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Living within temporally thick borders: IT professionals’ experiences of Swedish immigration policy and practice
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2016 (English)In: Journal of ethnic and migration studies, ISSN 1369-183X, E-ISSN 1469-9451Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper challenges the claim that highly skilled professionals are offered almost seamless mobility and a comprehensive set of rights. Focusing on highly skilled professionals in Sweden’s information technology industry, it argues that just like the lower skilled, the highly skilled may experience a range of insecurities to do with their immigration status. It explores these insecurities by conceptualising border crossing as a temporal process that begins with the submission of a work permit application and ends with permanent status (or migrant departure) and which, consequently, spans several years. More pointedly, the paper demonstrates that some highly skilled migrants experience several moments of waiting in relation to their admission, labour market access and settlement. These moments of waiting have spatial and temporal consequences in terms of temporary losses of mobility rights, elongated pathways to citizenship, insecurity of presence and feelings of living in limbo. Importantly, the paper shows that the practices of government institutions are every bit as important as legal frameworks in producing these moments of waiting and that it is therefore necessary to extend the analysis of migration management beyond policy analysis in order to more fully appreciate the situation of the highly skilled.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Highly skilled migration, migration management, borders, time, waiting
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132183DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2016.1200966OAI: diva2:950192
Labour migrant management through strategies of bordering - A comparative study of Sweden and the United Kingdom
Swedish Research Council, 2013-46339-107809-35
Available from: 2016-07-28 Created: 2016-07-28 Last updated: 2016-07-28

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