How do Polish Migrants in Norway Consider Return Migration?
After Poland’s accession to the European Union in 2004 and the substantial emigration that followed, return migration was an expectation widely shared by observers in Poland and abroad. Return migration has been modest, however, even in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Due to the post-accession migration wave, Poles comprise the largest immigrant group in Norway. Although Polish migrants in Norway were also expected to stay for short periods of time, they are for the most part not returning to Poland. This Policy Brief explores why, presenting five common perspectives on return migration among Poles in Norway.
- A majority of recent Polish migrants is not returning to Poland any time soon.
- A segment of Polish migrants sustains mobility over time, working in Norway but living in Poland.
- As of 2015, males make up two thirds of Polish migrants in Norway despite the increasing settlement of families.
- Return considerations have changed rapidly, with many migrants postponing return indefinitely and focusing on settlement.
- Not all Polish migrants want to settle permanently; return migration and onward mobility remain as alternatives.