Irregular migrants, also referred to as “undocumented migrants” or “illegal migrants,” are immigrants who do not have legal permission to stay in the country they have migrated to and frequently take on informal and precarious employment. They may have entered the country legally – on a tourist visa for example – but are not allowed to reside or work there. There is broad consensus that the numbers and the global scale of irregular migration have increased over the last decades. Although there are no reliable data, it is estimated that there are between 1.9 and 3.8 million irregular migrants in the EU (Vogel 2009), over 10 million in the US, and over 20 million in India (Koser 2007).

Sociale verandering, sociale processen en sociale conflicten, Sociologie, Sociology, employment and unemployment, gender, labor, labor supply, political economy, transnationalism
CIMIC: Citizenship, Migration & the City
Manuscript version of a lemma in: I. Ness (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

van Meeteren, M.J. (2013). Informal labor and irregular migrant workers. In The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm302