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Indians now our top migrants

Source: The Australian

INDIA has become Australia's biggest source of migrants for the first time, eclipsing China and the once-dominant Britain. In 2011-12, permanent migration from India reached 29,018 - 15.7 per cent of the total program, according to figures released yesterday by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen. "The scale of recent Indian migration is striking," said the University of Melbourne's Lesleyanne Hawthorne, who studies migration and workforce needs. "We can assume large numbers were former international students who had qualified onshore." In 2010-11, China was Australia's No 1 source of permanent migrants with 29,547 visas. The year before it was Britain, with 25,738 migrants. Britain had held the top position right back to 1996-97, when current records began, Mr Bowen's spokeswoman said. However, India and China grew strongly as source countries last decade, partly in step with the international student business.

A decade ago, loose government policy led to an explosion in courses such as accounting, cookery and hairdressing that would give students skilled migration visas. Job outcomes were poor, with weak English a problem. New rules mean that in future it will be harder for non-native speakers of English to qualify as skilled migrants but many thousands of ex-students are still in the queue for permanent residence. Amitabh Mattoo, director of the Melbourne-based Australia-India Institute, welcomed yesterday's migration figures, saying India and Australia had much in common as "democratic, English-speaking, federal" countries. He predicted that India, with 500 million people under 25, would continue to be a source of skilled migration. "While most of the rest of the world is ageing, India will remain young for the next 20-25 years," Professor Mattoo said. In the latest figures, a quarter of Indian migrants were approved in visa categories associated with ex-students and family members already in Australia. In the skilled stream of the migration program, there were still 143,000 people "in the pipeline" at June 30, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship said. In 2011-12, the number of cooks to be accepted as permanent migrants doubled to 4836, an increase that was questioned on labour market grounds by Professor Hawthorne. Mr Bowen's spokeswoman said 43 per cent of these cooks were from India. Students from India were prominent in the 2004-08 boom in cookery courses. Visas under a sponsorship scheme aimed at recruiting staff for employers in regional areas, including the city of Perth, grew 48 per cent in 2011-12. This was likely to include Indian cookery graduates, according to Sydney migration and education agent Jonathan Granger. "People stuck in that backlog (for independent skilled migration) have . . . sought other (visa) alternatives," he said. In stark contrast to cooks, the number of accountants taken in as permanent migrants in 2011-12 fell by half to 6914.

Mr Granger said this probably reflected the emphasis on higher levels of English proficiency in the new skilled migration system. Professor Hawthorne said skilled migration, dominated not long ago by exstudents in the independent visa category, had been "privatised" with the new emphasis on employer sponsorship. And the permanent migration figures gave "only half the labour migration picture" because of today's government preference for temporary workers. "Last year, Australia admitted an additional 131,000 people in the 457 (visa) temporary worker category, compared to around 34,000 temporary sponsored migrants seven years back," she said. "Temporary migration is now dominant in select fields - (it is) the pathway, for instance, of four-fifths of recent medical migrants."

Migration of Indians Abroad

Deepak Saxena & P. Banerjee

A large number of Indians have settled abroad. Table 1 below gives estimated number of Indian community in various countries where the number is more then 100,000. Nature of the occupations of Indians in these countries varies, but it is a firm belief of the authors that most of the Indians in western countries are highly skilled workforce.

Table 1: Estimated Number of Indians in Various Countries (December 2001)

Country Australia Bahrain Canada Fiji Guyana Kenya Kuwait Malaysia Mauritius Myanmar Netherlands Oman Qatar Reunion Islands Saudi Arabia Singapore South Africa Suriname Trinidad and Tobago UAE UK USA Yemen

Estimated Number of Indians 190,000 130,000 851,000 336,829 395,350 102,500 295,000 1,665,000 715,756 2,902,000 217,000 312,000 131,000 220,055 1,500,000 307,000 1,000,000 150,456 500,600 950,000 1,200,000 1,678,765 100,900

Source: Report of The High Level Committee on Indian Diaspora, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs,, accessed on Feb 25th 2009.

Immigration to USA The Table 2 below shows the number of Indian immigrants legally admitted in US by their class of admissions (see Appendix for Australian immigration definitions). Fig 1 shows it graphically.

