EU migrant retention and the temporalities of migrant staying: a new conceptual framework

Helena Hof*, Simon Pemberton, Emilia Pietka-Nykaza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Challenges of weak economic growth, population decline, and labour shortages led many countries across the world to introduce immigration policy changes in order to attract foreign migrants. This paper focuses on Japan (Tokyo) and the UK (Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow) given common concerns over long term demographic trends and the burgeoning lack of labour supply in particular sectors of the economy through use of foreign labour. The paper shifts the focus from efforts focused on attracting and selecting foreign labour to the retention of such individuals. Drawing on research with EU migrants in Japan and the UK, the paper highlights how staying may occur after a period of mobility, rather than only being of relevance to those who never left their home region. The paper develops a new conceptual framework, which helps to identify different dimensions that shape migrant staying as a temporal process. It is highlighted how staying is shaped incrementally and facilitated or undermined over time in relation to the reciprocal importance of diverse assets, anchors and the changing biographies of migrants and the places in which they live – as well as the relational aspects of migrants’ ‘linked lives’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Number of pages18
JournalComparative Migration Studies
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2021


  • migrant staying
  • temporal
  • assets
  • anchors
  • linked lives
  • retention
  • biographies


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