Mobilizing Networks to Circumvent Borders. the Migration Industry of Hiring Permissions in the Morocco-Italy Migratory System.

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:30
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Federica INFANTINO, University of Oxford, COMPAS, United Kingdom
Based on in-depth fieldwork research carried out in the visa section of the consulate of Italy in Casablanca and with middlemen in Italy, this paper examines the ways in which Moroccans make use of work visas to migrate to Italy. Work visas are rarely used to hire workers. Instead, they are means to circumvent restrictive migration policies by mobilizing networks that connect aspiring migrants, middlemen and employers. An employer applies for a hiring permission that allows for obtaining a work visa. Hiring permissions cost between 7,000 € and 9,000 €. This industry does not result always in migration but often in deception. There exist three types of hiring permissions: regular and existing, forged, re-used. The first type is successful whereas the other two types only generate incomes for middlemen and no migration. However, this migration industry continues to develop. Another function of the migration industry emerges: not just facilitation, control, management but also deception. It is interesting to note that the displaced bureaucratic organization – the visa section – is not concerned with monitoring and fighting against such ‘fraud’. This is not considered as a task of the consulate abroad but rather of Prefectures in Italy. This exemplifies the fact that, historically, Italy has never used visa policy as an external mechanism of immigration control. Also, it speaks of a particular conception of the state: “what does the state can do? What can we do?” is the perception that officers have. Therefore, it can be argued that by following such a local arrangement, the migration industry of deception continues to develop.