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The well-being of newly regularized migrant workers: Determinants of their satisfaction with life as compared to undocumented migrant workers and regular local residents

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Published in Comparative Migration Studies. 2021, vol. 9, no. 1
Abstract Subjective assessments of well-being are becoming routine indicators, considering that material resources are insufficient to capture people’s satisfaction with life. Examining the unique situation of undocumented migrant workers, driven by aspirations for a better life but constrained by their limited rights in the country of destination, we assess their satisfaction with life and the factors that matter in their evaluations. Data were collected in Geneva (Switzerland), in a study comparing those who have just received a residency permit or about to obtaining it after submitting a regularization request (n = 195) with those who were still undocumented and/or had not submitted a regularization request at the time of our study (n = 231). In addition, comparisons were made with a sample of regular local residents (n = 175). Data obtained through standardized questionnaires include a range of material and nonmaterial determinants, some unique to migrants and others common to the three populations. Satisfaction with life is significantly lower among undocumented migrant workers while those who are regularized and regular local residents report similar levels of well-being. Social participation, self-reported health and discrimination are associated to satisfaction with life among undocumented migrant workers. Among those being regularized, having been longer in the country of destination is associated with lower well-being. Among regular local residents, the only significant factor for a better satisfaction with life is having a partner. Material determinants, while distributed in vastly different levels, do not influence satisfaction with life. Despite the high satisfaction expressed by those who have recently been regularized, policy intervention still have to pay attention to their persisting difficult socioeconomic circumstances amidst a context of overall affluence.
Keywords Satisfaction with lifeMigrationRegularization policySocial andEconomic determinants
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Structures
Research group Centre LIVES
Project FNS: 100017_182208
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BURTON-JEANGROS, Claudine et al. The well-being of newly regularized migrant workers: Determinants of their satisfaction with life as compared to undocumented migrant workers and regular local residents. In: Comparative Migration Studies, 2021, vol. 9, n° 1. doi: 10.1186/s40878-021-00244-2 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:154404

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Deposited on : 2021-09-06

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