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The paper examines contemporary international out-migration from the state of Punjab in India. As a prosperous state in the Indian Union, Punjab is not only a leader in cross-border emigration but has also witnessed marked changes in its dynamics over the years. A long history of foreign settlement, effective networks at home and abroad, innovative marketing strategies, a dominant perception of a comfortable life abroad and higher capacity to pay for emigration, are some factors that make the Punjab a major area of international out-migration. Emigration is intense in Central Punjab, and to a large extent, some communities are more active than others in their cross-border voyages. Practices adopted to get to foreign lands are often desperate, diverse and dangerous. They are also not always lawful and are frequently replete with serious consequences, both at origin and at destination.


The paper examines contemporary international out-migration from the state of Punjab in India. As a prosperous state in the Indian Union, Punjab is not only a leader in cross-border emigration but has also witnessed marked changes in its dynamics over the years. A long history of foreign settlement, effective networks at home and abroad, innovative marketing strategies, a dominant perception of a comfortable life abroad and higher capacity to pay for emigration, are some factors that make the Punjab a major area of international out-migration. Emigration is intense in Central Punjab, and to a large extent, some communities are more active than others in their cross-border voyages. Practices adopted to get to foreign lands are often desperate, diverse and dangerous. They are also not always lawful and are frequently replete with serious consequences, both at origin and at destination.