Occupational downgrading of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia: Do work permits Improve occupational mobility?


  • Documentos de Trabajo Universidad del Rosario


  • Immigration policies prioritize labor market integration, aiming for high employment rates and leveraging migrant skills to enhance host country productivity. However, migrants often face entry barriers and human capital misallocation. This article examines the occupational downgrading of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia and assesses the impact of work permit policies on mitigating this trend. Our empirical findings highlight significant occupation downgrading, prompting an exploration of the role of work permits. The analysis indicates that permits have expanded employment prospects for migrants who were previously unemployed or engaged in blue-collar jobs, mainly for females and the youngest population. While permits do not significantly reduce occupation downgrading they are associated with more formal job search mechanisms. Moreover, our findings show no significant impact of work permits on the intensity of routinization; instead, there is an increase in the intensity of non-routine analytic and interactive tasks among the youngest workers. This suggests that permits could be complemented with additional instruments to enhance migrant matching in the labor market. 

fecha de publicación

  • 2024

Líneas de investigación

  • Migration
  • labor mobility
  • occupational downgrading
  • work permits


  • 21028