Survey: Impact of Covid-19 on Expatriation – first findings

A total of 1,008 expat partners and partners of international hires responded to our survey. Below we share what we view to be the key findings.

Surveying two groups

In line with our long-held belief, more corporate clients are now offering spousal support to partners of international hires (also known as ‘foreign local hires’ or ‘third country nationals’). As these employees are, in principle, moving to another country indefinitely, we surveyed this group separately from expat partners.

Cold feet and general doubts

Of all participants, 18% are preparing for their first assignment and half of these first-time movers have doubts due to Covid-19. It’s also noteworthy that partners of international hires have more doubts than expat partners (60% vs. 41%).

Differences with age

Nearly a third (32%) of all participating partners who had already moved expressed doubts about their current posting. Of those expressing doubts, 35% are expat partners and 23% are partners of international hires. People under 35 years of age have more doubts than partners over 35 years old. Of the under 35s, almost half of the expat partners (45%) and nearly a third of partners of international hires (31%) have doubts. Meanwhile, partners over 45 years old have the least doubts (30% of expat partners and 17% of partners of international hires).

Stages of expat life

Partners on their second assignment expressed the most doubts about their current posting (38%) but doubts decreased for expats on their third assignment (31%) and dipped further for those on their fourth (or more) assignment (29%).

Ready to move on?

When asked if the Covid-19 situation would impact their readiness to go on another assignment, 71% of expat partners currently on assignment answered it would not. Still, from the comments it’s evident that certain topics have gained in importance when considering a new assignment. Interestingly, 6% of all participants said Covid-19 has had a positive impact on their relocation readiness as experiences during the pandemic had made them stronger (as a family and as individuals).

Looking at expat life differently

Nearly a third of all respondents agreed that their general views on expat life have changed. The age group under 35 scores highest: 41%, closely followed by respondents on second assignment: 40%.

Request your copy here

These are just some of the key findings of the survey. In this article we elaborate on what caused the doubts and what partners mainly worry about when looking at expat life in general. If you would like to learn more, please request a copy of our ‘2020 Survey: Impact of Covid-19 on Expatriation – Results’ through this link.

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