What Motivates People to Emigrate?

Deciding to move from one country to another is not something that most people do on a whim. It is a major decision to up sticks and travel to another country to set down roots, particularly if you are moving to a place where they speak a different language and have a completely different culture to what you are used to. So, why do people do it? What motivates individuals to emigrate to another country.

The reality is that the motivation for emigration is different for everyone and really depends on a person’s individual circumstances. Some people will think about it for many years, while others will have no choice but to move to another country because of issues in their own country. Then there are those who emigrate because of an opportunity that they are given but weren’t expecting, such as a job. Below are some of the top motivators for emigration.

To Escape Persecution

In some countries, people may be targeted or persecuted for any number of reasons. For example, in some countries it is illegal to be gay. Others might leave a country because they are fearful for their lives based on their religious or political beliefs.

To Escape War

Wars and conflicts in some countries cause civilians to feel unsafe. They might decide that the only way to protect themselves and their family members is to move to peaceful part of the world.

To Escape Poverty

The living conditions in some parts of the world are incredibly low, and those who are struggling to get by might be tempted by the opportunities for higher wages and better standards of living in another country. If there are no jobs and food is scarce in the place where you live, you might feel your only option is to move.

For Love

Love is a big motivator for emigration. Some people will meet each other on vacation in another part of the world and will strike up a long-distance relationship once they both return home. These days it is also possible to meet people online, where a relationship will develop from regular communication with each other. A decision might be made for one person to make the move to live in the other person’s country.

To Be with Family

If one member of the family has made the move to another country and is living a good life, it is not uncommon for others to want to follow suit.

For Employment

Sometimes, an employee will be offered the opportunity to transfer to another branch of their company somewhere else in the world. Employees with specific skills might also be sought out when a business struggles to hire workers from their own country.

To Escape Environmental Issues

People who live in parts of the world that are being negatively impacted by climate change, might seek to move to a relatively stable part of the world. For example, if their home has been ravaged by floods or landslides, they might decide that moving to another country would be safer.


As you can see, there are many different reasons to move to a new country. For those moving from one European country to another, the issue is relatively straightforward, particularly when moving within the Eurozone where freedom of movement is permitted. However, if you are planning to move to a country like the United States, you are going to find the process more complicated and much more lengthy. The immigration law experts at Graham Adair recommend seeking professional advice as this will ensure that your application process goes as smoothly as possible.

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