Immigrants Legally Admitted in US by Selected Class of Admission from India (By Birth).
Table 2:

NA Not Available
Source: Yearbook of respective years, Office of Immigration Statistics, USA

Fig 1: Immigrants Legally Admitted in US by Selected Class of Admission from India (By Birth)
Source: Yearbook of respective years, Office of Immigration Statistics, USA

As the figure suggests, the largest chunk of Indians settled in the US were granted immigration in the category employment based preferences and at times they were more than half of total

settlements (as in 2005). Table 3 shows the details of Indian persons naturalized in US according to their major occupation groups till 2002 (the yearbook of immigration statistics does not give this data for subsequent years). If we look at the computer related category for 2002, it is the largest one, around 75% of the total naturalizations. This supports the view that most Indians in western countries are associated with jobs which require high (technical) skills.

Table 3: Indian Persons Naturalized in US by Major Occupation Group

* Includes homemakers, students, unemployed or retired persons, and others not reporting or with an unknown occupation.
Source: Yearbook of respective years, Office of Immigration Statistics, USA

On the other hand if Indian workers temporarily migrating to the US are considered, their numbers range from more than double those of permanent settlements (as in 1998) to five times as many (2007). Table 4 shows the numbers of Indian workers temporarily migrated to US along with their class of admission. Fig 2 shows it graphically. In the figure, Others also include nurses, agriculture workers, industrial trainees and exchange visitors.

Table 4: Non-Immigrants Temporary Worker Admissions from India in US

# Data withheld to limit disclosure

Source: Yearbook of respective years, Office of Immigration Statistics, USA

Fig 2: Indian migrants as Temporary Workers in US

Source: Yearbook of respective years, Office of Immigration Statistics, USA

Table 5: Non-Immigrants Indian Students admitted in US Year No. of Students

1998 1999

25,543 28,335

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

~ I-94 Only

39,795 48,809 48,708 50,884 51,191 61,146* 69,790* 88,918*

* Includes dependents of students and exchange visitors as well

Source: Yearbook of respective years, Office of Immigration Statistics, USA

As can be seen in Fig 2, specialty groups and intra-company transferees form the major part of the flow. It shows that Indian workers, who migrate to US, are mainly some type of specialists. Table 5 shows the number of non-immigrants Indian students admitted in US. Fig 3 shows various categories of Indians admitted in US, of which, we can see that largest part is formed by temporary workers.

Fig 3: Various Categories of Indians Admitted in US

Source: Yearbook of respective years, Office of Immigration Statistics, USA

Immigration to Australia
Another country where large numbers of Indians migrate is Australia. Table 6 shows the arrival and stock of temporary residents (see Appendix for Australian immigration definitions) and students in Australia.

Table 6: Temporary Residents (Stock) Present in Australia on 30th June and 31st Dec of Corresponding Year*


Temporary Residents Arrival Stock on Stock Arrival

Students Stock on Stock

30th June 200304 200405 200506 200607 200708 2008 7,333 9,311 12,679 16,837 20,879 4,158 5,446 5,947 7,385 8,722 11,378

on 31st Dec 4,342 7,544 5,989 8,092 12,726 12,463 15,876 22,113 36,209 49,865 63,169

30th June 6,218 10,983 17,034 23,399 38,734 -

on 31st Dec 8,144 13,652 19,447 27,412 45,312 -

* Arrived less than ten years before reference quarter

Source: Immigration Update reports of respective years, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Australian Government

Fig 4 shows the arrivals and stock graphically. Here, it can be seen that in case for Australia, more students are immigrating as compared to temporary residents.

Fig 4: Temporary Residents and Students Immigration from India in Australia

Source: Immigration Update reports of respective years, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Australian Government

Immigration to Canada Canada is another country which hosts large number of Indians. Table 7 shows the entry and stock of Indian workers and students as temporary residents in Canada. Fig 5 shows it graphically.

