Visitors or immigrants? International students in the United States

Visitors or immigrants? International students in the United States Even though international students are officially temporary migrants, many eventually become immigrants to the United States. Despite the large number of students who adjust their status, little is known about their migration intentions and decisions. We used a questionnaire sent to international students at the University of Minnesota to investigate these migration intentions. Here we report the factors that students consider in deciding whether to stay in the US or return to their home country on completion of their studies, and how these factors vary by nationality or other characteristics, such as gender or field of study. We also investigate whether international students see their stay in the US as temporary or as a springboard towards permanent immigration. Our findings suggest that few students arrive in the US with the intention of immigrating permanently. Instead, a wide variety of professional, societal and personal factors influence students in an ongoing decision‐making process. Broadly speaking, economic and professional factors typically act as strong incentives to stay in the US, while personal and societal factors tend to draw students back to their home countries. In the long run, a natural progression of professional and personal decisions leads many to become permanent immigrants. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population, Space and Place Wiley

Visitors or immigrants? International students in the United States

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1544-8444
eISSN
1544-8452
DOI
10.1002/psp.409
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Even though international students are officially temporary migrants, many eventually become immigrants to the United States. Despite the large number of students who adjust their status, little is known about their migration intentions and decisions. We used a questionnaire sent to international students at the University of Minnesota to investigate these migration intentions. Here we report the factors that students consider in deciding whether to stay in the US or return to their home country on completion of their studies, and how these factors vary by nationality or other characteristics, such as gender or field of study. We also investigate whether international students see their stay in the US as temporary or as a springboard towards permanent immigration. Our findings suggest that few students arrive in the US with the intention of immigrating permanently. Instead, a wide variety of professional, societal and personal factors influence students in an ongoing decision‐making process. Broadly speaking, economic and professional factors typically act as strong incentives to stay in the US, while personal and societal factors tend to draw students back to their home countries. In the long run, a natural progression of professional and personal decisions leads many to become permanent immigrants. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

Population, Space and PlaceWiley

Published: May 1, 2006

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

References

  • Global interaction, global inequality, and migration of the highly trained to the United States
    Cheng, L; Yang, P.

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