From Ghana to Canada, Canada to Ghana and back to Canada: Exploring Factors that leads to Re-emigration among Ghanaian immigrants in Toronto

Authors: Emmanuel Kyeremeh*, , Godwin Arku, Western University, Ismahan Yusuf, Western University
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Canada, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: Re-emigration, Return Migration, Immigrants, Canada, Toronto
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 4:30 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Tyler, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Previous studies on international migration and return migration have documented the various dimensions of people moving to, and remaining in, one place or the other. Such studies have dominated the literature and enhanced our understanding of the migration process thus far. However, studies that focus on why immigrants voluntarily move from their host society, return to their country of origin, and then migrate a second time to the host society are scarce. This study attempts to address this gap on this aspect of international migration. In doing so, it draws on in-depth interviews with 15 Ghanaian immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada, to understand the motivations for the first migration, return migration, and the second migration processes. The findings reveal that education and economic improvements were the dominant motivation for the initial migration; a love for one’s country of origin and the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to its progress and development prompted return migration; and family ties, improvement in economic fortune, better health care and the quest to formalize immigration status in the host society spurred the second migration. In addition, and importantly, the study demonstrates that family ties and the desire for economic improvement are the two major motivations involved in the three-step process. The paper concludes that a broader discussion of the re-migration process is needed. Specifically, it calls for an examination of the process among various ethnic groups in order to contribute and move the debate on understanding the migration process in general.

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