Active Refugee Admission

Resettlement and other forms of active refugee admission are currently high on the national, European and international agenda. However, the motives, forms and effects of these policies have been insufficiently researched so far.

We propose the term Active Refugee Admission Policies (AFAP) as a collective term for the various forms of admission policies and programs. This overarching concept describes all instruments that enable persons in need of protection to enter a more distant host country in a safe and orderly manner. The term includes, among others, traditional resettlement, humanitarian admission programs, as well as other complementary entry routes, for example for the purpose of education, employment, or family reunification.

In Europe in particular, there has been increased engagement in this policy area. Due to the large variance within European AFAPs, recent developments, and the particular geopolitical context, existing research findings from ‘old’ resettlement states such as the U.S., Canada, or Australia, can only be transferred to a limited extent. Against this background, we build on existing research on resettlement and other AFAPs, but at the same time we would like to complement it in a meaningful way, especially with regard to conceptual and theoretical issues. We have summarized a first overview of possible research perspectives in a blog post (English version).

The aim of the working group is to create a framework for exchange and discussion as well as for joint publications and projects. The working group addresses researchers as well as practitioners. Our working languages are English and German.

If you are interested in joining the working group or have further questions, please contact us.

Previous activities: On 29/11/2019, our kick-off workshop took place at the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies, University of Amsterdam. As part of the 3rd Network for Forced Migration Studies conference, we organized a virtual roundtable on 09/19/2020 (“Active Refugee Admission Policies: Exploring Multiple Roles, Diverging Perspectives and Complex Interactions”). In addition, regular posts on the topic will appear as part of a series on the Forced Migration Studies Blog.

Online meetings: We are regularly meeting online. If you would like to join the meetings or mailing list, please send an email to 


13 October 2023, 3.00-4.30 pm (CEST)

Dr. Molly Fee (University of Oxford) on “Resettlement as an Institution”

Emiliya Bratanova (University of Lund) on “Conceptualising Legal Pathways”


18 January 2024, 3.00-4.30 pm (CEST): Private and Community Sponsorship

Dr. Tihomir Sabchev (University of Tilburg) & Ian Hennessey (formerly University of Ottawa Refugee Hub): “The causes and consequences of administrative burdens in the Canadian Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program”

Gabriella D’Avino (University of Birmingham): “Social Networks & Integration: a comparison between sponsored and local authority-supported refugees”


23 May 2024, 3.00-4.30 pm (CEST)

Dr. Christian Kothe & Kaan Atanisev (Research Centre of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees): Project “Resettlement: the situation of refugees in countries of first arrival and in Germany”

Natasha Nicholls (University of Birmingham): “Negotiating power within private hospitality”


17 October 2024, 3.00-4.30 pm (CEST)

Dr. Tatjana Baraulina & Dr. Florian Tissot (Research Centre of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees): “Refugee Aid versus Numbers: A key dilemma for Community Sponsorship Programmes? An Analysis based on the German Case”

Dr. Daniela Vitiello (Università degli Studi della Tuscia): CoSME project (Community Sponsorship for Migrants in Europe)


Natalie Welfens:

Emiliya Bratanova (maternity leave replacement of Zvezda Vankova):