Table 7: Indian Workers and Students as Temporary Residents in Canada

Temporary Residents

Students Arrival Stock on 30th June Stock on


Stock on 30th June

Stock on

31st Dec 200304 200405 200506 200607 200708 2008 7,333 9,311 12,679 16,837 20,879 4,158 5,446 5,947 7,385 8,722 11,378 4,342 7,544 5,989 8,092 12,726 12,463 15,876 22,113 36,209 49,865 63,169 6,218 10,983 17,034 23,399 38,734 -

31st Dec 8,144 13,652 19,447 27,412 45,312 -

Source: Immigration Overview 2007, Citizenship and Immigration Canada,, accessed on March 16th, 2009

Fig 5: Temporary Workers and Students in Canada from India

Source: Immigration Overview 2007, Citizenship and Immigration

Canada,, accessed on March 16th, 2009

Comparison of Migration in USA, Australia and Canada Figure 6 shows the comparison of Migration of Indian Temporary Workers and Students to USA, Australia and Canada.

Fig 6: Comparison of Migration of Indian Temporary Workers and Students in USA, Australia and Canada

Source: Immigration reports of respective countries

The number of students going to these countries were compared with the estimated out-turn of graduate students in S&T areas (refer section on Stock of Indian S&T manpower). Table 8 and Fig 7 show this comparison.

Table 8: Out-turn and Migration of Indian Students

Students Migrated (US, Aus, Canada) 26,045 29,065 40,709 50,097 50,844 65,840 68,890 85,515 1,08,745 1,41,475 Estimated Indian S&T Graduate Out-turn 11,24,829 11,87,622 12,81,830 13,61,641 14,27,423 15,42,549 16,73,519 17,67,969 18,17,296 19,21,230 Migration Out-turn Ratio (%) 2.315463 2.447328 3.175851 3.679162 3.561943 4.268261 4.116475 4.836907 5.983892 7.363771

Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Source: (i) Immigration reports of respective countries

(ii) Section on Stock of Indian S&T Manpower

Fig 7: Out-turn and Migration for Indian Students

Source: (i) Immigration reports of respective countries

(ii) Section on Stock of Indian S&T Manpower

It can be observed that percentage of students going to these countries for higher studies has increased over the years.

Appendix Definitions of Immigration Terms for USA, Australia and Canada

U.S.A. Immigration Important Definitions (Taken from Glossary of U.S. Immigration Definitions,, Accessed on March 16th, 2009)

Alien: Any person who is not a United States citizen. In other words, a non-citizen. Permanent residents are also aliens (they are, however, considered legal aliens).

Admission: Admission is defined as legal entry into the United States of America as approved by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP).

Immigrant Visa: A visa intended for a person who wishes to permanently stay in the United States. In order to receive an immigrant visa a person needs to meet certain requirements, usually in the area of family ties or employment.

I-94: At the port of entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) issues a Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Card) stating both the legal status and the duration for which you are permitted to remain in the United States.

Intra-Company Transferee Visa (L-1): The L-1 Visa is intended to allow multi-national corporations the opportunity to transfer managers and experts to the United States on a temporary basis.

Naturalization: The process through which an alien (non-citizen), becomes a U.S. citizen.

Nonimmigrant Visa: A visa intended for people wishing to enter the United States for a temporary period of time. Nonimmigrant visa categories include tourists, businessmen, workers, students, etc.

Specialty Occupation Visa (H-1B): H-1B visas are intended for persons in a specialty occupation, which requires the theoretical and practical application of knowledge obtained with the completion of a specific course of higher education.

Temporary Worker: A temporary worker is a nonimmigrant employee legally permitted to work in the United States for a limited period under certain classifications.

Workers with Extraordinary Ability/ Achievements: (Taken from ProPubVAP.jsp?dockey=d2cb859ca452fa8d31790b9194e6864d/, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, accessed on March 19, 2009)

(A) An O-1 classification applies to:

An individual alien who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and who is coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability; or An alien who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in motion picture and/or television productions and who is coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary achievement.

(B) An O-2 classification applies to an accompanying alien who is coming temporarily to the United States solely to assist in the artistic or athletic performance by an O-1. The O-2 alien must:

Be an integral part of the actual performances or events and possess critical skills and experience with the O-1 alien that are not of a general nature and which are not possessed by others; or In the case of a motion picture or television production, have skills and experience with the O-1 alien which are not of a general nature and which are critical, either based on a pre-existing and longstanding working relationship or, if in connection with a specific production only, because significant production (including pre- and post-production) will take place both inside and outside the United States and the continuing participation of the alien is essential to the successful completion of the production.

