Covid-19: disrupted expatriation projects

Grounded planes, padlocked borders, slow visa issuance… For two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has considerably affected expatriation desires. According to an Opinionway survey for Indeed carried out in September 2021, only 14% of students who had an international mobility project before March 2020 were able to leave. Among the assets concerned, a quarter of them were still able to take off, when 44% chose to postpone the project and 31% to give it up.

“There was a complete cessation of flows in the spring of 2020. They then remained at a very low level, especially in Asia and the United States. For the United States, this is due to the delay in obtaining the visa, which has just returned to normal,” says Alix Carnot, associate director of Expat communication, a company that has been supporting future expatriates for twenty years.

“The weather complicated the departure”

Settled in Vietnam, Manon and Ludovic showed patience. After a first departure canceled in February 2021, due to the rupture of a local hiring promise, the couple was to leave in June 2021. “Vietnam then entered total containment until September 2021”, says Manon, educator of young children. They finally reached Ho Chi Minh City on January 12, 2022, after a three-month hook in Thailand. “You really had to want it and hang on. »

Conversely, Chloé gave up on her Colombian dream. In March 2020, the young woman left Brazil, where she lived for two years, with the firm intention of leaving six weeks later to work in an NGO in Colombia. Confinements and the closing of borders are a game-changer. ” The time has passed. I had to find a job, then I met someone. Life has made it difficult to leave. »

Resumption of flows

For others, the pandemic has accelerated the maturation of a desire for change. “My husband always wanted us to move abroad, but I was reluctant. The pandemic made me see life differently and the 2021 lockdown allowed us to discuss our respective dreams,” recounts Agnès, from Huntington Beach, south of Los Angeles, where the journalist joined her husband with their three children in August. Nearly a year was needed to make the project a reality, the time the father of the family landed a job abroad within his company.

At European level, a study conducted by Indeed, a job search engine, in March and April 2022, indicates that interest in offers outside the country of residence is close to the pre-crisis level. “In this new school year, we are seeing a normal resumption of flows”, confirms Alix Carnot, who also remarks that “Covid is no longer a subject at all” for future expatriates.

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