Real fake? Appropriating mobility via Schengen visa in the context of biometric border controls

Scheel, Stephan. 2018. Real fake? Appropriating mobility via Schengen visa in the context of biometric border controls. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(16), pp. 2747-2763. ISSN 1369-183X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Although the majority of illegalised migrants in the European Union are so-called ‘visa overstayers’ who enter with a Schengen visa only to become ‘illegal’ once it has expired, this mode of illegalised migration has only received scarce attention in border and migration studies so far. This article takes the introduction of biometric technologies in the Schengen visa regime as an opportunity to compensate for this neglect by asking: How do migrants appropriate Schengen visa in the context of biometric border controls? Drawing on the autonomy of migration approach (AoM), it investigates the visa regime from the perspective of mobility in order to elaborate on one set of practices of appropriation that involves the provision of falsified or manipulated supporting documents upon which the decision to issue a biometric visa is based. The article draws on this example to develop a conception of the notion of appropriation that addresses the two central criticisms that have been raised against the AoM. Besides contributing to the development of the AoM, the article thus introduces a concept in debates on migrant agency that highlights, better than existing concepts, the intricate intertwinement of migrants’ practices with the actors, means and methods of mobility control.

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Autonomy of migration, biometric borders, irregular migration, migrant agency, visa policy

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26 November 2017Published Online
30 October 2017Accepted

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Date Deposited:

03 Jan 2018 12:10

Last Modified:

14 Apr 2021 09:01

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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