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Accepted Paper:

The impact of the Swiss migration policy on transnational grandparenting: the case of mobile European and non-European migrants' parents providing childcare in Switzerland  
Mihaela Nedelcu (University of Neuch√Ętel) Malika Wyss (University of Neuch√Ętel)

Paper short abstract:

Based on a comparative qualitative study of grandparenting practices within EU and non-EU transnational families, this paper shows that the Swiss migration regime is significantly shaping the mobility patterns and the involvement of migrants' parents in transnational childcare arrangements.

Paper long abstract:

As grandparents, mobile migrants' parents - i.e. the so called "zero generation" (G0) - are involved in specific forms of transnational care which imply more or less regular sojourns in the households of their children abroad. Previous scholarship highlighted numerous features of this kind of transnational grandparenting and childcare, explained by various factors among which migratory regimes of host countries play a key role. However, there is a lack of comparative studies including transnational families that originate from both South and North' countries.

Switzerland constitutes an exemplary case study. Its two circles migration policy distinguishes between EU nationals (benefiting from the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons) and non-EU nationals (subject of restrictive rules defined in the Federal law on foreigners). Consequently, EU G0 grandparents can freely enter in the Swiss territory and eventually permanently reside under financial conditions. In contrast, non-EU grandparents need a touristic visa that allow them to stay in the country for a maximum of three months, while their possibility to settle are close to zero, as ascending family reunification is practically impossible.

This paper is based on a comparative qualitative study of the G0 childcare arrangements within transnational families of European (Italy, France and Germany) and non-European (North-African and Brazilian) origins. It shows that legal constraints and/or opportunities impact on the timing and the meaning of transnational grandparenting patterns. Thus, they are significantly shaping the ways EU and non-EU transnational families are organizing the involvement of G0 grandparents in childcare arrangements.

Panel P066
The impact of law on transnational families' staying, moving and settling
  Session 1 Wednesday 15 August, 2018, -