1 Introduction

The changing realities of migration and mobility in recent decades have progressively placed migration in the spotlight of social science research, which has led to the development of new schools of thought. A prominent one, the theoretical and empirical Migration-Mobility Nexus, which sketches a continuum between the two poles of migration – more long-term or permanent movement from one place to another and mobility (multiple, temporary movements between different places) – has recently gained popularity. It has also served as the conceptual and overarching framework for this book. Switzerland presents an interesting case to study, because the country has been characterized (as have been many other European countries) since the end of the 1990s by the establishment of a dual regime of migration and mobility. On the one hand, the free movement of persons regime has been applicable since 2002 to the nationals of the EU/EFTA member states. On the other hand, strict(er) rules controlling entry, admission and stay apply to third-country nationals. Moreover, data are available to study in-depth migratory and integration processes.

This book thus aimed at testing the theoretical Migration-Mobility Nexus and aimed at clarifying how economic drivers, societal factors and legal norms shape the migration and mobility patterns of today’s different immigrant groups in Switzerland. It investigated not only how permanent and/or temporary today’s migration behaviour really is but also how Switzerland’s selective regime of migration and mobility influences extant patterns of social and professional inclusion and exclusion.

By involving researchers from several disciplines (anthropology, demography, economy, political sciences, statistics and sociology), the book addresses the following central dimensions of arrival and life in the host country. First, mobility behaviour and intentions, from the arrival in Switzerland to settlement and remigration and expressed through transnationality, were addressed in the chapters by Sandoz/Santi (employer support in the migration process, Chap. 3), Zufferey (serial movers, Chap. 4), Dahinden/Crettaz (transnationalism, Chap. 11) and Steiner (intentions to naturalize, settle or remigrate, Chap. 12). Second, three chapters addressed the dimensions of labour market integration and exclusion: Wanner (reason for migration and integration, Chap. 5), Vidal (effect of the migration on the professional life course, Chap. 6) and Pecoraro/Wanner (education and skill mismatch, Chap. 7). Third, social integration was studied by Bennour/Manatschal (feeling of attachment to Switzerland, Chap. 8) and Auer/Ruedin (perceived discrimination, Chap. 9), and political participation was addressed by Hercog (political practices, Chap. 10).

New statistical data are required to precisely describe migration, mobility, and related phenomena. We observe the progressive development of the statistical infrastructure in a period in which new technologies significantly decrease the cost of data collection. In addition to applying the same conceptual framework, all chapters were based on the Migration-Mobility Survey data. The use of the same source of data guarantees a certain cohesion throughout the book. In fact, despite being one of the most important immigration countries worldwide in proportion to its population, and the increasing economic and social importance of recently arrived and highly skilled migrants, Switzerland is ill-equipped in terms of monitoring systems and databases for tracking individual migration and structural and cultural integration. Thus, at the end of 2016, the nccr – on the move performed the Migration-Mobility Survey, which covered 6000 foreign-born migrants, aged 18 years or older at the time of immigration and between 24 and 64 at the time of the survey. The persons interviewed are recent immigrants, with a duration of residence of up to 10 years in Switzerland. Individuals holding the nationality of one of the following 11 countries/regions of origin were surveyed: Germany, Austria, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, North America, India, South America, and West Africa.

The survey gathers not only factual information but also information on subjective dimensions, perceptions, intentions, attitudes, and challenges. It covers migratory history, citizenship intentions, education and employment history and current situation, family configuration and household situation, integration (language skills, personal network and transnational ties, leisure activities, and civic engagement), and life in Switzerland. As explained by Steiner/Landös in Chap. 2, the Migration-Mobility Survey joins surveys initiated in other European countries, providing innovative data on recently arrived migrants and thus original information to improve our comprehension of various dimensions related to migration and mobility – information that can be useful not only to researchers but also to policymakers.

In this conclusion, we provide in Sect. 13.2 an overview of the principal results with respect to the three key dimensions mentioned above. Section 13.3 discusses the implications that these results have for the Migration-Mobility Nexus framework, and Sect. 13.4 briefly addresses how these results obtained for the Swiss context apply to the European and international context. Finally, Sect. 13.5 enumerates the main consequences of the results for future migratory policies and research.

