The year began strongly in terms of immigration to Israel with 2,293 immigrants reaching Israel in January, up 3% from last year and 2,403 in February, up 9% from last year, according to the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.
But thereafter immigration went downhill as the Covid-19 pandemic spread with 1,424 immigrants arriving in March, down 51% from last year and just 403 immigrants in April, down 84% from 2019. In May 1,094 immigrants arrived, down 70% from last year and in June 951 immigrants reached Israel, down 65% from last year.
In total 8,568 immigrants reached Israel in the first half of the year, compared with 18,130 in the first half of 2019.
However, Israeli official expect a sharp rise in immigration when the crisis is over. Jewish Agency CEO Amira Aharanovich told the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee that there has been a huge rise in immigration enquiries in many countries. In the US the number of new immigrant candidate files opened was 6.7 times larger than during the corresponding period last year, 3.7 times larger in France and twice as large in Latin America. Only about 60%-80% of enquiries actually end in immigration and worldwide the Knesset Research Center reported that immigration enquiries were down 19%, especially in countries of the former Soviet Union where the Jewish Agency had closed offices.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 20, 2020
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