Who is a refugee:
A refugee is a person who is “unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of origin because of past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution, based on the person's race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
What is the difference between an immigrant and a refugee:
An immigrant voluntarily leaves his/her country of origin to work, study, or live in the U.S.
A refugee is a person in flight from a desperate situation.
The key difference is that an immigrant chooses to leave his/her country of origin. A refugee, on the other hand, is compelled to seek asylum in another country.
Who is an asylee:
Asylees are individuals who, on their own, travel to the United States and subsequently apply for/receive a grant of asylum. Asylees do not enter the United States as refugees. They may enter as students, tourists, businessmen, or even in undocumented status.
To qualify for asylum status, the person must meet the definition of a refugee and meet an application deadline. Asylum status permits the person to remain in the United States.