E.g., 06/05/2020
E.g., 06/05/2020

Brain Waste & Credential Recognition

Brain Waste & Credential Recognition

Barriers to the recognition of foreign academic and professional credentials and experience are widely recognized as an impediment to the international mobility of skilled professionals and to immigrant integration. The result can be underemployment or unemployment for foreign professionals—a phenomenon referred to as "brain waste." As the research here demonstrates, the resulting waste of human capital represents a loss to employers, host communities, and immigrants themselves.

Recent Activity

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Video, Audio
December 12, 2013
This panel discussion focuses on the circulation of skilled immigrant professionals and the recognition of foreign qualifications in the United States and Europe.
Video, Audio
May 6, 2013
A panel discussion on the release of the Regional Migration Study Group's final report, Thinking Regionally to Compete Globally: Leveraging Migration & Human Capital in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America, outlining its findings and offering recommendations to policymakers in the region.
Video, Audio
September 24, 2012
The winners of the Migration Policy Institute's 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizes, honoring exceptional immigrant integration initiatives in the United States, discussed their work during a plenary luncheon on September 24, 2012 at the National Immigrant Integration Conference held in Baltimore, MD.
Video, Audio
May 23, 2012
A discussion with Rosario Farmhouse, Alejandro Mayorkas, Jasenko Selimovic, Peter Sylvester, and Demetrios G. Papademetriou, MPI President.

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Recent Activity

Articles

After receiving more than 2 million asylum seekers in 2015-16, European countries are turning to the task of integrating the newcomers, including getting refugees into work. This article explores labor market integration of refugees in five Northern European countries—Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden—drawing key lessons for today from the experiences of earlier groups of humanitarian arrivals.

Reports
March 2017

While it has been years since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed accords to facilitate the movement of professionals in seven occupations, implementation of these Mutual Recognition Arrangements remains "painfully slow and uneven across countries." This final report in an MPI-Asian Development Bank series explores MRA implementation by sector, and offers recommendations to help achieve the goal of greater skill mobility in Southeast Asia.

Video, Audio, Webinars
February 28, 2017

Marking the release of a report on the barriers foreign-trained high-skilled immigrants face in the United States, this webinar examines programs and initiatives that assist with credential recognition, employment, and relicensure, as well as recent policy developments. Discussants review recommendations for community-based organizations, employers, and policymakers to expand successful efforts aimed at preventing brain waste. 

Reports
February 2017

Nearly 2 million college-educated immigrants in the United States, more than half coming with academic and professional credentials, are unable to fully utilize their professional skills and instead are stuck in low-skilled work or are unemployed. This report explores a range of programs and policies that are providing cutting-edge career navigation, relicensing, gap filling, and job search assistance to remedy this brain waste.

Reports
February 2017

Given diverging demographics, rising educational attainment and wide variation in economic opportunities, countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are poised to see an expansion of both the demand for and supply of skilled migrants willing and able to move. The convergence of these megatrends represents unique opportunities for human-capital development and brain circulation, as this report explores.

Reports
February 2017

As Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States work to facilitate the movement of professionals, the experiences of other countries hold promise for policymakers and licensing bodies in Southeast Asia as they deepen implementation of mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) that seek to establish a uniform and transparent way of recognizing the qualifications of foreign workers. This report offers key lessons.

Video, Audio
December 7, 2016

A presentation of the first-ever U.S. estimates on the economic costs of brain waste for highly skilled immigrants, their families, and the U.S. economy. The researchers discuss their findings in terms of the billions of dollars in forgone earnings and unrealized taxes when college-educated immigrants are relegated to low-skilled work.

Video, Expert Q&A
December 6, 2016

Nearly 2 million college-educated immigrants in the United States are stuck in low-skilled jobs or are unemployed—a phenomenon known as brain waste. In this brief video, MPI researchers discuss their key findings on immigrant skill underutilization and the resulting billions of dollars in unrealized wages and forgone federal, state, and local tax receipts.

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