Australian Immigration Definitions (Taken from glossary/ , accessed on March 17th, 2009)

Australia allows three types of temporary entries. The three main categories of Temporary Entry are:

Students: Non-permanent entrants to Australia whose visa is for a specific period and for the purpose of undertaking formal or non-formal study.

Temporary Residents: These include working holiday makers, long term temporary business entrants and other persons intending to work or temporarily reside in Australia. These types of temporary resident visas are granted on the basis of there being an economic, social, cultural or sporting benefit to Australia. Initial stay in Australia is generally for more than 3 months but not more than 4 years.

Visitors: Non-permanent entrants to Australia whose visa is for tourism, short stay business, visiting relatives or medical treatment.

Canada Immigration Definitions(Taken from Immigration Overview 2007, Citizenship and Immigration Canada) Canada defines four mutually exclusive groups of temporary residents: foreign workers, foreign students, individuals in the humanitarian population and other temporary residents. Temporary residents are regrouped according to our determination of their yearly statusthe main reason for which they have been authorized to enter and stay temporarily in Canada during each year of observation.

Foreign workers are those other than Canadian citizens or permanent residents, who enter Canada solely or primarily for work and have obtained a work permit from CIC to legally perform such activities. A temporary resident is reported as foreign worker if his or her main reason for staying in the country relates to employment whether or not this person is also holder of other permits (e.g. a study permit).

Similarly, foreign students are in Canada primarily to study, although they too may have other permits.

Individuals in the humanitarian population are primarily refugee claimants, but this group also includes other foreign nationals allowed to remain in Canada on humanitarian or compassionate grounds under special considerations." These other humanitarian cases include a small number of individuals who have never filed a refugee claim but who were processed under special programs established to handle refugee-like cases.

The fourth group other temporary resident is comprised of individuals who do not fit into any of the other categories. This group is not profiled in this publication.

Entries for temporary residents are defined as follows: those arriving for the first time as temporary residents (Initial Entries) as distinct from those who are deemed to have left the country and subsequently returned in a different year (Re-entries)

whether in the same or a different category of temporary resident.

Reasons for migration

Go to page Why people migrate Never before have there been so many people living far away from their native countries. Poor living conditions, violence and armed conflicts, environmental problems, a lack of economic perspectives and the growing gap between rich and poor countries: all these factors play their part. Global mobility and the new media likewise have a great influence on current migration trends. Poor living conditions Population grows, economic development stagnates Violence and the abuse of power force to flee Rich industrialized states are becoming more accessible Since man has been on earth, ethnic groups have again and again travelled to other regions in the world hoping to find a better basis for existence there. In recent centuries wars have repeatedly triggered mass displacements of refugees. In recent decades global migration has reached a hitherto unknown level. Surveys conducted by international organizations have concluded that currently over 175 million people are living far away from their native countries. 19,2 million people are considered to be "refugees" or "displaced persons". Poor living conditions generate the urge to migrate The term migrant denotes a person living outside his or her native country. Many leave their homes because there are not enough fertile pastures and arable land, food, water, work or other fundamental requirements. The consequences of environmental catastrophes, such as drought or floods, can also force thousands to leave their native countries. Today roughly two thirds of the worlds population live in economically poor countries. The growing gap between rich and poor is the most significant driving force for global migration. In 1960 the income of the richest fifth of the worlds population was on average 30 times higher than the poorest fifth. By the year 1990 it was already 60 times higher. The population grows while economic development stagnates The enormous rate of population growth and the poor perspectives for economic development in some regions give rise to a tremendous migratory pressure. Third World and former Soviet Union countries lack capital and know-how. In some countries, debts absorb a major part of the economic power. Falling raw material prices as well as the customs barriers and import restrictions imposed by the industrialized countries prevent the development of viable export industries. Unstable economic policy, a lack of legal stability and widespread corruption discourage investors and concerns from locating their long-term industrial projects in such countries. Voilence and the abuse of power force people to flee The term refugee is used to describe people who are persecuted on account of their race, religion, ethnic group or political conviction. Persons whose freedom or lives are threatened in this sense have a right to protection by foreign countries on the basis of international

