People migrate for many reasons, including economic, political, environmental factors, or to join a family member. This section explores these categories through case studies of real life migrants.
It is important to note that this list does not include all types of migration and that these categories are not mutually exclusive. Migrants commonly fall into more than one category and move across different categories as their circumstances and that of their home countries change. This has been termed as ‘mixed migration’. Forced and voluntary migration are often seen as separate migration categories. However, in reality it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between the two. Similarly, people who may have initially thought of their migration as temporary may decide to settle - often because of changes in immigration policy of the receiving country or the situation in their home country.
There are other categories of (mainly temporary) migrants, including students, tourists and business visitors that are not included in the case studies in this discussion.