Learn more about Foreign worker
- See also: expatriate
 Legal Definition of Migrant Worker
The "United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families", legally defines a migrant worker as a "person who is to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national". This Convention has been ratified by Mexico, Brazil and the Phillipines (amongst many other nations that supply foreign labour) but it has not been ratified by the United States, Germany and Japan (amongst other nations that depend on cheap foreign labour). They are called illegal aliens, most of the time.
In the United States, the term is most commonly used to describe low-wage workers performing manual labor in the agriculture field. Today in Europe and the United States these are often immigrants who are not working on valid work visas since local immigration authorities would rather they be vulnerable and easy to deport as illegal aliens.
 Migrant Worker Organizers
Migrant worker activists have greatly influenced the human rights movement in North America and Africa as political and union organizers. Some of these activists include...
 Types of foreign workers
The term, in its broadest sense, may cover a multitude of cases. Most commonly, it refers to economic migrants, who typically travel (either legally or illegally) to a country with much more preferred job prospects than the one in which they currently reside. These "workers" will sometimes temporarily reside in the country in which they work and will often send most or all wages earned, back to their country of origin (usually to a family).
Sometimes, a host country sets up a program in order to invite foreign workers, as did the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s, when over one million of so-called guest workers (Gastarbeiter) were attracted, mostly from Italy, Spain and Turkey.
Current estimates of the total number of international foreign workers stand at about 25 million , with a comparable number of dependents accompanying them. About 14 million of these, including 4 or 5 million undocumented workers are working in the United States, which draws most of its immigrants from Mexico; Northwestern Europe about 5 million; Japan about half million; and Saudi Arabia about 5 million.
The term can include professional experts, blue collar workers, language teachers, and entertainers.
In recent years in the USA there has been much controversy over whether H-1B visas, intended to bring </font>highly skilled workers to fill alleged gaps in the domestic labor pool, are instead being used to bring in skilled, but otherwise unexceptional, economic migrants as cheap labor to fill jobs that could readily be filled domestically.
On the other hand, Third World countries such as India, Pakistan, and the Philippines have long experienced a brain drain of highly skilled workers to countries like the United States, France, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Australia. While the absolute number of such émigrés are not large, the economic implications of such very skilled workers are significant.
Sometimes, citizens of countries with heavily urbanized areas have migrated to more agrarian countries in order to find jobs as farmers and such.
In certain less tolerant nations, foreign workers may be abused and treated as second-class citizens by the governments and/or lack of unions to assert worker rights. For instance, in many Asian nations, it is not uncommon for employers to withhold passports from their employees, thus preventing the foreign worker from returning home. In conjunction with the withholding of salaries, it is meant to put the foreign workers in very difficult situation (particularly because the laws of these countries are typically not sympathetic to foreigners in practice). In the UK organisations such as Kalayaan protect the rights of UK migrant domestic workers.
 Foreign Workers Support for Families at Home
Whether Indians working in the Gulf states as Saudi Arabia or Mexicans working in the USA, many foreign workers are supporting families back home in their home countries.
 See also
Knox, Paul; Agnew, John; McCarthy, Linda (2003). The Geography of the World Economy (4th ed.). London: Hodder Arnold. ISBN 0-340-80712-1.</font>
 External links
- The PBS newsmagazine NOW focuses on America's "Guest Workers" including interviews with actual guest workers who work in Montana's forests
- Burma Migrant Worker Issues
- Migrant labor activism in New York City from Dollars & Sense magazine
- Migrant Workers Television(MWTV) in Seoul Korea
- Migrante International
- No One is Illegal
- Global Culture: essay on migrant workers