There are two types of lists that involve entering or exiting the country. It’s really easy to understand.
Immigration: When someone enters a country. They are coming IN.
Emigration: When someone leaves a country. They are EXITING.
When a person sails from England, they are emigrating from England, and immigrating into the United States, BUT if they are sailing from the U.S. to England, they are emigrating from the U.S. and immigrating into England!
Get it! I told you it was easy.
Why do you need to know this? Because separate lists are made for those immigrating or emigrating and are kept in different places. The lists of those immigrating are kept in the country to which they entered. The list of those emigrating are kept by the country from which they left.
So, “E before I” means a person had to exit (emigrate) one country before they could enter (immigrate) into another.
Now, I want to complicate the issue a little further and tell you that in order to search for your family, you should investigate all you can find in the arrival country, the “I,” before you search the country from which he exited, the “E.”
So, it is “E” before “I” when you’re talking about the terms, but it’s “I” before “E” when you’re doing the searching! Got it?