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Return migration and ethnicity

Migration A–Z


  1. Takeyuki Tsuda

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm454

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Tsuda, T. 2013. Return migration and ethnicity. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Return migration refers to first-generation immigrants who move back to their country of origin after a period of living abroad, which can last from a few years to decades (see Gmelch 1980; Long & Oxfeld 2004; Markowitz & Stefansson 2004). The reasons for return migration are quite varied. Partly because of the increased speed and lower cost of international travel in a globalized world, the amount of temporary, sojourner migration may be on the rise. Many economic labor migrants intend to live abroad for only a limited amount of time to work and earn as much money as possible and then return home. Others are admitted by receiving governments on temporary visas (work visas or guest-worker programs) and are required to repatriate after their visa expires. Host country governments have also sometimes implemented policies to encourage immigrants to return home, especially for those who were admitted as guest workers (Rogers 1981; Dustmann et. al. 1996). Asylum-seekers may be forced to return if their application for asylum is rejected by the host government. Likewise, undocumented immigrants may also be apprehended and forcibly deported.


  • immigration;
  • labor supply;
  • ethnocentrism;
  • poverty;
  • rights