E.g., 06/20/2024
E.g., 06/20/2024
Visa Policy

Visa Policy

_VisaPolicy

Visa policy is the process by which countries decide which noncitizens they wish to admit—either as short-term travelers, international students, temporary workers, or permanent immigrants. Beyond setting quotas and outlining which characteristics are most important in immigrant selection, visa policy also has a public diplomacy aspect, with visa facilitation, for example, serving as a sign of the strength of bilateral relations. The research here examines the permutations of visa policy around the world.

 

 

Recent Activity

Cover image for Lessons from COVID-19
Policy Briefs
March 2024
By  Meghan Benton and Lawrence Huang
Cover image for Converging Crises
Reports
March 2024
By  Luisa Feline Freier, Andrea Kvietok and Leon Lucar Oba
Cover image for A New Way Forward for Employment-Based Immigration
Policy Briefs
February 2024
By  Julia Gelatt and Muzaffar Chishti
Cover image for Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands
Reports
February 2024
By  Kathleen Bush-Joseph

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Cover image for Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands
Reports
February 2024
By  Kathleen Bush-Joseph
Cover image for Expanding Protection Options?
Reports
January 2024
By  Andrew Selee, Susan Fratzke, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Luisa Feline Freier
Cover image for Migration, Integration, and Diaspora Engagement in the Caribbean
Reports
March 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Jordi Amaral, Diego Chaves-González, Ana María Sáiz and Jeremy Harris
Cover image for External Processing report
Reports
February 2023
By  Pauline Endres de Oliveira and Nikolas Feith Tan

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Image of USCIS employees at work

The U.S. immigration system is notorious for persistent backlogs and antiquated processes. In recent months, under-the-radar changes have made a dent in the logjam and helped bring the system into the 21st century. But some pandemic-era changes are set to expire, potentially undoing the incremental reforms. This article details the quiet technological and efficiency improvements in U.S. immigration operations.

A woman and child walk in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Is climate change a major driver of migration and displacement? From where are people leaving, and where are they going? This informative primer, a Climate Migration 101 of sorts, provides answers to basic questions about climate change and migration, starting with how and where climate change triggers human movement.

The U.S. Coast Guard interdicts a vessel with Cuban migrants.

Amid the highest Caribbean maritime migration levels in a generation, the Biden administration is relying on a carrot-and-stick strategy it honed amid record unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. The approach, combining limits on asylum, expanded legal pathways, and international enforcement partnerships, could be increasingly important if maritime migration rises, as this article explains.

A busy street in Old Montreal

Canada's ambitions to dramatically increase immigration have met resistance in Quebec, the country's only majority-French province, where many worry their identity is under threat. Provincial officials have sought to fortify the role of the French language in society through academic, immigration, and linguistic policies, but the language nonetheless faces demographic threats, as this article explains.

Venezuelan migrants at the Colombian border.

Political and economic crises, new free-movement arrangements, and other trends are transforming countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, a region once known primarily for its emigration. The number of immigrants living in the region has nearly doubled since 2010, an incredible change in a short period of time. This article makes sense of a profound transition underway in the Western Hemisphere.

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Commentaries
August 2020
By  Hanne Beirens, Susan Fratzke and Lena Kainz
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Commentaries
June 2020
By  Sarah Pierce and Doris Meissner
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Commentaries
May 2020
By  Meghan Benton
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Commentaries
March 2020
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, Meghan Benton and Susan Fratzke
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Commentaries
March 2020
By  Kate Hooper and Camille Le Coz
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Commentaries
January 2020
By  Meghan Benton
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Commentaries
October 2019
By  Julia Gelatt and Mark Greenberg
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Commentaries
January 2019
By  Meghan Benton and Aliyyah Ahad

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Expert Q&A, Audio
March 15, 2023

Investor visa programs have become popular for countries seeking to attract foreign investment and stimulate economic growth. But how exactly do these programs work, and what are the potential benefits and drawbacks? MPI’s Kate Hooper speaks with Madeleine Sumption, the director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, about the range of investment visa programs, applicants’ motives, and more.

