The Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) applies the best in social science, legal, and policy expertise to the complex issues raised by international migration.ISIM, founded in 1998, is part of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and affiliated with the Law Center at Georgetown University.

ISIM focuses on all aspects of international migration, including the causes of and potential responses to population movements, immigration and refugee law and policy, comparative migration studies, the integration of immigrants into their host societies, and the effects of international migration on social, economic, demographic, foreign policy and national security concerns. ISIM also studies internal displacement, with particular attention to the forced movements of people for reasons that would make them refugees if they crossed an international border.

ISIM provides balanced, interdisciplinary analysis of the complicated issues raised by international migration. The Institute conducts research, convenes symposia and conferences on U.S. immigration and refugee law and policies. It also undertakes comparative analysis of international migration issues affecting other countries, including various bilateral, regional, and multilateral approaches to migration and refugee policy. Understanding forced migration and responses to humanitarian emergencies is another important area of policy research.

The Institute is committed to building the next generation of experts on international migration. ISIM offers a certificate program for Masters level students at the School of Foreign Service who have a career interest in human rights and humanitarian issues, with special focus on refugee crises and post-conflict situations. The certificate program prepares students to work in international organizations, government and private agencies specializing in emergency relief, human rights and humanitarian activities. The Institute also provides work opportunities for students. Students are involved in the various activities undertaken by the Institute, including policy-oriented research, symposia and conferences of policy experts and government officials, site visits, and key informant interviews.

ISIM seeks to stimulate international migration research. ISIM convenes research symposia that provides an opportunity for the sharing of research in progress as well as finished projects. The Institute forms partnerships with researchers at other U.S. and foreign universities to foster exchange of research and to undertake cooperative projects. ISIM has also established a Visiting Scholars program for academics and graduate students pursuing research on migration and refugee issues.

In 2002, ISIM assumed the editorship of International Migration, one of the leading peer-reviewed journals in the field.