all applicants will be eligible for registration.