Since even before the 2008 financial and economic crisis, some observers have noted that a substantial number of highly skilled immigrants have started returning to their home countries, including persons from low-income countries like India and China who have historically tended to stay permanently in the United States.
Who are these returnees? What motivated their decision to leave the United States? How have they fared since returning?This paper attempts to answer these questions through a survey of 1,203 Indian and Chinese immigrants who had worked or received their education in the United States and returned to their home country.
We find that, though restrictive immigration policies caused some returnees to depart the United States, the most significant factors in the decision to return home were career opportunities, family ties, and quality of life.