International Migration Papers No. 95

Study of employment and Residence permits for migrant workers in major countries of destination.

The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of current policies and procedures governing employment and residence permits for migrant workers in major countries of destination around the world. The study is intended to inform national and regional reviews of policies on the admission of migrant workers. This study is structured around a series of key issues for policy-makers: determining policy goals and options; assessing labour market demand for foreign workers; devising mechanisms for regulating admission and selecting migrant workers; and defining the conditions attached to employment permits. For each decision the main alternatives used across the study countries are explained, the pros and cons presented, and concrete examples provided. The final section of the study specifies its implications for a review of national policies and procedures. Annex 1 provides brief overviews of current trends and policy development in labour migration in the countries surveyed for this study, and is followed by a compilation of key sources and references.