Expert Q&A, Audio
February 2, 2023

Should countries extend legal protections to people displaced by climate change? This episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration contemplates the merits of such an approach, featuring Ama Francis, a climate displacement project strategist with the International Refugee Assistance Project and Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

EU Migration and Home Affairs DG Pariat at MPI event
Video, Audio
December 13, 2022

Monique Pariat, the European Commission’s Director General for Migration and Home Affairs, spoke to the DC policy community on Europe’s rapid response to the Ukrainian displacement crisis, lessons learned, and considerations for future policies.

Evacuees prepare to board a C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2021
Video, Audio
August 10, 2022

Marking the one-year withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, this webinar reflects on the humanitarian and development challenges in Afghanistan and for neighbors, the difficult choices facing aid donors, and what needs to be done to ensure at-risk Afghans can reach safety.

Image of worker in corn field, checking corn
Video, Audio
June 14, 2022

Este seminario web, que presenta el lanzamiento de un informe, examina el potencial de Canadá, México y Costa Rica para expandir los programas de trabajadores temporales para los centroamericanos, ofreciendo un medio importante para convertir algunos flujos irregulares en flujos legales.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic both shocked the global mobility system and reaffirmed the centrality and resiliency of human mobility. Four years on, public and political attention to COVID-19’s unprecedented consequences for cross-border movement has waned. Yet if countries are to manage mobility more effectively in future public-health crises, this is an important moment for reflection and learning, as this issue brief explores.

Reports
March 2024

Some of the strictest COVID-19 pandemic-era limits on human mobility occurred in the Asia Pacific region. Border closures started in East and Southeast Asia in early 2020 and quickly spread through the entire region, in some cases remaining in place for more than two years. This report examines the approaches countries took and reflects on the immense costs and benefits of using border measures to tackle public-health risks.

Reports
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on mobility in the Middle East and North Africa were immediate and wide-reaching. These include the world’s largest and most sustained repatriation efforts for stranded migrants, halted and reversed irregular journeys, and a reckoning with some countries’ reliance on foreign labor. This report examines how these impacts varied across countries in this highly diverse region, as well as the uneven recovery.

Reports
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic hit South American nations at a time when many were already contending with major migration challenges. Historic levels of intraregional migration and displacement, notably from Venezuela, collided with countries’ attempts to stop the spread of a new threat to public health. This report examines the region’s responses to the public-health crisis, and the immediate and lasting impacts on cross-border movement.

Reports
March 2024

The story of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe is chiefly one of challenges to solidarity and coordination. Cross-border movement—even within Europe’s Schengen Area—ground to a halt, and countries took varied approaches to using travel measures in an attempt to slow the virus’s spread. This report explores the pandemic’s impacts on mobility to and within Europe, its challenges to European solidarity, and lessons for future public-health crises.

Policy Briefs
February 2024

U.S. employment-based visa policies, last updated in 1990, are not aligned with the country’s current and future labor market needs. This policy brief outlines MPI’s proposal for a new visa pathway that could help the United States better leverage immigration to meet its labor market needs, boost protections for both U.S.- and foreign-born workers, and flexibly adapt to future economic and demographic changes.

Reports
February 2024

The U.S. humanitarian protection system, known for its long history of assisting those in need, has come under incredible pressure in recent years. The asylum adjudications system, which is under-resourced, is struggling to keep up with record asylum seeker arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border. This report examines the state of the asylum system, including changes under the Biden administration and potential lessons for other countries.

Expert Q&A, Audio
January 24, 2024

What can the rest of the world learn from climate migration legal experiments in the Pacific? This episode of the Changing Climate, Changing Migration podcast features insights from renowned legal scholar Jane McAdam, who directs the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW.

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