This article investigates the relationship between circular migration and return migration by taking the case of Ukrainian and Polish women employed in the Italian domestic work sector. The comparison between these two groups highlights how circularity can differently combine with various stages of migratory cycles: for Ukrainians circularity is a strategy to postpone their final return to their home country, after several year of stable settlement in Italy; whilst for Poles, circularity has characterised their migration towards Italy since the beginning, alleviating their departure from Poland. This difference is mainly explained by Poles’ freedom of mobility within the EU, in comparison to Ukrainians. However, this article also shows communalities between the two groups which have to do with the motivations pushing these women to engage in circularity.
Keywords: Circular migration, Domestic work, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Migration cycle