Building a New Scotland: citizenship in an independent Scotland

This paper sets out the Scottish Government’s proposals for citizenship in an independent Scotland.

What our proposals would mean for you

Scottish citizenship is an inherent part of Scotland becoming an independent state. This publication describes the Scottish Government's proposals for Scottish citizenship. It is designed to allow people with a connection to Scotland to understand how they could become a citizen on and after independence and what that would mean when the people of Scotland make a choice on Scotland's future.

Under the Scottish Government's proposals:

  • the approach to entitlement to Scottish citizenship would be inclusive and welcoming
  • Scottish passports would be a right available to Scottish citizens, who should be able to apply for and receive a passport from the first day of independence
  • Scottish citizens could hold multiple nationalities after independence; for example, they could hold both Scottish and British citizenship if they wanted, or only one or the other
  • with Scottish membership of the Common Travel Area, Scottish citizens would be able to move freely to live and work in the UK and Ireland, as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and British and Irish citizens would be able to move freely to live and work in Scotland
  • once Scotland becomes an EU member state, Scottish citizens would also be EU citizens, with the right to free movement across the European Union and other European nations including Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland
  • nobody would need to be a citizen to feel that they belong in Scotland – most of the rights and entitlements which people in Scotland enjoy are based on residence in Scotland, and very few (such as holding a passport) would be reserved only for citizens after independence



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