2 Principal Results

2.1 Increasing Mobility and Transnationality?

At the end of World War II, migration was largely organized on a temporary basis around seasonal jobs. Many countries introduced policies constantly renewing migratory flows, instituting high mobility regimes. Only with the progressive decrease in the importance of seasonal and temporary permits did settlement progressively gain in importance during the last quarter of the twentieth Century. This pattern appears particularly true for third-country nationals, whose entry, admission and stay are regulated by strict(er) rules compared with nationals of EU/EFTA member states, who profit from the free movement of persons regime. Nevertheless, globalization and delocalization, improvements in means of communication and decreases in flight prices led to an important increase in spatial mobility (the number of flight passengers, which was 1 billion in 1990, was multiplied by 3.5 in 25 yearsFootnote 1).

Statistically speaking, little is known about individuals who have undertaken multiple international migrations, a pattern that can take different names in the literature, such as circular, repeated, secondary, onward, stepwise, or serial migrations. In this context, Zufferey documents this dimension by disentangling the relationships between multiple migrations and individual factors such as level of qualification, origin and family composition. His results demonstrate that multiple migrations are common among recent immigrants, because at least one of two migrants has lived in one or more countries before arriving in Switzerland. Nevertheless, Zufferey finds an important heterogeneity in mobility practices between origins that can be explained not only by individual factors, such as the level of education of the group, but also by geographic and cultural dimensions, such as proximity contributing to reduce the number of international moves. Thus, non-EU migrants tend to be particularly mobile and to undertake a stepwise trajectory to Switzerland.

Expatriates or “expats”, a term that generally designates highly skilled workers living outside their origin country, either independently or sent abroad by their employers, generally for a professional purpose and not permanently, are an emerging group of migrants. They are indeed considered not only very mobile but also “desired” migrants because they are demanded by employers, primarily multinational enterprises, enterprises with a high level of productivity or international organizations. In Switzerland and in particular in the largest agglomerations of Zurich (finance), Basel (pharmaceutical companies) or Geneva (international organizations), the numbers of job opportunities for expats are particularly high. Sandoz and Santi, using both the Migration-Mobility Survey and ethnographic data, analyse employer support at the time of migration. The authors demonstrate the existence of a system of inclusion and exclusion that enables certain groups to access significant corporate relocation support. They confirm the “civic stratification” concept, which suggests that according to some individual characteristics (such as the level of education, gender, and ethnic origin), access to other nation states varies. In particular, highly qualified men from Anglo-Saxon countries are actively given the possibility to become “expats”, whereas people with similar levels of qualification and experience but with a different gender, nationality or background have fewer opportunities to access employer support and thus to migrate to Switzerland. In this sense, the very notion of “expat” is a construction that reflects power relations at a global level. However, the authors observe that categories and power relations can change over time, as is shown by the current high demand for highly qualified Indians, particularly those working in the information technology sector.

A further dimension of mobility that nevertheless does not necessarily imply an actual move relates to the transnationality of migrants. Crettaz and Dahinden focus their analyses on three aspects: pre- and post-migration transnational mobilities, transnational social networks, and feelings of attachment to the country of origin. The authors show that transnationality is resource dependent and to a lesser degree linear (with increasing duration of stay, transnationality fades) and reactive (to experiences of discrimination or marginalization). The most important resources concerning transnational mobility are the so-called “legal capital” (European passport or permanent resident permit) and education, whereas unsurprisingly, children are a barrier for mobility. Transnational networks also depend upon the resources available, the most important factors of such networks being holding a high level of education and being part of the labour force. Finally, although vulnerable people do not develop a “reactive” transnationalism, they display rather low degrees of transnationality. Nevertheless, the feeling of being discriminated against leads to strong transnational networks and attachment. Finally, five ideal, typical configurations emerged from their analyses, showing different combinations of the sociodemographic and economic characteristics: (1) the immobile, one-time migrants with linear transnationality; (2) the former very mobile men, now settled, non-transnational integrated migrants; (3) the one-time migrants who are mobile and transnationally attached to their core family abroad; (4) the very mobile and cosmopolitan, not very transnationally attached, and finally (5) the hyper-mobile migrant not particularly attached either to the host country or to the country of origin.

