The Difference Between a Refugee and a Resident Alien

A residential alien is basically a foreigner who happens to be a permanent resident in whatever country he or she resides or lives but lacks legal citizenship. For one to be under this kind of classification in the United States, one needs to either be a green card holder or have had it in the previous calendar year. You can also be considered to be a resident alien in the United States if you have stayed there for more than thirty one (31) days during the very year and also having been in the United States for a proximately one hundred and eighty three (183) days over a period of three years including the current year.

When one is considered to be either a resident or a non resident alien, he or she is normally faced with both advantages and disadvantages .For instance, one who is considered to be a resident alien has privileges like, he or she is allowed to use foreign tax credits, a privilege that a non-resident does not enjoy. However, an individual considered as a resident alien is normally subjected to same taxes like an American citizen, whereas a non-resident alien can only pays tax on the income which he or she generated while in the United States exclusive of the capital gains.

Generally a residential alien is someone who is legally allowed to remain in a country that is foreign to him or her. They have the same rights just like the other citizens in America at times this kind of a person is a times called a legal alien of that particular country. This is at times a very broad category and it includes guest workers, tourists and others like student who hold visas. There are no differences in the ways in which these group of people can access the health care system .An alien with a temporary or permanent place to live in a foreign nation can considered to be a resident alien .On the other hand a visiting alien may be referred to as a nonresident alien in that country.

A refugee on the other hand is a person who has been made to relocate from his or her country of origin to seek refuge elsewhere (Leininger & McFarland, 2005). Under the convention of United Nations which relate to the status of refugees, a refugee is basically defined as an individual who is running away from his or her mother country courtesy of well founded anxiety and fear of being treated badly because reasons that relate to religion ,race, nationality, political issues , membership of a certain social or economic group and he or she is unable or unwilling to seek protection in his or her own country .The whole concept of refugees was basically expanded by a convention by various countries and by some other regional meetings and conventions in Latin America and Africa to include individuals who had ran away from their countries of origin because of violence and war. Refugee children and women are also another group of a subsection of this said vulnerable group which needs special care and attention (Carlier, J. 1997).

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