Family migration: understanding the drivers, impacts and support needs of migrant families

This report by the independent Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population analyses the rules around family migration in Scotland and the UK and recommends future action.


1 It should be noted that while many of these policy regulations, such as attainment requirements and attachment tests, have been introduced to facilitate better integration of family migrants into the destination country, research does not support this claim. In many cases, it shows that family migration regulations have had a deleterious effect on integration.

2 This is not an exhaustive list as arguably other human rights frameworks and UK and Scottish domestic legislation may apply to migrant families, especially in regards to racial, ethnic and cultural discrimination. A more expansive listing of human rights frameworks and domestic legislation in this regard can be found at the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s website:,in%20a%20court%20of%20law.

3 The decision can be accessed here:

4 A household was considered deprived in a dimension if they met one or more of the following conditions: any member of a household was either unemployed or long-term sick; no person in the household had at least Level 2 education (Highers or A Levels); a person in the household had ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ general health or a long-term health problem; household’s accommodation was either overcrowded or had no central heating.

5 Data for 2019-20 is now available. It shows that COVID19 substantially disrupted the flow of overseas migrants. The previous five year’s data illustrate the pre-COVID pattern.



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