One of the most pressing governance challenges of our time is how to manage international migration effectively, and the related need to respect the interests and needs of migrants and their families as well as those of countries, right the way through the migration cycle (origin, transit, destination, return). Safe, orderly and regular migration is recognized as beneficial to all parties involved. Nonetheless, a significant share of international migration takes place outside regular channels, either through unlawful entry or through regular entry and irregular stay and work at destination. For high-income countries, combating irregular migration and channelling prospective migrants into regular flows is a high-priority policy challenge. This research project, led by Professor Anna Triandafyllidou from the European University Institute, examined key issues and current research on the links between regular migration pathways and irregular migration. Presented as a discussion paper to inform policy deliberations, the researchers’ findings point to the development of possible policy options and good practices that States could draw upon to improve their respective migration realities.