Tense times for young migrants: temporality, life-course and immigration status

Hughes, Vanessa. 2022. Tense times for young migrants: temporality, life-course and immigration status. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48(1), pp. 192-208. ISSN 1369-183X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article explores the intersection between immigration status, life-course and the experience of time. It looks at how time and life-course transitions are experienced by young people who are in constant encounter with the immigration regime in the UK. The encounters at this intersection produce a complex landscape for young people to navigate during their transitions to adulthood. What emerges from unpicking the relations of this messy and complex temporal-immigration status matrix, are distinct experiences of time and life-course transitions for young migrants. First, in dealing with the immigration regime young people are confined to a passive role of waiting that results in a sense of feeling stuck. Secondly, pre-18 young people experience a growing up too early and upon turning 18 and gaining legal independence, their situation paradoxically leads to practical dependence. And thirdly, the immigration status renewal system produces long-term uncertainty for young people’s futures.

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This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council under [grant number ES/J500124/1].


Immigration status, time, life-course, bordering mechanisms, young migrants

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5 April 2021Accepted
19 April 2021Published Online

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Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2021 15:31

Last Modified:

01 Feb 2022 10:11

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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