Skip to main content
Unpublished Paper
Circular and Temporary Migration Regimes and Their Implications for Family

he focus on migrant workers in discussions of international migration has tended to detract attention from the role of migrant families. There is consensus that family unification is important for migrants because it helps to promote their effective integration in host countries. Further family fragmentation has adverse impacts on all family members, and there is considerable research to show that the social cost of migration on families left behind, especially children, can be high. Different migration regimes and policies have different implications for the unity and integrity of migrant families. This paper considers the implications of circular migration regimes (which are increasingly becoming popular in the discourse on international migration and development) for migrant families. Circular migration is nothing new as it has long been rooted in internal migrations and cross border migration flows. What is new is the current emphasis on managed circular migration as a triple win -bringing benefits to all three parties involved – migrant workers, destination countries and origin countries. Circular migration carries direct implications for migrants and their families because one of the major gains for host countries is said to be savings on costs of integration due to the short duration of stays with no option for family reunion. The purpose of this paper is to review regimes of circular migration and analyse their implications for family unity and integrity. The first part of the paper outlines definitions of circular migration and family migration. In the second part different regimes of circular migration are highlighted including circular migration of Diasporas and implications for family. This is followed by conclusions.

  • migration and family,
  • temporary migration,
  • circular migration,
  • family unification,
  • integration,
  • migrant rights
Publication Date
April, 2012
Citation Information
PIYASIRI WICKRAMASEKARA. "Circular and Temporary Migration Regimes and Their Implications for Family" (2012)
Available at: