Unequal Access to Support and Privileges

Author(s) : Laure Sandoz

Source : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21122-6_5

Abstract:

« This chapter discusses the interplay between institutional practices and individual experiences and identifies specific “migration channels” through which immigrants obtain access to the Swiss territory and labour market. The first section draws on survey data to analyse the kind of support that recently arrived immigrants from certain countries receive when relocating to Switzerland. Employers play a major role in attracting workers to Switzerland. Yet, their relocation practices tend to favour certain nationalities, in particular workers from rich anglophone countries, while disadvantaging married women and citizens of non-EU/EFTA countries. In the second section, a qualitative analysis of the experiences of individuals moving through different migration channels reveals how the legal framework regulating each channel, as well as the support structures available to immigrants in these channels, create different resource environments associated with specific obstacles and opportunities. Being highly skilled means something very different depending on whether one comes to Switzerland as a refugee, an employee, a spouse, or a student. Yet, migrants’ stories show that individuals are not restricted to just one of these environments: given certain conditions, individuals have the agency to develop strategies in order to improve their situation, which sometimes involves navigating between channels to access new opportunities. »

Keywords

Migration channels, Relocation support, Highly skilled migration, Labour market access, Resource environments 

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