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Wei Li, Lucia Lo and Yining Tan

Globalization in China is marked by increasing social and personal mobility. With student mobility a key outcome of this process, this chapter examines the relation between some globalization indicators and the migration intention as well as transition behavior of Chinese students/professionals in Canada and the United States. It finds a strong desire among Chinese students/professionals, especially those with doctoral degrees, to remain in North America after their study/exchange, in part due to the presence of permissive policies there. In reality, most that remain only enjoy temporary work visa status. The path to permanent residency is circuitous and/or lengthy, if not impossible. Increasingly, more graduates are returning to China, some (including established, top-tier academics and professionals) attracted by government-initiated incentives, some by the type of opportunities afforded by a booming economy, and others (especially those with an undergraduate degree or college diploma only) being forced to accept the only available alternative because of the harsh reality of the difficulties of immigrating permanently. These findings have implications for both the Chinese and the North American side in the medium and long term.