Focusing on a further dimension of mobility that does not involve an actual move, Steiner analysed future intentions concerning remigration, settlement and/or naturalization. Most of the recently arrived migrants in Switzerland do not express any intentions to leave Switzerland (69%). Of this percentage, 34% declare that they intend to apply for Swiss citizenship. Only 26% intend to remigrate. The author unfolded two opposing strategies. Immigrants who are involved in a more permanent migratory strategy are often family or lifestyle migrants who are socially well integrated, have a higher duration of residence and are satisfied with their migration experience. In contrast, remigration intentions are largely expressed by immigrants who moved to Switzerland for educational or professional reasons. Thus, an absence of integration in the labour market increases remigration intentions. Citizens from North America and the UK most often expressed the intention to leave Switzerland; these groups are likely to be involved in highly mobile (expat) migratory trajectories. Nevertheless, social integration and satisfaction with the stay in Switzerland also influence the intentions. The analysis also shows that 6% declare fostering both naturalization and remigration intentions in conjunction, which is most likely an expression of the migrants’ uncertainty about the future, in which both remigration and naturalization continue to present an option. Finally, a high educational attainment fosters the migrant’s agency to choose whatever migratory trajectory they desire to follow, despite the more restrictive migration regime that Switzerland has introduced for non-EU/EFTA nationals.

As shown by these four chapters, migration and mobility is not necessarily an expression of actual behaviour. Moreover, there is not only one migration or mobility pattern. One can observe a large diversity of situations, referring to the characteristics of the arrival, how migrants manage their ties with the host and/or origin country or future intentions. Factors such as level of education, gender and origin are systematically identified as affecting how the migration trajectory occurs. Sections 13.2.2 and 13.2.3, which are devoted to migrants’ integration into the labour market and their social and political participation, will show whether the same factors play a role in how the migrants’ inclusionary and exclusionary trajectories are shaped in Switzerland.

2.2 Labour Market Participation and Integration

The demand of the labour market for highly qualified skills, but which also depends upon the sector for low-skilled workers, is one of the most important drivers of today’s mobility and of migration to and from Switzerland. The important relationship between the labour market and migration means that labour market demands profoundly affect the socioeconomic composition of the flows. In fact, the dual admission regime inter alia supplies the economy, which is increasingly oriented toward services, with the required highly skilled labour.

The multi-layered market mechanisms have become important drivers of not only the volume and direction of the flows but also the inclusion and exclusion of migrants in national and local labour markets. However, migrants consider themselves relatively well integrated into the labour market, as shown by Wanner; three-quarters of the men and almost two-thirds of the women declare an improvement in their work conditions compared with their situation before the move. Additionally, their unemployment rate is low, fewer than 20% of migrants do short-term work or work without a contract, and approximately 60% declare using their skills at work. Objectively, the level of participation in the Swiss labour market greatly depends upon the reported reason for immigration. Not only family migrants but also migrants who arrived in Switzerland for other reasons present a lower probability of job satisfaction and a higher risk of underuse of skills compared with those arriving with a work contract. The author further revealed a gender gap; men are better integrated than women are, regardless of the indicator that is used.

Additionally, Vidal confirms important gender differentials in her analysis on immigrants’ labour market trajectory throughout their settlement in Switzerland but also considers their employment situation in the country of origin and the characteristics of the family migration process. In general, although the probabilities of being employed are relatively low immediately after moving to Switzerland, particularly among low-skilled and family migrants, the author confirms an overall improvement in immigrants’ employment probabilities during the process of settlement in Switzerland. However, in comparison with men, women are more likely to be unemployed whatever the duration of stay and to be economically inactive or to work part-time. In addition, post-migration employment is lower for tied migrants and family-motivated migrants compared with professional migrants. Moreover, family-motivated migration has only temporary effects on labour insertion of male migrants, whereas it harms employment prospects for women more permanently.

Disadvantages on the labour market are translated in different ways, one of them being situations of educational or skills mismatch. Even when it is challenging to measure mismatch, for different methodological reasons, the results obtained by Pecoraro and Wanner show a substantial risk of a person being overqualified compared with the skills required by a job position. This point is particularly true for migrants from EU28/EFTA not bordering Switzerland, i.e., those from Spain, Portugal and South America. Mismatch is explained by the imperfect international transferability of human capital and concerns, first and foremost, migrants that arrived after the end of their educational path. In fact, recent migrants face the lowest risk of educational and skill mismatches when holding a Swiss diploma or having obtained recognition of foreign credentials. Therefore, foreign diplomas do not secure access to jobs in Switzerland that correspond to the required skills. In this context, the recognition of foreign credentials can be considered a strategy to decrease the risks of over education and skills mismatch, particularly for regulated professions.

