Possibilities and realities of return migration (PREMIG)


PREMIG is a large-scale research project that explores return migration from Norway and the United Kingdom. The case studies were conducted among Afghans, Burundians, Iraqis, Pakistanis and Poles in the two countries. Many immigrants in Europe are considering returning to their country of origin. In most cases, return is a future option rather than a short-term plan. The possibility of return can nevertheless be important in its own right: experiences of marginalization can stimulate plans for return. Furthermore, the prospect of return might lessen commitment to integration. The possibility of return can also be central to migrants’ transnational relationshipswith people in their country of origin.

PREMIG is guided by four research questions:

  1. How do immigrants in various situations reflect upon and decide about return migration?
  2. How does the possibility of return interact with A) integration in the country of residence and B) transnational relationships?
  3. How can we understand and explain the patterns of actual return among immigrants?
  4. How is return migration experienced by return migrants and the communities to which they return?

Experiences of return migration are addressed through semi-structured interviews and focus groups in Afghanistan, Burundi, Iraq, Pakistan and Poland. CMR is responsible dor polish part of the research. The data collection covers returnees as well as local inhabitants in the communities to which migrants return.


2012 - 2013

Source of funding

Research Council of Norway


The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)