conventions. Displaced persons are not fleeing from individual persecution but from escalating violence threatening large parts of the population in a certain region or country. Those affected by such conflicts mostly flee in large numbers to safe regions in their native land or in a neighbouring country. In order to prevent unrest, hunger, disease and other problems, they are frequently accommodated in refugee camps. The reception and care of large influxes of refugees severely undermine the resources of the states concerned. Refugee camps with tens of thousands of strangers often arouse feelings of insecurity in the host countrys population. This can lead to political instability in the country concerned, provoking new conflicts. In such situations, nations living at peace and in stable economic conditions are called upon to show their solidarity and share the burden (e.g. with measures such as the temporary admission of displaced persons, peace missions, material and reconstruction aid).

The rich industrialized states are becoming more accessible Tourism, television and the Internet all enhance the attractiveness of migration. They make the poorest aware of the wealth of the rich. The growth of air travel facilitates journeys to faraway industrialized countries. So far only a fraction of those willing to consider migration have actually been able to travel to their preferred destination on other continents. But this could soon change since successful emigrants transfer a considerable share of their income to their relatives at home. As a result, more and more people can afford to travel to distant countries. Asylum seekers prefer countries where many of their fellow-countrymen already live. In simple terms this means: Migration begets further migration.

Variable Gender Year Country 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

United States Germany United Kingdom Spain Italy Korea Japan Canada Australia France Switzerland Netherlands Belgium Austria Sweden Norway Chile New Zealand Poland Denmark Czech Republic Portugal Turkey Mexico Hungary Greece Finland Ireland Israel Luxembourg Slovenia Slovak Republic Iceland

703.542 601.759 327.405 429.524 424.856 168.875 373.918 221.348 123.411 136.37 94.049 73.566 68.8 93.341 47.14 26.787 29.835 42.957 30.325 18.385 57.438 31.754 .. 6.945 19.365 .. 9.432 42.4 23.273 12.554 8.011 4.562 1.353

957.883 602.182 434.322 645.844 394.756 178.53 371.983 235.825 146.441 141.554 96.27 65.121 72.446 104.246 46.746 27.864 32.099 36.196 36.851 18.706 50.804 34.096 .. 8.513 22.164 .. 11.511 41.8 20.899 12.245 8.597 7.919 2.512

1 122.373 579.301 405.111 682.711 282.78 253.729 372.329 262.241 161.734 135.866 94.357 63.415 77.411 97.995 50.606 31.355 38.149 54.124 38.512 20.146 58.576 28.092 .. 9.172 25.582 .. 12.744 66.1 21.183 13.759 13.294 7.665 4.68

1 266.264 558.467 451.702 802.971 254.588 302.963 325.621 251.642 176.205 135.084 102.657 67.657 83.433 82.899 78.896 37.425 48.516 49.846 34.21 23.979 66.125 22.457 .. 6.874 23.569 .. 13.868 88.9 19.269 13.731 18.251 11.309 7.07

1 052.415 574.752 455 920.534 515.201 300.36 336.646 236.754 189.49 128.882 139.685 80.258 93.387 91.748 82.623 53.498 79.377 46.795 40.637 31.43 102.511 32.599 .. 6.82 22.607 .. 17.504 89.5 18.131 15.766 27.504 14.848 9.318

1 107.126 573.815 456 692.228 496.549 302.174 344.509 247.247 203.874 135.954 157.271 103.356 106.012 94.761 81.954 58.82 68.38 46.886 41.834 37.018 77.817 32.337 .. 15.103 35.547 .. 19.906 67.6 13.701 16.801 28.062 16.47 7.471

1 130.818 606.314 430 469.342 406.725 232.844 297.092 252.179 222.572 126.16 132.444 104.41 102.714 91.818 82.384 56.682 57.059 43.575 41.277 31.957 39.973 33.791 .. 23.852 25.582 33.539 18.087 38.9 14.574 14.635 27.393 14.438 3.392

1 042.625 683.529 459 431.334 424.499 293.07 287.071 280.685 206.714 135.962 134.171 110.235 102.714 98.262 79.036 65.065 63.912 44.346 41.061 33.442 30.515 30.032 29.905 26.18 23.884 22.979 18.212 17.4 16.633 15.814 12.705 12.659 2.988

