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About Migration Dialogue

Migration Dialogue provides timely, factual and nonpartisan information and analysis of international migration issues through five major activities: the newsletters Migration News and Rural Migration News, Changing Face and other Research & Seminars, and the Sloan West Coast Program on Science and Engineering Workers.

Contact us at migrant@primal.ucdavis.edu.

Rural Migration News: Gulf, Asia

The six Gulf Cooperation Council countries employ about 24 million foreign workers, and these foreign workers are 80 percent or more of their private sector workforces. Saudi Arabia, with 20 million citizens and eight million foreigners, is the only GCC country where citizens outnumber foreigners. Two-thirds of Saudi citizens are under 30.

GCC countries require foreigners to have a local citizen sponsor or kafeel who grants permission to enter the country, monitors the stay of the foreigner in the country and approves his/her exit. Many sponsors are only nominally involved in the employment of the migrant workers they sponsor. Instead, they allow their names to be used to sponsor foreigners in exchange for payments of $500 or $1,000 from employers, recruiters or others. Many low-skilled migrants never meet the kafeel who is sponsoring them, and deal with their sponsors only through intermediaries who may be nationals of their country of citizenship.

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  • Migration News

    Migration News

    Migration News is produced with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and UCB Institute of European Studies. A paper edition is available by mail for $30 domestic and $50 foreign for one year and $55 and $95 for two years. Make checks payable to Migration Dialogue and send to

    Philip Martin, Department of Ag and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, California 95616 USA.
  • Rural Migration News

    Rural Migration News

    Rural Migration News is produced with the support of the Colcom, Farm, and Giannini Foundations. A paper edition is available by mail for $30 domestic and $50 foreign for one year and $55 and $95 for two-years. Make checks payable to Migration Dialogue and send to

    Philip Martin, Department of Ag and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, California 95616 USA.
  • Sloan Program On Science and Engineering Workers

    Sloan West Coast Program On S&E Workers

    This network of researchers hosts seminars on labor and immigration issues affecting science and engineering workers, compiles and distributes information on these issues, and cooperates closely with the NBER's SEWP.

  • Changing Face & UFW Contracts

    Changing Face & UFW Contracts

    The Changing Face project assesses the effects of immigrant farm workers on agriculture and agricultural communities.

  • Research & Seminars

    Research & Seminars

    Include Opinion Leader Seminars, the Comparative Immigration and Integration Program, and Transatlantic Migration Policy Issue seminars.