English Language
The Difference Between

What is the difference between an alien and and an immigrant?

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2012-09-26 22:28:28

An alien is someone who comes to America not planning on

staying there (ex. living there). But an immigrant is someone who

comes to America planning on, or in the process of staying there

(ex. living there).

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Legal Classifications

Immigrants and Aliens. The legal terminologies are important to

know. An alien is a person who was not born in the United States

and comes into the country from outside. (Do not confuse this use

of the term "alien" with its frequent use in science fiction to

refer to people from outer space.)

After the alien enters the United States legally with the intent

to stay in the country, he or she becomes an immigrant.

Aliens admitted legally into the country for temporary periods

of time such as tourists or students are called nonimmigrant

aliens. The term legal aliens refers to both these types of


An alien whose temporary visa has expired and who remains in the

country or a person who entered the country illegally is called an

undocumented alien.

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When someone is new to a country they are called an alien. But when

they become a citizen of that country of which they are now in, the

are known as an immigrant.

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