Recession ‘has effect on expatriate migration’

A new report has revealed the impact the global economic downturn has had on migration patterns around the world.

Commissioned by the BBC World Service and conducted by independent research agency the Migration Policy Institute, in Washington, the study found a general trend for workers staying put during the recession.

Those expatriates already abroad were more likely to remain where they are and send smaller amounts of money back to their home country, the report found.

Launching the research, the BBC World Service suggests a poor economy often forces the issue of immigration to the top of the political agenda and countries may seek to protect opportunities for native workers.

Nations including Malaysia, Australia and Russia have restricted the number of work permits available to foreigners while others, such as Spain and Japan, are offering financial incentives to migrants returning home.

Those families choosing to stay abroad may be cheered by news an expatriate lifestyle is believed to be beneficial for children.

More than nine in ten (93 per cent) expat families believe their kids gain an advantage from growing up overseas, according to the NatWest International Personal Banking’s Quality of Life Index.

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