European immigration policy has generally become more restrictive over the last quarter of a century, making it increasingly difficult for labour migrants from developing countries to enter Europe. This poses new challenges to countries of emigration, where young people become unable to use migration as a strategy for upward social mobility in the way that many of their parents did. This situation also poses new challenges to migration theory. Under the present circumstances, migration flows are determined not only by people's wish to migrate, but also by the ability to realize this wish. In the project, Cape Verde is used as a case to analyze people's responses to the mounting barriers to international migration. Survey data and qualitative interviews carried out during fieldwork will be used to examine a) Who wishes to migrate? and b) Who is able to migrate, and how. The topic adressed is central to the development challenges of Cape Verde in particular, and emigration-intensive countries in general. The mechanisms under study are important to explaining the size and composition of contemporary migration flows.