Overall, migrants declared themselves satisfied with their professional status in Switzerland, even when they face difficulties with integrating into the labour market and a substantial risk of skills mismatch. The apparent paradox between subjective and objective indicators of integration into the labour market might be explained by opportunity differentials between Switzerland and the origin country. When measuring the migrants’ satisfaction, they not only compare their own situation with their expectations concerning the labour force integration in Switzerland but also compare their situation with the one prior to migration, in other words in the country of origin. Therefore, even when the integration into the labour market is not optimal in Switzerland, migrants can find it positive compared with the anticipated situation in their origin country. Most of them declare an improvement in their working conditions, particularly those who explicitly declare having migrated for professional reasons. One can also link this relatively good level of satisfaction with the state of the Swiss labour market, which is characterized in the mid-2010s by a high level of professional opportunities, low rates of unemployment and economic growth in the areas in which migrants are localized.

2.3 Political and Social Participation

In a federal state such as Switzerland, norms of inclusion or exclusion can differ according to the place of residence. Previous works show in particular that integration policies and attitudes toward immigrants (xenophobia and right-wing voting) vary from one canton to another, which can affect immigrants’ national identity in terms of their feelings of attachment to Switzerland. Bennour and Manatschal demonstrate that cantonal reception contexts matter, not directly but rather as catalysts. Moreover, in line with assimilation theory, non-citizens’ feelings of attachment to Switzerland increase with time spent in Switzerland. Inclusive cantonal reception contexts and liberal cantonal integration policies in particular amplify this positive effect of years of residence on immigrants’ national identification except in the most restrictive cantonal reception contexts. These results are challenging because they demonstrate that cantonal policies can influence the pace of social integration and the migrants’ well-being. Therefore, one can wonder whether good practices of local and cantonal policies must be developed to avoid situations leading to a poor integration of migrants or even to social exclusion. This latter element, which is part of the Migration-Mobility Nexus, was investigated in more detail by Auer and Ruedin.

Shedding light on the mechanisms of perceived discrimination, Auer and Ruedin investigated who, among recent immigrants, is more likely to feel discriminated against and report it when asked in a survey. They examine not only the societal but also the economic sphere and the opposition between the dual regime of migration and mobility and individual contexts. In fact, to personally feel discriminated against, people must be aware of the differential treatment and perceive it as unjust. The authors show that discrimination reported by the interviewer in a survey depends substantially upon individual traits, including aspects that shape whether discrimination is accepted and whether immigrants feel attached to the host society. Although respondents report less discrimination if their job situation has improved after migration, people more likely report discrimination when they originate from countries in which the national legislature represents ethnic minority groups relatively well. Earlier difficulties related to the migration process and the lack of supporting networks continue to affect the perception of unfair treatment. Moreover, this result shows that individuals distinguish to a surprising degree between discrimination in and outside the work environment. For instance, when they are proficient in the local language, respondents often report discrimination in the workplace and less often in a public environment. This distinction between discrimination in the workplace and discrimination in public also depends strongly upon the immigrant’s origin. By analysing the interdependency between the two spheres and the perceived discriminations, one can observe that the current policies focusing on objective discrimination fail to address social cohesion.

Finally, mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion very much depend upon the migrant’s citizenship. In fact, migrants lack the same political rights that non-migrants have unless they obtain Swiss citizenship. A few localities and cantons provide them with the right to vote, and some even offer them the right to be elected (the cantons of Neuchâtel, Jura, Vaud, Fribourg, and some communes of the cantons of Appenzell Outer-Rhodes, Basle-City and Grisons) but only at the communal level and not at the cantonal or federal one. In this context of limitation of political participation, Hercog studied whether foreign residents are making claims on the political system in other forms and the extent to which they are interested in the Swiss political system. By observing different approaches to residents’ civic engagement, which are not restricted to the practices of full citizens of the state, one can observe that migrants are more likely to be engaged in contacting activities if they have a good command of the local language, have lived in Switzerland for a longer time and express a high level of political interest. In contrast, a high level of education does not increase the probability of acting in the representative political sphere by contacting, donating to or joining a political party or organization. Overall, there is an interest in Swiss politics and in politics in the origin country; these interests can differ according to the migrant’s origin. This interest is not linked to the different forms of engagement but rather to the degree of openness toward Swiss and foreign societies.

