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Based on data from in-depth qualitative interviews with young undocumented migrants from Brazil, China, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and Kurds from Turkey, this article explores the entry strategies used by young people in relation to the UK immigration system and their undocumented status. Against a brief account of Britain's regime, the paper first examines why and how these migrants come to the UK and the ways in which they entered the country. Second, the paper explores strategies in relation to immigration status and considers: the use of different immigration statuses; the role of the asylum system in their strategies including as an attempt to regularize status or as a route to becoming undocumented when refused asylum. Finally, the paper examines the extent to which these young migrants have agency in their efforts to negotiate the complex and exclusionary immigration and asylum regime.

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Journal article


Taylor & Francis

Publication Date



34 (8)


1286 - 1302