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Country profile

United Kingdom

The focus on our research in the UK will be in London and Birmingham, the largest and most diverse cities in the country, with long histories of immigration and well-established migrant communities and support networks for migrants, factors that make them immigration hubs for people with no or insecure legal status which find work in domestic work, catering, and logistics and delivery, sectors that increasingly rely on the use of online platforms for job procurement. While very diverse, the cities have different migration histories, with Birmingham’s migrant communities more closely tied to the British colonial empire, and London hosting a more diverse migrant population, in terms of socio-demographic profile, with the largest population of non-native EU citizens than any other city in Europe, London will offer the opportunity to capture the impact of Brexit on EU migrants, including those falling through the cracks of the EU Settled Scheme (long-term residents) and those subject to the new immigration regime and the “hostile environment” policy. Birmingham hosts large communities from the Commonwealth, with several people caught in the so-called “Windrush Scandal”. We will investigate the intergenerational impacts of irregularity through the experience of mixed-status families.

Academic Partner:

University of Birmingham

Nando Sigona

Professor, Director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity
Co-I Scientific Coordinator, Executive Team member, WP6 Leader

Nando Sigona is the director of the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Research into Superdiversity. He is a founding editor of the peer reviewed journal Migration Studies (Oxford University Press) and lead editor for Global Migration and Social Change book series by Bristol University Press. His publications include Sans Papiers (with Bloch and Zetter, Pluto); Undocumented Migration (with Gonzales, Papoutsi and Franco, Polity); Within and beyond citizenship (with Gonzales, Routledge).

Stefano Piemontese

Research Fellow
Researcher, Executive Team member

Stefano is a social anthropologist and Research Fellow at the Institute for Research into Superdiversity of the University of Birmingham. His research interests are in the field of youth, migration, race, homelessness and social movements studies. He uses ethnography as the primary approach to exploring these topics, primarily through collaborative and audio-visual research methods.

Laurence Lessard-Phillips

Associate Professor
Team member, Task 4.3 Leader, Member of the Ethics Committee

Laurence Lessard-Phillips is an Associate Professor linked to the Institute for Research into Superdiversity. Her research interests are manifold and include the conceptualisation, operationalisation, and measurement of migration-based concepts. She has published on the topic, including an upcoming co-authored chapter on survey experiments for the Handbook on Methods and Migration.

Country Engagement Partner

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Caitlin Boswell

Policy & Advocacy Manager
I-CLAIM Partner

Caitlin is Policy & Advocacy Manager at JCWI, where she leads the “Work It Out” campaign to advance migrant workers’ rights. Previously to JCWI, she was a Support Worker, providing community support and advice to women impacted by the UK’s criminal justice system and immigration restrictions.

Artistic Engagement Partner


Alicja Kaczmarek

I-CLAIM Partner

Alicja has a degree in Sociology and MA in Social Policy. Alicja’s role includes organisational development, fundraising, programming and advocacy and also sets the creative and strategic direction for Centrala. She speaks extensively on the experiences of Eastern European migrants in the UK at conferences, events and networks.

Related publications

Stefano Piemontese, Nando Sigona
University of Birmingham
This report examines the legal and policy infrastructures of irregular migration in the United Kingdom (UK) from the hostile environment policies to the post-Brexit new plan for immigration. It investigates the intersection between immigration, labour and welfare regime...
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