3 Implications for the Migration-Mobility Nexus

As argued in Chap. 1, when examining the linkage between mobility and migration studies, researchers must begin by questioning some of the assumptions underlying the standard definitions of international migration that are located within the framework of the international state system. One example in the present book is concerned with the highly mobile, highly educated expat migration, which presents a category of “wanted” migrants with specific migratory strategies of its own. The dynamic interaction between economically driven mobility and state-driven migration thus reproduces in some cases older forms of inclusion and exclusion but also creates new ones, for instance in the case of Indians. Additionally, the existence of several categories of transnationality and thus of mobility that do not necessarily involve an actual further move call into question the current categorizations of migrants.

In general, studying immobility, whether through transnationality practices, future migratory intentions, or the level of attachment to the host country, was shown to be an important aspect of the Migration-Mobility Nexus – being mobile without moving or migrating without further mobility.

Moreover, several analyses in this book show that the narrow focus on the nation-state, which is predominant in classical migration studies, must be circumvented to obtain original further insights into the Nexus by, for instance, focusing on the subnational policy level or going beyond practices of political participation that are linked to the nation states, because these new, selective and temporary patterns of mobility lead to a broadening of political action repertoires.

However, the linkage also raises the issue of the agency of those who are or have been literally on the move. In fact, structural drivers of migration and mobility, such as economic, societal and legal norms and factors, are closely linked to the migrants’ agency, that is, their socio-demographic and economic characteristics, which in turn can act as constraints or facilitators to migration and mobility. The analyses in the present book have all emphasized that the temporality of today’s migration and mobility behaviour and the economic, social and political inclusion and exclusion largely depend upon an interplay of three individual factors: gender, level of education and origin.

The effect of gender is observed in different chapters of this book, systematically with a less favourable situation for women, clearly raising the issue of gender equality. For instance, in comparison with men, women are more likely to be unemployed, to be inactive or to work part-time. Women are disadvantaged not only in the labour market but also more generally in society. Gender is often linked to the motive of migration, translating thus to the position in the family, and refers to the complex of problems of tied migrants. In fact, women migrating for family reasons are frequently dependent upon a man – the male breadwinner – who in turn will be better integrated not only into the labour market but also socially compared with the woman.

In today’s society, moving from one country to another for professional reasons provides the best foundation to reach the objectives of the migration project. Accompanying a partner (generally the male spouse) to a foreign country, in contrast, is occasionally challenging, particularly when one cannot reconcile family life with professional aspirations. In this situation, women not only face poor integration into the labour market compared with their own aspirations but also face difficulties in social integration and declare a lower level of satisfaction with the migration, compared with men.

Irrespective of gender, the level of education and the origin structure migratory flows through constraints imposed by the migration policy in place and thus must be situated at the structural level. In fact, the dual admission system guarantees free movement for citizens of the EU/EFTA member states, whereas stricter rules apply to third-country nationals, with the exception of highly qualified personnel from these origins.

However, the level of education, obviously referring to the skills available (human capital), was also shown to foster the migrants’ agency to choose whatever migratory trajectory they desire to follow, despite the more restrictive migration regime that Switzerland has introduced for non-EU/EFTA nationals, and to improve their economic, social and political integration and participation. This point is particularly true for high-income European countries with economies oriented toward high value-adding activities. Switzerland, which attracts multinational companies, and which has been characterized in the last 50 years by a rapid specialization of the labour market, is a very good example of an economy not only requiring highly skilled migrants but also largely depending upon them. In that context, “elites” or “expats” are not only (more or less) accepted, as is true for the other groups of migrants but are even attracted and invited to move to Switzerland. Social and structural integration is for those highly skilled migrants “organized” or “negotiated” by either the employers (who assist them to that end) or the pairs (i.e., other migrants that provide them with information and support to understand the specificities of Swiss society). For the other groups of migrants, in particular the low-skilled ones, arriving in Switzerland for family reasons or through other non-professional networks rather than for professional reasons, the level of inclusion depends more upon their abilities to adapt themselves to the host country society and to find a job. Networks and family already living in Switzerland are then the main providers of support to achieve that purpose.

