Umbrella Inform - The impact of COVID-19 in the migration area in EU and OECD countries
The European Migration Network (EMN) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a new 'umbrella inform' detailing the impact of COVID-19 in the migration area. The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) also provided input.
This publication completes a joint EMN and OECD inform series (details below) focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on migration and asylum in EU Member States and non-EU OECD countries throughout 2020.
The document provides updates on changes in border procedures, provision of COVID-19 related healthcare services to migrants, the shifting landscape of the labour market, international protection, international students and return issues.
Key findings shared in the publication include the following:
- The pandemic affected entry conditions and the issuance of residence permits by EU Member States and Norway, which introduced restrictions on in-person migration services. Similarly, in non-EU OECD countries electronic tools and online systems were commonly used;
- Automatic extensions of residence permits, tolerated stays, and/or the suspension/extension of procedural deadlines were introduced throughout 2020 in EU and non-EU OECD countries;
- Continued admission to the territory was ensured for those working in essential occupational sectors (e.g. health; agriculture; transport) in order to meet labour market needs across EU and non-EU OECD countries;
- New tools and processes used in asylum and reception systems in the immediate response to the pandemic - such as emergency shelters, isolation areas and remote interviews - now represent an emerging ‘new normal’. This brings new challenges in guaranteeing effective and fair asylum procedures;
- Some EU Member States reported a substantial decrease in the number of new international students during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Physical presence on campuses was mostly discouraged, and international students were often allowed to return home and continue their studies remotely;
- Forced return from EU Member States and in non-EU OECD countries was heavily impacted due to the difficulty of organising return flights to third countries. Return counselling and other pre-departure services were moved to online communication formats.
There are five other publications in this inform series. They examine: