Weargue that scholars of immigrant integration should paymore attention to immigrants’ ‘civic visibility’ among local government officials, organisations and other residents. To document and analyse immigrants’ civic visibility, we examine coverage of the Vietnamese and Indian communities in newspapers in San Jose, Boston, Vancouver and Toronto from 1985 to 2005. We ask (i) do local newspapers cover the lives of immigrants and their descendants and (ii) what explains variation in the amount of coverage devoted to different immigrant-origin communities in different places? We find little evidence that newspaper coverage is affected by the demographics of an area, newsroom factors or simplified models of the national political and discursive opportunity structures. Instead, we take an ‘embedded’ context of reception approach, which takes seriously the intersection between general discursive opportunity structures on immigration and particular discourses about certain types of migrants. Our findings suggest the need to complicate national opportunity structure frameworks by considering how their interaction with specific immigrant communities produces between-country and between-group variation. Our results also underscore the importance of immigrant agency; greater visibility in localmedia appears to link with immigrants’ greater presence in domestic politics.