Lifestyle migration in France

Highly skilled migration is an important element of the contemporary global market economy, and IT is indicative example. This article focuses on migration channels and employment strategies used by Russian IT professionals coming to France in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, and the role these channels played in their professional careers. Our research question is why our informants chose France as a place to migrate to, and how was this flow was organized.

Field trips took place in 2014. Research was conducted on the basis of 16 interviews (recorded or as non-formal talks) and 17 open-ended questionnaires circulated among IT professionals and computer scientists and mathematicians who came to France in the 1990s. The research was concentrated in the Paris region, and in the South of France, where the techno park Sophia Antipolos is situated. Despite the fact that France has never been leading in attracting IT professionals, the period of the late 1990s – early 2000s nonetheless saw a considerable wave of professional migration.