Pandemic spurs demand for global migration

An increasing number of people are now looking at immigration for a better life

Lead Pandemic
Covid-19 has led people to explore immigration options in countries with benefits such as free healthcare and education

The era of Covid-19 upended life as we know it, with no sector left unaltered.

In the case of immigration, the pandemic gave people all over the world the opportunity to pause for a while and analyse their lives — and in many cases this led to wanting a better life overseas in a safe country with benefits such as free healthcare and education.

One interesting side effect of the health crisis has been that countries have had the chance to shine — or not — in the eyes of a particularly engaged global audience. Three of the biggest winners were Australia, New Zealand and Canada, who all showed great care for their citizens while managing to incur only minimal impact to everyday life.

For New Zealand, migration has long been the chief driver for the population of the isolated island nation, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone. The country’s profile received a massive boost last year as it drew global praise for its handling of Covid-19, which resulted in a very low death rate.

But it is Canada that remains arguably the most popular migrant destination for expats living in the Middle East, says Sara Alam, Service Manager, Cosmos Immigration.

“Each year thousands choose Canada as a dream country to seek citizenship,” she says. “It is also the top destination for young students who are seeking affordable and safe education.”

Alam, however, cautions that students who are currently preparing to apply for a Canadian study visa should consider policy changes due to travel restrictions.

Right now, travellers arriving to Canada by air – aside from a few exceptions – are required to take a Covid-19 molecular test prior to exiting the airport, and another test towards the end of their 14-day quarantine period at their own cost. They will also be required to reserve, prior to their departure for Canada, a three-night stay at a government authorised hotel at their own cost while they await the results of their test.

Yet, despite the pandemic, Canada is on track to shatter its Express Entry record. The Canadian government has taken a welcoming approach towards immigrants during these challenging times, which is a positive sign for skilled professionals considering relocation options, says Alam.

On the other hand, Australia has designed its migration plans to achieve a range of economic and social outcomes – mainly to fill skill shortages in the labour market.

Karun Luthra, Migration Consultant at Vazir Group, urges those seeking greener pastures in another land to conduct proper research and approach experts for advice before even starting the application process for another country.

“It is essential to be well informed and consult with someone who listens to you and advises correctly based on your current circumstances and future goals – not just someone who urges you to choose the supposedly easier option.”