This article reviews the recent literature on existing mechanisms that allow for the portability of social security entitlements for migrant workers and finds that North–North migrants have the best access to portability. There is limited coordination between origin and destination countries regarding the portability of social entitlements of South–North migrants. These migrants are dealing with discourses and policies that treat them as second class citizens, even as they are providing much-needed labour to their host countries. South–South migrants are seeing new regional mechanisms addressing portability. However, many of the impacts of these mechanisms are not yet known. Other knowledge gaps on portability relate to internal and South–South migration, the role of gender and other social identities, migrants’ occupations as well as their legal immigration status.