It's often believed, especially by Americans who have never been outside their country, that professionals in poorer countries immigrate to the West because they live in abject squalor in their home countries. The reason for this "interesting" belief is that a professional in a poor country may earn less than a cab driver in the United States. However, this fails to take into consideration that the cost of living is massively higher in the United States. In many poor areas it's possible for a large family to live in comfort, even luxury, on a monthly salary that's less than the average ''daily'' salary in New York. (Some capital cities in poorer countries are very expensive for expatriates, but expats have specific needs that locals rarely have - security above all.) Most professional immigrants either have a Western education and are able to enter the job force, are unaware that their credentials aren't transferable, have been sold a story by an "immigration consultant", or are escaping something other than poverty such as discrimination, political oppression, political instability, rampant crime, or war, or are seeking something other than employment (e.g. better education for their children).

Often overlaps with research failure, especially when universities from Eastern and Central Europe (and to a lesser extent the South Asian subcontinent) are mentioned. Most graduates from such countries have little trouble nostrificating their diplomas, especially if they come from renowned universities and their profession is in high demand (such as Doctors). If anything, this trope is the result of [[ObstructiveBureaucrat bureaucracy]] or a case described below.