Do restrictive asylum and visa policies increase irregular migration into Europe?
Mathias Czaika, Mogens Hobolth
This article investigates the extent to which restrictive asylum and visa policies trigger an unintended behavioural response of potential and rejected asylum seekers. Based on our analysis of bilateral asylum and visa policies on migrant flows to 29 European states in the 2000s, we find evidence of a significant deflection into irregularity at work. Our estimates suggest that a 10% increase in asylum rejections raises the number of irregular migrants by on average 2% to 4%, and similarly, a 10% increase in short-stay visa rejections leads to a 4% to 7% increase in irregular border entries. We identify significant nuances in the impact of restrictive asylum and visa policies on the number of apprehensions ‘at the border’ versus ‘on territory’.