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International Handbook on the Economics of Migration

International Handbook on the Economics of Migration

Elgar original reference

Edited by Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann

Migration economics is a dynamic, fast-growing research area with significant and rising policy relevance. While its scope is continually extending, there is no authoritative treatment of its various branches in one volume. Written by 44 leading experts in the field, this carefully commissioned and refereed Handbook brings together 28 state-of-the-art chapters on migration research and related issues.

Chapter 25: The economics of immigrant citizenship ascension

Don J. DeVoretz

Subjects: development studies, migration, economics and finance, international economics, politics and public policy, migration, social policy and sociology, migration, urban and regional studies, migration


Immigrants unlike native-born residents have a choice to ascend to citizenship or not in their host country of residence if they satisfy the host country’s existing criteria. Interviews with citizenship candidates in Europe and North America reveal a range of immigrant views on the complexity of this decision process depending on their motivation to move. In the case of refugees, citizenship ascension is often seen as essential since the absence of a passport or the limited prospects of return immigration for refugees mandate quick citizenship ascension in their host country. On the other hand, economic immigrants from developed countries may hesitate to ascend to citizenship while resident in a developed country if return migration is hindered by naturalization. Family-class immigrants are often conflicted because long-term ties to the origin country may curtail citizenship ascension, while the desire to achieve social and economic integration in the host country may encourage ascension. Beyond the individual immigrant’s motivations to naturalize lay unique institutional and legal constructs in each host country which affects the immigrant’s decision to ascend to citizenship.

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