COVID Impact on Migration Policies

Table of Contents

COVID Impact on Migration Policies – US

  • The Trump administration announced plans to limit visas issued to skilled workers from overseas sharply. The move was a priority because of the job losses caused by the COVID-19. But a court ruling in California threw out Trump rules aimed at curtailing the immigration of skilled workers. Currently, skilled workers are allowed to migrate into the US.
  • The Trump administration published on 6th July that international students were to either transfers schools or leave the country if their classes were going to be entirely online, but a lawsuit was initiated by HAVARD and MIT, which saw the policy reversed on July 14th. Currently, students are allowed to come to the USA. On February 10, the Biden administration announced that international students with current visas would be exempt from COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • The US is currently processing application for HNW immigrants (The immigrant investor Visa). An immigrant’s conditions to obtain the EB-5 investor immigrant Visa have laid out on the US migration website.
  • Immigrants from Australia are allowed into the USA, but they must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of their departure.
  • The US migration website allows application for a tourist visa, also known as a visitor visa, which indicates that the immigrant has met the requirements for admission to the United States as a temporary resident. All US visitor visa applications are still being accepted and processed, although this process takes longer than usual due to the spread of COVID-19.
  • On the US migration website, the US business immigration section is open for visa applications for different visas. A prospective immigrant fills out an assessment form and waits for 24 hours to be contacted to discuss their eligibility.

COVID Impact on Migration Policies – UK

  • The UK has not closed its borders but has set new rules for travelers arriving in the country. Currently, skilled migrants can submit an online VISA application for migrating to the UK. However, they may face delays in the processing of their applications due to the huge backlog of applications at the UKVCAS centers.
  • The UK government has issued a specific red list of travel ban countries wherein any person who has been in or through any of these listed countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry to the UK. Australia is currently not included in this red list of countries, and hence returning Australian migrants can enter the UK. However, they are subject to coronavirus testing and quarantine requirements on arrival in the UK.
  • All UK visitor visa applications are currently being accepted and processed. While the visitor VISA applications can be made for traveling to the UK, they are likely to be processed with a delay if the applicant is from a country where travel to the UK is suspended. The VISA application from such countries will only be processed once the suspension of travel is lifted.
  • The UK has not closed its borders, and business travelers are currently allowed to travel to the UK. However, the UK has canceled its travel corridor program, which allowed travelers from a frequently updated list of countries to bypass the otherwise mandatory 10-day quarantine requirement, and mandatory quarantine and COVID test are now required for all travel to England.
  • Under the new immigration system that came into enforcement from January 1, 2021, in the UK, there is no visa category for low-skilled jobs. The only people allowed to do low-skilled jobs are British citizens, Irish citizens, and other people who have permission to work in the UK. [6] UK borders will be closed to non-skilled workers, and all migrants will have to speak English. Also, the skills threshold for foreign nationals wanting to work in the UK has been lowered from degree to A-levels or their equivalent. [7]

COVID Impact on Migration Policies – Canada

  • Canada is preferentially permitting visitors only for the essential and non-discretionary purpose of visit.
  • All travelers are directed through four entry points in Canada, i.e., airports in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver.
  • All visitors need to undergo a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival and arrange for a mandatory non-residential stay for three days until the test results are disclosed.
  • On receipt of negative test results, all individuals need to self-isolate for 14 days at their place of stay.

COVID Impact on Migration Policies – New Zealand

  • Although New Zealand has postponed resident visas for skilled migrants in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, those with temporary work visas that are currently outside of the country but have kept their business or job in New Zealand and have resided in the country for an extended period of time before leaving might be able to travel there.
  • Only a limited number of international students are being allowed into New Zealand. A maximum of 250 postgraduate and PhD students are eligible to enter into New Zealand, while another 1,000 priority postgraduate and bachelor degree students the seek to continue their studies in the country can also enter.
  • Immigration New Zealand is still processing applications for wealthy/HNW migrants that wish to obtain investor residency status, but most of this group will not be able to enter the country because its border is closed to them.
  • As stated on the official website for Immigration New Zealand, “”Australian citizens and permanent residents who ordinarily reside in New Zealand can travel to New Zealand.”
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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