The area of return migration is attracting considerable interest, not least because of the surge in returns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The characteristics of recent returnees and their motivations have yet to be established. This paper examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on return migration to the Czech Republic and offers one of the first investigations into the realities of return in this particular case. The present study is expected to contribute to our understanding of the role of transnationalism and migration networks in return migration. We also want to highlight the uneasiness between the voluntary/forced migration dichotomy when it comes to discussing recent events. Feelings of being stranded and of helplessness were also common for many (voluntary) returnees at some point during their pre-return phase. Data were collected during the first half of 2021 and the responses were gathered through semi-structured interviews.
return migration, transnationalism, networks, COVID-19, Czech Republic
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