‘For the sake of family and future’: linked lives of highly skilled Indian migrants in the Netherlands and United Kingdom

Anu Kõu, University of Groningen
Ajay Bailey, University of Groningen
Leo van Wissen, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and University of Groningen

In this paper we aim to reveal how significant others, such as parents, spouse and children, shape the life course events and the migration trajectory of highly skilled Indian migrants in the Netherlands and United Kingdom. We employ a qualitative approach to the life course framework to highlight the linked lives that can alter the migration decisions. Our findings are drawn from 47 semi-structured biographic interviews. The preliminary results underscore how further migration decisions are often informed by the implications of the different life stages of the significant others. The key elements identified are the care-giving cycle of and for the parents, employment opportunities of the spouse, and cultural upbringing and educational considerations for the children of the highly skilled migrants. Only by embedding individuals within the contexts of the people in their lives, we are able to fully comprehend the complexities of future onward and/or return migration decision making among the highly skilled.

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Presented in Session 64: Selection issues in migration