Based on a Marxist analytical framework, this article offers a contextualized and critical overview of the participation of civil society in the global governance of migration. Derived from an analysis informed by direct involvement in the most important invited and invented spaces for civil society in the incipient and fragile process of global migration governance, it argues that: (a) the space for counterhegemonic participation of civil society is essentially marginal given the increasing penetration of neoliberal institutions in promoting a dominant ‘Northern’ discourse on migration and development, and migration management as a mainstream policy; and (b) under capitalism there is no space for a counterhegemonic agency of global governance. Therefore, resistance from below as a creative process of social transformation is the only option for building a socially just international migration regime. This ‘invented space’ is an articulation of anti-systemic social movements, networks, and other civil society organizations.