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Ruling on belonging: transnational marriages in Nordic immigration laws

Sanna Mustasaari


For migrants, participating in transnational networks and having ties to more than one country often results in the formation of marital unions involving transnational communities. This article examines how transnational marriage migration is regulated in Nordic immigration laws, in particular through the definition of family, income requirements, and integration requirements. Drawing on the idea that constructing and contesting the belonging of individuals to families and political communities in nation states are central struggles in these laws, the article studies the right to respect for family life and freedom from discrimination within the context of immigration as a site of resistance. By claiming rights to equal treatment and respect for family life, individuals with transnational ties can challenge policies that frame their belonging through ethnic, racial or gendered stereotypes


transnational marriage migration; Nordic countries; immigration law; European Court of Human Rights; belonging

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