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The economic benefits to immigrants of taking jobs in ethnic workplaces, relative to the open economy, are heavily debated. We examine longitudinally differences across immigrant categories in how the choice of ethnic or non-ethnic workplace influences the ethnic composition of social networks and how these factors impact immigrants’ economic success. Using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada, with data 6 months, 2 years, and 4 years after arrival, we find support for both sides of the ethnic economy debate when it is qualified by immigrant category. While economic immigrants benefit from non-ethnic workplaces, family immigrants face economic penalties in the open economy and do better in ethnic workplaces. We argue that policies sorting immigrants into visa categories do much of the work of leading them into segmented paths of incorporation.