Data extracted on 28 Feb 2013 04:48 UTC (GMT) from OECD.Stat

Effect on Country of Origin It is important to consider in our exploration of human migration the ends served by modern human movement around the world. Just as the decision to migrate involves a cost-benefit analysis for the individual migrant, the experiences of the countries involved can similarly be captured as a calculation of risk to reward. There are three parties involved in every act of international migration the migrant himself, his country of origin and his country of destination. Each of these parties has its own distinct and often conflicting interests in the process. What is good for the migrant may not be good for his home or host country; the home and host countries gain and lose in different ways. Is migration good for the migrants country of origin? The answer lies in an analysis of who the migrant is, where he goes and what he does there.

Safety Valve Functions
Migration can serve an important safety valve function for a sending country:

Relieving a country of some of its inhabitants can reduce the pressure on resources from land to water to food -- particularly in densely populated and impoverished regions. If significant ethnic and civil strife are present, migration of certain interest groups in society can also serve as a safety valve. Exiling of dissidents serves the same function. Migration of certain demographic groups in society can relieve pressure on labor markets and ease intergenerational tensions. Countries with large youth/working age populations experience downward pressure on wages, especially among unskilled laborers, if labor supply significantly exceeds demand. Unemployed youth populations are politically destabilizing as well, and their migration is often welcomed by their home countries.

Migrants perhaps benefit their home countries most when they send home a portion of their wages to family and friends, or make investments in their countries of origin. By some estimates, remittances comprise double the amount of foreign aid that LDCs receive and up to 30% of some poor countries total GDP. Remittances that are made through formal banking channels from migrants in MDCs back to LDCs have by some estimates quadrupled over the last two decades, from $60 billion in 1990 to $240 billion in 2007. Other estimates put the current figure closer to $318 billion or nearly 1 billion dollars per day. Millions more in remittances are made through informal channels.

Immigrants living in the US send the most money back home, with $42 billion leaving the country in 2006, $25 billion of it going to Mexico (formal banking channels only). Remittances can be so significant that origin countries encourage migration. The Times of India reports that 20 million Indians working and living abroad have made India the largest single recipient of remittance flows; India receives $27 billion remitted from various countries, which comprises one-tenth of total global remittances. As a result, the government has been accused of pandering to the growing diaspora by helping to support migrants living abroad with welfare funds to purchase health insurance in countries where coverage is compulsory. Ironically, the poorer the migrant, the more likely he is to send remittances. The majority of remittances to LDCs come in small increments from unskilled laborers. Remittances are less volatile than foreign aid or investment and tend to actually increase during times of global economic hardship. The net effect of remittances is complicated. Relying on these cash flows can discourage governments from making needed economic investments and reforms to boost development. Moreover, the lucrative nature of remittances serves as a reward or incentive for out-migration when what developing countries often need is to keep their most industrious workers home to grow the home economy.

Remittances can drive up inflation rates in developing economies, leaving those without a remittance source facing higher prices for everyday goods. Remittances are generally encouraged by both the countries of origin and destination. Destination countries benefit from fees on banking transactions incurred in sending the money home. It has also been shown that remittances nurture ties between immigrants and their home communities that serve as a safety net. When immigrants fall on hard times in their host countries, they are often able to depend on relatives and connections back home instead of becoming reliant on public welfare.

When large immigrant communities form in wealthy and influential nations, they form a powerful diaspora which can advocate for the interests of their countries of origin (usually an LDC) in the host country and in the international community.

Benefits negotiated by and made possible through this diaspora can include investment, aid, preferential trade policies and even political pressure for reform in the home country. For instance, the Chinese diaspora in the West has spearheaded business deals and agitated for Communist Party reforms in China.

When migration is temporary or circular, or when migrants maintain close ties to their home countries, valuable exchanges of ideas are facilitated and the country of origin benefits from the immigrants experiences in a more modernized society.

Brain Drain
The primary cost associated with migration for the country of origin is the brain drain, or the loss of some of its brightest citizens.

When migrants are skilled and/or highly educated, the sending country experiences not only the loss of that worker and his contribution to society, but also the investment made in his education or training, and the potential for him to mentor and teach others. Considering that making an international move requires some financial solvency and entrepreneurship from anyone, even unskilled workers who migrate are a loss to their country of origin.

