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Immigration in the Age of Covid-19

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on international travel which in turn has had massive implications for immigration.

Some of the changes may well be permanent, so it's difficult to predict what the future might hold for would-be migrants to the UK, even with the help of expert immigration lawyers.

When is International Travel Coming Back?

The pandemic has provided the global travel industry with an unprecedented shock. Businesses which used to rely on long-haul flights have had to resort to other measures. They've made videoconferencing through platforms like Zoom a part of the way they operate. Having learned to do so, they might take the view that flights are an unnecessary expenditure, even after the lockdown is lifted. Similarly, there are environmental reasons to make the travel ban stick, at least for short-haul flights. This may form part of a broader trend away from globalism, and toward a larger world split by national boundaries.

The Salary Threshold

At the moment, the salary threshold for a worker to be classed as 'skilled' is £25,600 – though this may vary slightly according to the occupation and level of training. This means that the government doesn't have to decide which sectors are worthwhile, or get drawn into public arguments with industry leaders, each of whom will have a vested interest in promoting one profession over another. But it's somewhat at odds with some of the government's professed aims, including the aim to drive the UK's economy toward an economy based around technology and science.

Testing before Travel

In order to ensure that would-be migrants are safe to travel, it's likely that any relaxation of the flight restrictions would come with strings attached. Among the most obvious of these would be testing prior to boarding the flight. This might come in the form of antibody testing, which established whether the person is resistant to the virus (having already contracted it), or a person who is actively carrying it.

This isn't without precedent: certain countries already require new arrivals to have certification declaring them free from certain diseases, like yellow fever, if they're travelling from a part of the word where the diseases is endemic. Given how widespread coronavirus fears are, we should expect political pressure on governments around the world to enact similar rules.

What about a vaccine?

Work on a vaccine has been underway for as long as the virus has been affecting global trade. The economic pressures mean that researchers have the resources and funding they need, but there are still time restrictions. Time is needed to administer a potential vaccine, observe its results, make adjustments, and finally approve the product for consumption.

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