What’s ahead for immigration globally?

With the promising news of effective COVID-19 vaccines being developed, and the Government’s announcement of an in-principle purchase agreement of 5 million vaccines (pending Medsafe and other approvals), we’re anticipating some big changes to how people move about the world in 2021 and beyond.

It’s fair to presume that, moving forward, irrespective of the types or duration, visa applications worldwide may demand health check/medical reports and/or proof of vaccination to be submitted to ensure that travelers are free from diseases – especially COVID-19 – in order to safeguard countries’ borders.

There has already been talk in the Australian media for travelers possibly needing an electronic vaccination passport for inbound and outbound travel to and from Australia, once coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available. The Australian Government has indicated that such a move would require a lot of thought and logistics, as well as probable government intervention. At this stage, New Zealand and Australian governments are focusing their efforts on being able to provide the coronavirus vaccine to all nationals. It is also highly likely some sort of an App for our mobile phones will be developed in the near future to help travelers confirm their vaccination status for travel purposes.
We’re also anticipating some changes to travel history declarations, which are in practice for many countries already, and again often in relation to travel to or from major COVID-19 hot-spots. If this does transpire, clients should always be advised to be truthful and forthcoming about disclosing their travel history information to immigration authorities. As always, we’re here to help, so reach out to us for advice on how to best manage this for your clients.

It is difficult to predict what will happen with respect to border closures and quarantine or self-isolation requirements. We can only hope once the coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available throughout the globe that these requirements and bans will cease altogether but this is unlikely to occur during 2021.

We are also predicting that demand for highly skilled migrant workers will continue to increase during 2021, as countries like Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand compete to grow their highly educated and experienced migrant base.

To discuss this topic, or any other immigration related issues, please feel free to contact me
at Marty.Logan@pittandmoore.co.nz.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. 

Marty Logan

Position: Partner
Email: marty.logan@pittandmoore.co.nz
DDI: +64 3 545 6719