Finally, the origin also appears to be a dimension that interacts closely with inclusion or exclusion. Almost all the analyses show the diversity of situation according to the origin, particularly pointing to the differences in terms of integration/inclusion between migrants from Southern Europe and Western Europe, the latter being in a more favourable position. The analyses also point to the fact that migrants from the southern continents (West Africa and South America) are more frequently concerned by the difficulties of integration or inclusion. Differences were observed in terms of social participation, reporting of discrimination or objective position on the labour market.

Such results can translate to different realities. First, understanding how the host society functions and having the capacity to be included can depend closely upon socio-cultural proximity (in terms of language for instance) and on geographical proximity. Second, some origins (in particular non-EU/EFTA citizens) are subject to legal barriers to the labour market that can contribute to their exclusion. Different origins, in particular West Africans, also mention discrimination based on their skin colour or migrant origin, observed either in the labour market or more broadly in other domains of the society. By increasing the difficulties associated with obtaining access to not only an adequate job but also housing or healthcare for instance, discrimination based on origin leads to social exclusion.

The analyses in this book thus showed that all three factors represent a specific dimension that must be considered when analysing migrants’ behaviour, integration or social and political participation.

4 The (Inter)National Dimension

The present study took the Swiss case as a laboratory to empirically study the Migration-Mobility Nexus and thus changes in an advanced post-industrial society. Switzerland surely presents a specific context, inter alia with respect to its geographical position in the middle of Europe, its high GDP per capita, high level of health and good quality of life in general, and the high share of highly skilled migrants in the immigration flows recorded during the last two decades. In addition, compared with other countries, Switzerland is an interesting case to study migration and in particular mobility behaviour because immigrants obtain a permit – and are registered in population registers – provided they are in possession of an employment contract valid for at least 3 months. Due to this registration, they can be included in samples and surveyed, as was done in the Migration-Mobility Survey. Thus, not all analyses might be replicable in other contexts, or when more mobile groups can be included, the sociodemographic and economic composition of immigration flows might yield differing results.

However, the country is also part of an integrating Europe, the Schengen/Dublin area, the European service economy and general globalization dynamism. In addition, in terms of the composition of migratory flows, Switzerland has several points in common with other countries, such as the diversity of origin countries, skills and particularly the dichotomy between professional and family migration, a distinction that very much influences current patterns of inclusion and exclusion in Switzerland. Even when not directly transferable to other countries, the obtained results can positively stimulate the international debate on the intervening factors of migrant inclusion and exclusion in Europe. In particular, the nature of the relationships among motive for migration, professional integration, and social integration that are observed for Switzerland is most likely akin to those of other countries. Because labour market participation can trigger integration, social integration in particular, non-professional migrants need specific attention because their professional participation was shown to be absent or weaker, a situation that might dampen their rhythm of social integration.

5 Implications for Future Research

Finally, the analyses present limitations. Three recommendations can also be advanced concerning further research. First and very specific to the data on which all analyses are based in the present book, it appears important to dispose of information that is representative of the entire immigrant population, the Migration-Mobility Survey being representative of 68%. Specifically, migrants from Eastern Europe (in particular Poland, which is an emerging community) and the Balkans are excluded. Thus, not only important source countries but also origins that occasionally present a specific educational and occupational composition are excluded. Such exclusion might trigger different results with respect to the inclusionary and exclusionary dynamics. Second, there is a need for longitudinal data to better comprehend the pace of integration of recently arrived immigrants. Concerning the Migration-Mobility Survey, both extensions were addressed in the second wave that was performed in fall 2018. Finally, and although presenting a major challenge, it appears important in a globalizing world to produce internationally comparable data at the European level. As discussed in Chap. 2, definitions of migrants can vary, hindering or at least impeding such conjoint data collections. Nevertheless, comparable data could help to question some of the assumptions underlying the standard definitions of international migration, located within the framework of the international state system. Moreover, from a comparative perspective, investigating the Migration-Mobility Nexus would help to gain further insights, namely, how national legal and economic contexts and societal factors structure migration and mobility patterns in an integrating Europe.