Several recent studies have examined experiences of waiting and spatial and temporal immobility among refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants. This paper investigates recent migrants’ experiences of waiting and (spatial and temporal) immobility in the context of COVID-19 lockdowns, and against the background of pandemic isolation and boredom. It asks how public health measures affected ‘recently’ arrived migrants’ and how these migrants experienced waiting and immobility differently before and during the pandemic. We argue that differences in recent migrants’ status and housing situations shape how they experience immobility during and beyond the pandemic. This paper contributes to research on immobility in migration by highlighting the importance of diverse emotional geographies of loneliness and frustration; it concludes that immobility is situated along an isolation-to-agitation continuum.