Covid-19 has impacted global migration flows more than any other event in recent history, and it continues to shape migration trends in 2022 and beyond.
While mobility stopped many from relocating over the past two years; the pandemic left a lasting legacy in other ways too. As with the pandemic came many people reevaluating their lives and considering more fulfilling futures.
“The pandemic has changed people’s perspective when it comes to quality of life, the healthcare benefits they are currently receiving, and the ones provided in other countries which they would like to receive. Many Indians, Africans, and Middle Eastern nationals are considering moving to Canada or different countries in Europe to provide better for their families,” says Vrinda Gupta, Brand Custodian of Vazir Group.
Depending on where one is from, the advantages of moving to another country can seem attractive. For example, places such as Canada can offer immigrants many benefits.
“Canadian citizenship is a gateway for clients to turn their dreams into reality; it provides economic stability, a safe environment, top-quality education, a better healthcare system, and certain tax benefits,” says Gupta.
Europe is also a popular location for relocation due to its lucrative visa programmes.
“We understand that moving permanently to a new location is a very personal decision led by different needs and ambitions. Last year, thousands of Indians chose the Portugal Golden Visa programme because it is the easiest and fastest citizenship programme,” says Gupta.
Since 2000, the United Nations (UN) estimated that 173 million people lived outside their native country; by 2020, that figure had dramatically increased to 281 million. By 2022, migration is set to increase further as it is becoming easier and faster than before, with many countries, including Canada, seeking to attract immigrants.
“With higher immigration targets and more efficient processes in place, the Canadian immigration landscape for 2022 looks quite promising,” says Waquar Karim, Group Vice President, WWICS Group (Business Immigration).
“Canada has one of the world’s lowest natural population growth rates, which creates economic and fiscal pressures. Therefore, Canada needs immigrants to drive its economy. In fact, immigration’s importance has increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Canada announced an ambitious plan to welcome more than 1.3 million immigrants over the next three years to support its post-pandemic growth. Among them will be foreign entrepreneurs and investors who are willing to make investments in the country’s economy,” Karim says.
Canada’s immigration minister has emphasised so many times that immigrant entrepreneurs will play a crucial role in Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery, creating jobs and prosperity for Canadians, says Karim.
“So, for foreign entrepreneurs and investors, there has never been a better time to start their Canadian immigration process,” he says.
Whether an entrepreneur or investor, the key trend immigration advisors appear to be witnessing is that, since the pandemic, with healthcare a priority, this is one of the main aspects being taken into account when considering where to relocate.
The global pandemic has highlighted the importance of healthcare for people. Consultants have seen a huge demand for the UK because of the world-famous National Health Service providing completely free healthcare for all.
Business owners, entrepreneurs and investors have also been drawn by the UK government’s initiatives to support business owners through the pandemic, making the UK a highly desirable place to start a business with government benefits and obtain the UK nationality for family.
The one thing that all immigration advisers could agree on is that now is the right time to make that move. While current migration rules are favourable in certain continents, that might not always be the case in the future, say experts.
Undoubtedly, the biggest thing that has changed since the Covid pandemic is people’s priorities.
Thus, migration is surely set to grow further as immigrants grasp the lucrative opportunities that await on faraway shores and begin to live their best lives for themselves and their family members.