The effect of brain drain is acute in many developing nations whe re doctors and nurses are in short supply locally because they have been so heavily recruited to make up for shortfalls in developed countries such as the United States. PBS Frontline Worlds Barnaby Lo has reported that the US is expected to have a defi cit of 800,000 to one million trained nurses by the year 2020, and the American government actively recruits medical personnel all over the world with special visas. Lo goes on to note that the nursing shortfall is so extreme, and the recruitment so lucrative, that many trained engineers, teachers and even doctors in places like the Philippines, India and South Africa are abandoning their careers to enter nursing school with an eye toward emigration. In the Philippines alone, a study by the countrys form er Secretary of Health found that 80% of all government doctors have become nurses or are in nursing schools. There are roughly 9000 doctors-turned-nurses and 5000 of all these medical practitioners are now working abroad. The public health and economic effects of this trend are potentially devastating to developing countries.

Not only are financial successes and talents transferred to the recipient country, but potentially valuable political assets as well. Most migrants are from poor countries, which often have poor governance as both a cause and symptom of their impoverishment. When the best and brightest leave, they take potential reformist energy and acumen with them.

The Negative Impact of Diasporas

Just as immigrants in host countries can act in ways that benefit their countries of origin, they can also act in ways that are destabilizing. Pressure from migrants, exiles and expatriates exerted on incumbent leaders who are resistant to reform often backfires. This can lead to repression and/or retaliation toward citizens back home. Many civil conflicts are initiated and/or exacerbated by the advocacy and fundraising of emigrants with particular interests. For example, the fragile situation in post-genocide Rwanda is thought to be imperiled by the opposing activities of Hutu and Tutsi exiles abroad. Interstate conflicts can be aggravated by their opposing champion diasporas living abroad as well. An example is the influence of Chinese and Taiwanese diasporas in the US during moments of tension in the Taiwan Strait. Similarly, foreign nationals who participate in terrorist acts in their host countries strain relations between those nations and their countries of origin, and can discredit their home countries.

The Balance Sheet

Whether a migrants decision to relocate hurts or helps his country of origin is highly subjective and situational. Countries of origin usually have little say over the matter, unlike the migrant (if he is acting voluntarily) or the recipient country (to the extent that it can enforce its legal restrictions on immigration). Rarely, and only in highly repressive regimes, are people prevented from voluntarily leaving their country. The country of origin is thus largely a passive actor in the migration equation. Some LDCs have experimented with tying financial assistance for in-country education to promises by students to stay at home for a period of years after graduation; others have tied financial grants to study abroad with promises of return. These measures are difficult to enforce and have met with limited success. Sadly, some experts have noted that one possible recourse would be for LDCs to offer subsidies and grants for only K-12 education in-country so that when talent flees, the investment in more expensive highe r education doesnt go with it.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Migration of Skilled Indians to Abroad (Brain Drain)

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author) (Feedback) The migration of skilled individuals to other nations is referred as the brain drain or the human capital flight. This migration of talented individuals may be due to conflicts, lack of opportunity, or health hazards where they are living. In India, brain drain is more because educated individuals are emigrating for higher wages and better opportunities. It has been in our consciousness since 30 years and many bright youngsters have

emigrated mainly to US from early 1960s onwards including a large fraction of the graduating class at IITs in India. Advantages The money the emigrants have sent back home has helped in alleviating poverty in their homes. It has resulted in less child labor, greater child schooling, more hours worked in self employment and a higher rate of people starting capital intensive enterprises. The money remittances have also reduced the level and severity of poverty. Moreover, the money migrants sent back are spent more in investments such as education, health and housing, rather than on food and other goods. Disadvantages Due to the influence of brain drain, the investment in higher education is lost as the highly educated person leaves India and becomes an asset to other country. Also, whatever social capital the individual has been a part of is reduced by his or her departure. With all the college graduates leaving their homelands, it raises the question as to whether their skills are being put to good use in the destination country. The chances of Brain Waste are possible. I n a similar way, there is a shortage of skilled and competent people in India. A tremendous increase in wages of high-skill labour can be seen now in India. The emigration has also created innumerous problems in the public sector.