E.g., 02/23/2024
E.g., 02/23/2024
Temporary Workers

Temporary Workers

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Temporary worker programs and the treatment of migrant workers have gained increased international attention. In some countries, the temporary worker system acts as a transition to permanent immigration. Other countries have highly regulated temporary worker systems with no pathway to permanent immigration. The research here examines temporary worker programs, policies that bridge from temporary to permanent status, and efforts by sending-country governments to protect their workers overseas.

Recent Activity

Cover image for A New Way Forward for Employment-Based Immigration
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Julia Gelatt and Muzaffar Chishti
Photo of returning Filipino migrant workers.
Articles
Image of USCIS employees at work
Articles
A Syrian woman in Turkey
Graphic image of man's hand touching screen with word skills
Commentaries
July 2023
By  Kate Hooper, Jeanne Batalova and Julia Gelatt
A busy street in Old Montreal
Cover image for Migration Narratives in Northern Central America
Reports
June 2023
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Aaron Clark-Ginsberg, Alejandra Lopez and Alejandro Vélez Salas

Pages

Cover image for A New Way Forward for Employment-Based Immigration
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Julia Gelatt and Muzaffar Chishti
Cover image for Migration Narratives in Northern Central America
Reports
June 2023
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Aaron Clark-Ginsberg, Alejandra Lopez and Alejandro Vélez Salas
Cover image for Migration, Integration, and Diaspora Engagement in the Caribbean
Reports
March 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Jordi Amaral, Diego Chaves-González, Ana María Sáiz and Jeremy Harris
Cover image for Reassessing Recruitment Costs
Policy Briefs
November 2022
By  Kate Hooper
Cover image for Programas de trabajadores temporales en Canadá, México y Costa Rica
Reports
June 2022
By  Cristobal Ramón, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, María Jesús Mora and Ana Martín Gil

Pages

Photo of returning Filipino migrant workers.

Fifty years after the birth of the Philippines' strategy to use emigration as a tool for development, the government is doubling down on labor migration. While deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) slumped during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government and civil society pivoting to assist with return migration and reintegration for hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, emigration has since rebounded, as this article details.

Image of USCIS employees at work

The U.S. immigration system is notorious for persistent backlogs and antiquated processes. In recent months, under-the-radar changes have made a dent in the logjam and helped bring the system into the 21st century. But some pandemic-era changes are set to expire, potentially undoing the incremental reforms. This article details the quiet technological and efficiency improvements in U.S. immigration operations.

A Syrian woman in Turkey

Turkey is home to the world’s largest refugee population, a fact that has been a source of pride, a geopolitical tool, and a logistical challenge. This article shows how the millions of Syrians who have arrived since 2011 comprise just one aspect of Turkey’s rich and complex migration history. The country has been a significant host, a transit point for individuals heading to Europe, and a source of migrant laborers.

A busy street in Old Montreal

Canada's ambitions to dramatically increase immigration have met resistance in Quebec, the country's only majority-French province, where many worry their identity is under threat. Provincial officials have sought to fortify the role of the French language in society through academic, immigration, and linguistic policies, but the language nonetheless faces demographic threats, as this article explains.

An intern examines a newborn baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Nearly 2.8 million immigrants worked in the U.S. health-care sector in 2021, representing disproportionately high shares of physicians, surgeons, and home health aides. This article offers a demographic and socioeconomic profile of foreign-born workers in health care.

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Explainer_LegalImmigrationSystem Legal Immigration Pie_small
Explainers
April 2019

Through which visa categories can immigrants move temporarily or permanently to the United States? What are the main channels by which people come, and who can sponsor them for a green card? Are there limits on visa categories? And who is waiting in the green-card backlog? This explainer answers basic questions about temporary and permanent immigration via family, employment, humanitarian, and other channels.

Farmers working in a maize field framed with avocado plants in the village of San Lorenzo
Video
June 21, 2022

On this webinar, speakers discuss the main challenges faced by countries of origin and destination in ensuring mutual benefits through labor migration and strategies moving forward related to migration and development in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. 

Image of worker in corn field, checking corn
Video, Audio
June 14, 2022

Este seminario web, que presenta el lanzamiento de un informe, examina el potencial de Canadá, México y Costa Rica para expandir los programas de trabajadores temporales para los centroamericanos, ofreciendo un medio importante para convertir algunos flujos irregulares en flujos legales.

Image of Central American worker checking corn in cornfield.
Video, Audio
June 14, 2022

This webcast presents research findings on temporary employment pathways for Central American migrants in Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

Nigerian Ministry of interior launched IOM’s Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) in Abuja airport.
Video, Audio
May 10, 2022

Marking the launch of an IOM-MPI report, this webcast examines the state of mobility across world regions into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic—what travel restrictions remain, what policy adaptations have occurred, and how do systems improve for the next public-health crisis.

World of Migration episode 7 tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
November 24, 2021

With migration a dynamic phenomenon in the Americas, the U.S. government increasingly is realizing that migration management should be viewed in a regional context. This requires a new set of policies and ways of engagement with countries in North and Central America, and beyond, as MPI President Andrew Selee discusses with colleague Andrea Tanco in this episode of our World of Migration podcast.

Pages

Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
February 2024

U.S. employment-based visa policies, last updated in 1990, are not aligned with the country’s current and future labor market needs. This policy brief outlines MPI’s proposal for a new visa pathway that could help the United States better leverage immigration to meet its labor market needs, boost protections for both U.S.- and foreign-born workers, and flexibly adapt to future economic and demographic changes.

Articles

Fifty years after the birth of the Philippines' strategy to use emigration as a tool for development, the government is doubling down on labor migration. While deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) slumped during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government and civil society pivoting to assist with return migration and reintegration for hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, emigration has since rebounded, as this article details.

Policy Briefs
December 2023

With more people moving abroad for work and events such as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar highlighting the risks migrant workers can face, questions about how international recruitment occurs have received increased scrutiny. This policy brief explores the notable progress that has been made in establishing fair and ethical recruitment standards, and identifies key areas for future attention by governments, employers, and recruiters.

Articles

The U.S. immigration system is notorious for persistent backlogs and antiquated processes. In recent months, under-the-radar changes have made a dent in the logjam and helped bring the system into the 21st century. But some pandemic-era changes are set to expire, potentially undoing the incremental reforms. This article details the quiet technological and efficiency improvements in U.S. immigration operations.

Articles

Turkey is home to the world’s largest refugee population, a fact that has been a source of pride, a geopolitical tool, and a logistical challenge. This article shows how the millions of Syrians who have arrived since 2011 comprise just one aspect of Turkey’s rich and complex migration history. The country has been a significant host, a transit point for individuals heading to Europe, and a source of migrant laborers.

Commentaries
July 2023

Canada’s Tech Talent Strategy is highly unusual for its explicit targeting of visa holders in another country. Opening a dedicated stream specifically for high-skilled immigrants in the United States who hold an H-1B visa is the latest salvo in a growing global competition for talent—one in which some countries are racing ahead of the United States in terms of policy dynamism, as this commentary explores.

Articles

Canada's ambitions to dramatically increase immigration have met resistance in Quebec, the country's only majority-French province, where many worry their identity is under threat. Provincial officials have sought to fortify the role of the French language in society through academic, immigration, and linguistic policies, but the language nonetheless faces demographic threats, as this article explains.

Reports
June 2023

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have long histories of emigration, but are seeing increasing transit and return migration as well. This report explores the stories told within these three countries about migration in all its forms, how these narratives intersect with (and at times, contradict) each other, and how they influence policy decisions and public opinion.

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