Naturalisation: A Passport for the Better Integration of Immigrants?

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31 Mar 2011
9789264099104 (PDF) ;9789264098985(print)

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This conference proceedings provides the papers presented at the OECD/European Commission joint seminar on Naturalisation and the Socio-Economic Integration of Immigrants and their Children held in October 2010 in Brussels. It takes stock of the current knowledge  regarding the links between host-country nationality and socio-economic integration of immigrants and their children, building on novel evidence on this issue.  It also discusses the role of naturalisation as a tool in the overall framework for immigration and integration policy, with the aim of identifying good practices.
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  • Foreword
    Record-high numbers of immigrants have recently acquired the citizenship of EU and OECD member countries, and the demand for naturalisation is unlikely to abate in the future. Indeed, it may well increase if immigration flows continue to rise in response to ageing populations and workforces in OECD countries. This is one reason why the links between the acquisition of the host-country nationality and immigrants’ integration into the economy and society have become of key importance.
  • Acronyms
  • Main findings of the joint EC/OECD seminar on Naturalisation and the Socio-economic Integration of Immigrants and their Children
    Access to the host-country nationality is an important instrument of integration policy. The conditions under which this is granted vary widely across EU and OECD countries, and many countries have recently enhanced the role of naturalisation in the integration process through the development and extension of tools such as naturalisation tests and citizenship ceremonies.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Naturalisation and the Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants: an Overview

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    • Citizenship and the Socio-economic Integration of Immigrants and their Children

      Access to the nationality of their host country is an important part of immigrants’ integration process. This chapter looks at the available evidence on immigrants’ takeup of host country citizenship and the extent to which this affects their socio-economic outcomes.

    • The Current Status of Nationality Law
      This chapter presents the current status of nationality law in the countries of the European Union and selected OECD countries. It summarises the legal framework in place with respect to the acquisition of nationality at birth, the acquisition of nationality through naturalisation or other procedures, and the provisions for the loss of nationality.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts The Impact of Naturalisation on Immigrants’ Labour Market Integration: Experiences from EU and OECD Countries

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    • The Impact of Naturalisation on Labour Market Outcomes in Sweden
      This chapter explores the association between citizenship acquisitions and labour market outcomes in Sweden. In contrast to the findings of previous studies, there is weak evidence of a positive association between earnings or employment and naturalisations.
    • How Acquiring French Citizenship Affects Immigrant Employment
      This chapter analyses the impact of French citizenship on the employment of immigrants. The findings show that after naturalisation, the probability of employment for immigrants increases on average by over 20 percentage points for both men and women.
    • The Impact of Naturalisation on Immigrant Labour Market Integration in Germany and Switzerland
      This chapter summarises recent empirical work on the links between naturalisation and the labour market outcomes of immigrants in Germany and Switzerland.
    • Citizenship Acquisition in Canada and the United States
      This chapter analyses the determinants of immigrants’ citizenship take-up in Canada and the United States. It also reviews the recent literature on the economic benefits of naturalisation among immigrants to Canada and the United States and provides some evidence on the association between citizenship and labour market outcomes in these two countries.
    • The Labour Market Outcomes of Naturalised Citizens in Norway
      This chapter studies the labour market integration of immigrants in Norway from lower-income countries and assesses whether their integration process is influenced by acquisition of Norwegian citizenship. It finds that there is no positive effect of citizenship on the labour market status of immigrants. For some groups, there are even small, but statistically significant, negative effects on employment and earnings when estimated with individual fixed effects to account for unobserved heterogeneity. The chapter also discusses the discrepancy between these findings and prior evidence from the United States in light of possible causal mechanisms and differences in the labour market institutions of the two host countries.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Naturalisation and Social Cohesion

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    • Social Cohesion and Host Country Nationality among Immigrants in Western Europe
      This chapter examines the relationship between the citizenship status of immigrants in western Europe and their social integration, using the European Social Survey. The findings suggest a complex relationship between immigrant naturalisation and various measures of social cohesion.
    • Naturalisation and Social Inclusion
      This chapter highlights the consequences of naturalisation for the social inclusion of immigrants in three areas: socio-economic, political and social. It focuses in particular on political integration by evaluating results of naturalisation and voting in Sweden – where non-citizens are allowed to vote in regional and local elections – as indicators of social inclusion.
    • Integration and Access to Nationality in EU Member Countries
      This chapter summarises the findings of a recent study on integration measures and/or requirements imposed on non-EU nationals in member countries of the European Union. The main focus is on rules in national legislation that require non-EU nationals to demonstrate knowledge of the host-country language and/or knowledge about the host society, including its history, institutions or values.
    • Naturalisation and the Promotion of the Social Integration of Immigrants in Quebec
      This chapter highlights the links between naturalisation and immigrants’ social integration, on the basis of the experience in the Canadian province of Quebec. Immigration policies in Canada are aimed at permanent settlement. Access to naturalisation is viewed as the natural consequence of granting the right of permanent residence. The high level of naturalisation of immigrants is seen as an indicator of integration.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts The Interactions between Naturalisation Policy and other Elements of the National Integration Policy Mix

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    • Policy Interactions in Belgium
      This chapter discusses the links between naturalisation and the integration process of immigrants and their children in Belgium. It highlights that naturalisation is neither the first nor the last stage, but it is an important step in immigrants’ pathway towards full social integration, by strengthening ties with the host country in many domains.
    • The Legal Framework on Economic Migration and Naturalisation in the United Kingdom
      This chapter provides a summary of the legal framework on economic migration and naturalisation in the United Kingdom and highlights recent trends in policies and citizenship take-up.
    • Citizenship in Australia
      Australia has a high take-up of citizenship compared to other OECD countries. This chapter provides an overview of citizenship policy, citizenship trends, and the socioeconomic characteristics of citizens with and without Australian citizenship. It begins with an overview of the historical development of citizenship policy and its connections with the development of immigration and integration strategies in Australia. It then discusses the current take-up rate of citizenship among different migrant groups, and explores the relationship between the acquisition of citizenship and labour market integration.
    • From Assisting to Requiring Integration
      The question under which conditions citizenship should be granted to immigrants has been a topical issue in the political debate in the Netherlands since the early 1980s. The chapter summarises the evolution of the policy agenda on integration and naturalisation in the Netherlands over the past three decades and analyses the close relation between these two policy areas. It highlights in particular the paradigm change of the new integration policy that started in 2004 and current close links between immigration, integration and naturalisation policies. The chapter ends with a discussion of the likely effects of the current policy mix.
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