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Research possibilities on the trajectories of ex regularisation applicants (ROUTE)

Research project AG/JJ/141 (Research action AG)

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Description :

With our project ROUTE (design of research strategies to monitor the posterior trajectories and tendencies of former applicants for regularization) we seek to develop and implement a quantitative methodology allowing the longitudinal follow-up of socioeconomic trajectories of immigrants whose stay has been regularized. To that end, we will bring together administrative data from the Immigration Office—IO, the Belgian immigrants registration office—and data from the Crossroads Bank for Social Security—CBSS, the Belgian databank on social security. The record linkage across these two data sources will be based on the unique National Register number—NR, the Belgian central population register. The resulting combined databank (IO_CBSS) will then be analyzed annually in order to generate statistics, cross-tabulations, graphics, etc. on the socioeconomic trajectories of the target population.

The project brings together Belgian researchers from the Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven), the Free University of Brussels (ULB), the University of Antwerp (UA) and the University of Liege (Ulg). Further, we cooperate closely with the Belgian Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism and with the relevant federal administrations, the Immigration Office and the Crossroads Bank for Social Security in specific.

The finality of the ROUTE project is twofold. First, we want to furnish objective information on the group of regularized immigrants and their life stories—from a longitudinal point of view—as regards their employment status in specific. This type of information is particularly relevant to the political decision-making process, especially as new regularization measures are pending in Belgium. Second, we plan to transpose the resulting “linkage” methodology to other categories of immigrants—e.g., students, family reunification, economic immigrants, refugees, etc.—in a next phase.

Currently, we are in the preparatory strand during which we want to look into the situation in other European and non-European countries. Are there longitudinal methods/techniques to monitor certain categories of immigrants—not necessarily persons whose stay has been regularized—in use? Which socioeconomic variables are being registered? How does the data collection occur, e.g. through administrative registration, longitudinal surveys, census, etc.? Are different records or data sources being linked? Which are the difficulties, opportunities, etc.? How are the data obtained being valorized, e.g. through the annual publication of statistics, annuals, etc.?

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