Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



My dissertation project, “Newly Dependent: The Living Experiences of Transnational Bangladeshi Women in North America” is a qualitative study of gendered migration in North America. North America is one of the most culturally and racially diverse continents in the world where immigrants contribute substantially to economic and social growth in both countries and the United States and Canada celebrate their heritage and identity as nations of immigrants. However, standing at the intersection of immigration, gender, and governmental regulation, I explore how the visa apparatus shapes the experiences of transnational Bangladeshi immigrant women in North America. Using ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews, I particularly explore how the dependent visa regimes in North America are being used as a biopolitical tool to influence and control women visa holders’ subjectivities. Specifically, the study reveals four interrelated issues of dependent visa regimes in North America. First, the study sheds light on how the dependent visa regimes are being used as biopolitical tools by both the United States and Canada with different intentions and outcomes. Second, the study explores how the apparently gender-neutral dependent visa regimes (particularly in the United States) are gender biased and creates a culture of mandatory-housewifing, which uncovers the third findings, the hierarchical relationship between the primary (husbands) and dependent (wives) visa holders. Finally, the study explores how the vicious cycle of dependence impacts and influences on the personal and professional autonomy of participants. Thus, in this study I elaborate that the dependent visa regime not only controls the physical movements of the visa holders, but it also impacts on the personal and professional lives of the visa holders, that eventually takes tolls on their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.



Committee Chair

Berkowitz, Dana



Available for download on Thursday, January 11, 2029