A great segment of skilled youth desires for attaining immigration status in wealthier countries because of the worse socio-economic circumstances in their country of origin. This migration can either be a permanent or a semi-permanent change of residence . Population movements are a fundamental human endeavour that has been happening since the beginning of mankind. However, this far off displacement had been difficult in each historical era. In pre-industrial times, particularly the voyage itself was difficult, whereas in today’s society, documentation and border crossing permissions are challenging. Furthermore, the process of transnational migration involves problems of cultural integration, language barriers, and financial and physical adjustment .
The International Organization of Migration defines a migrant as a person who has moved across the international borders away from his country of birth with the intent of settlement . Migration marriage has been the dominant form of migration from Pakistan to European countries . Several studies have demonstrated a continuous growth in migration marriages of south-Asian women in western countries . In South Asia, marriages with immigrants have been sparked by cultural pressures and a wish for better life opportunities . Frequently, young women from developing countries marry older men to offer beauty, youth and domesticity with traditional gender roles and companionship . For example, the rural communities in Vietnam raise and send their women as brides to wealthier East Asian countries . In Pakistan, parents are willing to give their daughters to man in any profession possessing permanent residence of wealthier countries, even aged or health-deprived ones. These marriages are arranged and do not involve consent of bride and groom in the majority of cases. The people of South Asian region dream for the life in developed countries, mostly in terms of financial prosperity. They uphold and love imitations of prosperous countries, however, have dual standards of judgements based on which they like some aspects and disapprove the others. There is gross approval of western personality grooming and English language, particularly in Pakistan. However, women’s choice of dressing and appearing modern is disapproved. This is also a reason for perceived marginalisation among south Asians .
Sexual abstinence and virginity of girls are the cultural ideal tied to family respect in eastern cultures. Women in South Asian territory marry back in their home country primarily because of the family involvement and concern for ethnic prestige . Such practices have complex contextual roots in cultural traditions of immigrant’s identity, perceived cultural deviance, and quality of integration in country of settlement. Despite these cultural factors, the socio-economic conditions in Pakistan’s society are pushing youth to seek immigration. Previously, the migration of Pakistani’s to United Kingdom (UK) was characterised as for the family reunion . However, in the last two decades, the social circumstances have changed largely.
The increased level of contact among nationals and non-nationals, internationalisation in education and employment, and the use of information technology and social media have contributed to migration marriages between South Asian possessing UK citizenship and immigrants from Pakistan. Empirical studies demonstrated that the Indian youth are more likely to adopt integration strategies as opposed to Pakistani Muslims who adopt a separation strategy while interacting with their host culture. This perceived discrimination among Muslim communities in diaspora was found to be linked with acculturation strategies . This may be due to the low cultural hybridity and cultural deviance. Cultural hybridity is characterised by a person from a different background who comes to another culture and can become more acceptant of other beliefs, races, languages, and religions . Chiang  described the phenomenon very accurately:
“Globalization de-territorializes, the borders of countries and the bounds of cultures become blurred, contested, open-ended, unstable, and frequently modified. On one hand, the mobility and re-placement of our bodies destabilize our traditional sense of identity that was usually deeply rooted in a sense of nation-state. On the other hand, “localism,” or “nativism,” simultaneously increases as reaction and resistance to the global forces from the locals.” (page 29)
Pakistanis in UK seem to have frozen identities. Some studies highlighted the assumption of wives’ passivity in arranged migration marriages or in joining husbands overseas [14, 15], while others have demonstrated the dearth of studies on experiences of men who migrate to join wives working abroad [1, 10]. According to Sheffer  “modern diasporas are actually mirror representations of culture of origin in the host countries because of maintaining strong emotional and material bonding with their homelands’.
About the forces and frictions of transnational migration, scholars have identified certain push and pull factors. According to these theories, migration occurs because of pressures and counter-pressures from the origin and host countries . Studies on South Asian diaspora demonstrate that the parents who have migrated from South Asia have less happy, poor performing, and less flexible children . A lot of research has been done on postmigration physical and mental health, and social adjustment of immigrants. Lesser empirical evidence is available on premigration struggles, aspirations and attempts of failure. Despite the importance of the topic, no recent study has been published on the migration aspirations, educational capabilities, marriage preferences, and health outcomes in association with anticipated migration status.
Aims and objectives
The present study is an interdisciplinary research related to the family studies and marriage, sociology of immigration, and social anthropology. It focuses on the desire-based decision making by individuals regarding voluntary migration. Micro-theories of migration that are based on rational choice theory focus on the factors influencing individual decisions to migrate, which means that how potential migrants calculate the various costs and benefits of migration. The immigrants from developing countries face the challenges of dual cultural scripts and contradicting lifestyles with respect to sexual relationships, socio-religious practices, and even daily routines . This study is based on the planned behaviour theory as theoretical framework [19, 20]. This theory of Ajzen  has been used as theoretical framework for researches on fertility and immigration intentions. It is the purpose of this study to analyse the migration aspiration in association with educational capabilities, marriage preferences and health outcomes as the forces and frictions of transnational migration. A secondary objective is to assess the prevalence of migration desires among the skilled youth in Pakistan.