This panel investigates the infrastructures which mediate the movement of highly-skilled migrants across international borders, and how they operate.
Despite recent increase in scholarship on migration infrastructures, there is limited ethnographic research examining the actors and networks that mediate the mobility of highly-skilled migrants, who go abroad for study or work. This panel investigates the everyday processes and local-level mechanisms through which such mobilities are being crafted and maintained. It explores the infrastructures -- within sending countries, between sending and destination countries, and within destination countries -- which facilitate the movement of highly-skilled migrants across international borders, and how they operate. This includes employment and education brokers, language centres, visa consultancies, employers, educational institutions, state agencies, social media platforms, and family-, peer-, alumni-, and ethnicity-based networks. These and other actors and networks might be involved not just in arranging initial migration, but in ensuring a person's ability to remain abroad, for example through managing commitments of a migrant back home. We invite papers addressing topics such as: 1) How do the actors and networks involved in the organisation of the transnational mobility of high-skilled migrants operate, and how do they mediate and impact upon such mobility? 2) What is the impact of social media platforms on how information about migration is transmitted, how migrant networks function, and how agents operate? 3) What impact does the presence (or absence) of robust migration infrastructure have on people's migration strategies and trajectories? 4) How has the infrastructure involved in arranging the mobility of a particular group changed over time, or in response to broader political or economic changes?