New EMN publications on the impact of COVID-19 on migration

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The European Migration Network (EMN) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have launched a collaboration for publication of series of informs on the impact of COVID-19 in different areas of migration in the EU Members States, Norway and the UK.

The outbreak of COVID-19 and the measures taken to stem the spread of the virus are having impacts on the migration field. The European Migration Network has monitored how the pandemic is affecting migration in the EU and Norway, to provide information to policy makers. EMN and OECD are now collaborating with the European Commission (DG HOME) to address this most urgent agenda by a series of five publications on measures taken at national and EU level in response to COVID-19 and their impacts on migration. The informs aim to address the negative consequences of the pandemic. The topic are: managing residence permits and migrant unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, impact of COVID-19 on international students, maintaining key legal migration flows in times of pandemic, reduction or loss of remittances and return issues. Their publication is foreseen until November 2020.
The first inform “EU and OECD Member States responses to managing residence permits and migrant unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic” indicates that vulnerable communities including third-country nationals are being especially affected by the impacts of the pandemic. Many countries have introduced temporary measures with regard to the processing of applications for, and issuance and renewal of, residence permits to prevent legally staying migrants from falling into an irregular situation, and for those who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.  The measures taken include, inter alia, extension of authorisation to stay to migrants who were unable to leave because of the pandemic, facilitated online applications, easing of employment restrictions, and facilitated access to unemployment benefits for migrants. The Inform also explores the consequences of travel bans and analyses the measures taken to mobilise the migrant health workforce.  
The second publication “Impact of COVID-19 on international students in EU and OECD Member States” shows that while the long-term consequences are difficult to predict, the immediate impacts are already visible, for example, where the processing of new applications or for renewing residence permits has in many cases been hindered or suspended, with consequences for international students already present in the host country.  In addition, the abrupt downturn in economic activity has had a significant impact across many sectors, with international students facing the loss of their part time jobs or reduced or lost incomes, which could have an impact on their ability to continue their studies or find a job or start a business following their graduation.
In response to these developments, some EU and OECD countries modified or adapted their admission processes at the national level, often in cooperation with HEIs. Many countries introduced temporary measures to mitigate the financial impact that COVID-19 was having on international students.