The Anguish of Repatriation: Immigration to Poland and Integration of Polish Descendants from Kazakhstan
East European Politics and Societies and Cultures Volume 28 Number 3 | pages: 593-613
Repatriation remains an unsolved problem of Polish migration policy. To date, it has
taken place on a small scale, mostly outside of the state’s repatriation system.
Thousands of people with a promised repatriation visa are still waiting to be repatriated.
The majority of the repatriates come from Kazakhstan, home to the largest population
of descendants of Poles in the Asian part of the former USSR. They come to
Poland not only for sentimental reasons, but also in search of better living conditions.
However, repatriates—in particular older ones—experience a number of problems with
adaptation in Poland, dominated by financial and housing-related issues. A further
source of difficulties for repatriates, alongside their spatial dispersion, insufficient linguistic
and cultural competencies, and identity problems, is finding a place on and
adapting to the Polish labor market. Despite their difficult situation and special needs,
the repatriates in Poland are not sufficiently supported due to the inefficiency of administration
and non-governmental institutions dealing with the task of repatriates’
integration. This results in the anguish of repatriation.
repatriation; repatriates from Kazakhstan; Polish integration policy;
immigration to Poland; Polish minority in the former USSR