Immigrants’ Intentions – Leaning Towards Remigration or Naturalization?

Author(s) : Ilka Steiner

Source :


« Today’s patterns of migration move on a continuum from long-term and permanent to increasingly temporary and fluid. In this context, it is central to understand immigrants’ intentions with respect to naturalization and remigration, not least because these intentions summarize the respondent’s attitude towards the migration experience. Using data from the Migration-Mobility Survey, this chapter tests in a multinomial logistic regression the effect of four sets of factors (demographics, transnational ties, feasibility, and integration) on four types of intentions: naturalization, settlement, remigration, and naturalization and remigration in conjunction. The results show that 34% of the recently arrived migrants in Switzerland express naturalization intentions, 34% settlement intentions and 26% remigration intentions. Although the first two types are largely explained by social integration, remigration intentions are determined by a weak labour market and social integration. However, the relationship between the level of integration and immigrants’ intentions is more complex because for 6% of the sample, both remigration and naturalization present an option. Finally, the chapter emphasizes how a high educational attainment fosters the migrant’s agency to choose whatever migratory trajectory they desire to follow, despite the more restrictive migration regime that Switzerland has introduced for non-EU/EFTA nationals. »
Keywords: Recent immigrants, Labour market integration, Social integration, Agency, Settlement 



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