Assessing future migration among Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Norway (2022)

In this report Fafo examines the plans that Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Norway have for the future. The report discusses the factors influencing refugees' outlook and decisions regarding remaining, future migration and repatriation back to Ukraine.

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Assessing future migration among Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Norway (pdf, 719 kB)

The report focuses on the following four research questions: 

  • What are the mechanisms that shape migration flows out of Ukraine during the summer and autumn of 2022, and why did these refugees not leave earlier?
  • Will the large groups of refugees in Poland move on to other coun-tries in Europe if the war does not end soon?
  • Why are some refugees returning to Ukraine now?
  • Do the refugees intend to return to Ukraine when the war is over?

The analysis is based on qualitative interviews with refugees, policy-makers and NGOs in Poland and Norway, conducted during the summer and autumn of 2022. The data is analysed in light of the wider literature on migration aspirations in refugee populations.

A decision to flee, return, or remain in a country of refuge is rarely easily made, and in this report, we have tried to describe the ambivalence that many refugees express when they talk of the future. For many, there are strong arguments for wanting to go back to Ukraine, but also strong arguments for moving on and starting a new life abroad. Some refugees would in the same interview talk convincingly about their homeland and all the things they missed and were not willing to give up, and in other parts talk about why they think they might not be going back – often tied to lack of jobs and poor economic prospects. With this report, we do not aim to classify refugees according to migration or return intentions, but rather point to the factors that induce them to ex-press a desire to return, and the factors they emphasise when they talk of the desire to stay.

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