Understanding Status and Role

Immigrating to a new country is an exciting and daunting experience for many. As an immigrant, you are faced with new surroundings, new people, and new laws. One of the most important concepts you need to understand when immigrating to a new country is the difference between status and role.

Defining Status

Status refers to your legal position in a new country. It determines the rights and privileges you are entitled to, as well as your obligations and responsibilities. Your status is determined by the type of visa or permit you hold, and it can change over time based on your circumstances.

Defining Role

Role, on the other hand, refers to the social position you occupy in a new country. It is based on factors such as your job, education, and social standing. Your role may change over time, as you become more established in your new home.

The Importance of Status

Key takeaway: When immigrating to a new country, it is important to understand the difference between status and role. Status refers to your legal position in the country and determines your rights and obligations, while role refers to your social position and can impact your social circles, activities and well-being. It is also important to note that status does not determine success, and eligibility for status is based on specific criteria rather than role.

Your status determines the legal rights and privileges you are entitled to in a new country. For example, if you are in the United States on a student visa, you are entitled to attend school, but you are not allowed to work without permission. If you are in the United States on a work visa, you are entitled to work, but you may not be eligible for certain government benefits.

Obligations and Responsibilities

Your status also determines your obligations and responsibilities in a new country. For example, if you are in the United States on a tourist visa, you are required to follow the laws of the country and may only stay for a limited amount of time. If you are in the United States on a green card, you are required to pay taxes and may be required to serve on a jury.

The Importance of Role

Social Integration

Your role in a new country is important for social integration. It determines the social circles you are a part of, the activities you participate in, and the relationships you form. Your role can also impact your mental health and well-being, as it can provide a sense of purpose and belonging.

Economic Stability

Your role in a new country is also important for economic stability. The jobs you are qualified for, your level of education, and your social standing can all impact your ability to find work and support yourself and your family.

Permanent Residency

Permanent residency is a type of status that allows an immigrant to live and work in a new country indefinitely. Depending on the country, permanent residency may also provide access to certain government benefits, such as healthcare and education. In some cases, permanent residency can also be a pathway to citizenship.

Temporary Visas

Temporary visas are another type of status that allow an immigrant to enter and stay in a new country for a specific period of time. These visas can be granted for various reasons, such as work, study, or tourism. Depending on the country, temporary visas may have specific requirements, such as proof of financial support or a job offer.


Asylum is a type of status granted to individuals who are fleeing persecution or danger in their home country. Asylum seekers must prove that they are at risk of harm if they return to their home country. If their claims are approved, they are granted asylum and are allowed to stay in the new country.

Roles in Immigration

One key takeaway from this text is understanding the difference between status and role in immigration. Status refers to an immigrant’s legal position, determining their rights, privileges, obligations, and responsibilities in a new country. Role, on the other hand, refers to an immigrant’s social position, based on factors such as their job, education, and social standing, affecting their social integration, well-being, and economic stability. It is important to note that status and role are not interchangeable, and misconceptions about them can impact an immigrant’s success in a new country.

Skilled Workers

Skilled workers are individuals who have specialized skills or education that are in demand in a new country. These workers may be eligible for work visas or permanent residency, depending on the country and their qualifications. Skilled workers can be a valuable asset to a new country, as they often contribute to the economy and fill important roles in various industries.


Students are another important group in immigration. Studying abroad can provide opportunities for personal and academic growth, as well as exposure to new cultures and ideas. Students may be eligible for student visas, which allow them to study in a new country for a specified period of time. In some cases, students may also be able to work part-time while studying.

Family Members

Family members of citizens or permanent residents may also be eligible for immigration status. Depending on the country, family members may be able to apply for family visas or sponsorship from a citizen or permanent resident. This can allow family members to reunite with loved ones and build a life in a new country.

Common Misconceptions about Status and Role

Status Determines Success

One common misconception about status and role in immigration is the idea that status determines success. While having legal status is important, it is not the only factor that determines an immigrant’s success in a new country. Factors such as education, language proficiency, and social networks can also play a significant role.

Role Determines Status

Another misconception is the idea that role determines status. While a person’s role in a new country can influence their status, it is not the only determining factor. Eligibility for certain types of status is based on specific criteria, such as education, work experience, or family relationships.

FAQs: Difference between Status and Role

What is meant by status and role?

Status refers to the social position, prestige or authority occupied by an individual or a group in a given society. This social standing is typically based on factors such as occupation, education, income, and titles. Roles, on the other hand, are the set of expected behaviors, responsibilities or duties associated with a particular position or status. They provide a definitive guide on what is expected of individuals or groups in society.

What is the main difference between status and role?

The key difference between status and role is that status is the position or rank that one occupies in society, while role is the behavior and responsibilities that come with that position. Status is externally attributed to individuals or groups, while roles are internally performed by individuals in certain positions. As such, a person’s status may change, but their roles usually stay the same.

Can a person have multiple statuses and roles?

Yes, a person can have multiple statuses and roles. For instance, a person can hold the status of parent, friend, and employee simultaneously. Each of these statuses has its own set of roles and expectations. The roles associated with each status may be entirely different, and the way a person behaves in one role may be different from how they behave in another.

Status and roles are intertwined and interdependent concepts. The status a person occupies determines the roles and responsibilities they must perform. The role, in turn, contributes to a person’s status within a particular social context. For instance, if someone occupies the status of CEO, their role is to lead the company, make strategic decisions, and maximize profits. By performing these roles effectively, the CEO enhances their status and reputation in the company and their society.

What are some examples of status and role?

Examples of status include influence, power, social class, and wealth. These statuses are often achieved through educational attainment, occupational status, or personal achievements. Examples of roles include student, teacher, parent, and boss. Each of these roles comes with its own set of expectations, duties, and responsibilities. For instance, a student’s role is to learn, while a teacher’s role is to impart knowledge and skills to their students.

How can the difference between status and role impact an individual?

The difference between status and role can greatly impact an individual’s social position, opportunities, and power. Those with high status in society are generally given more opportunities and resources to perform roles that come with that status. For instance, a person with high social status can easily access resources and support in their role as a manager, as opposed to a person with a low social status. Furthermore, the difference between status and role can also result in conflicts when one is expected to carry out a role that does not correspond with their status.

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