The impacts of migrants and migration into Scotland

Aims to summarise and evaluate the recent literature on the impacts of migrants and migration into Scotland.

Annex 1: Definitions

The Points-Based System ( PBS)

The UK's points-based five tier visa system is the main migration route for migrants from outside the EEA to come to the UK to work, study, invest or train [20] .

The system separates applicants into five 'tiers,' although in practice only four tiers are used. In order to be eligible for a visa in any of the tiers, the applicant must pass a points-based assessment. For work visa applications, points are generally awarded according to the applicant's ability, experience and age. For some tiers, points are also awarded for specified levels of income, savings and English language ability.

The five tier visa system consists of the following:

Tier 1: this visa category is for 'high-value' migrants from outside the EEA and covers the entry of entrepreneurs, investors and people of 'exceptional talent.'

Tier 2: this category is for 'skilled workers' from outside the EEA with a job offer in the UK from an employer who has a sponsor licence granted to them by the Home Office. It includes skilled workers who are transferred to the UK by an international company, skilled workers where there is a proven shortage in the UK, ministers of religion and sportspeople.

Tier 3: this category was designed for low-skilled workers filling specific temporary labour shortages. The UK Government has so far never allocated any visas under this scheme.

Tier 4: this category is for students aged over 16 from outside the EEA who wish to study in the UK. Applicants must have a place on a course at a UK educational institution before they can apply. The education institution must have a Home Office sponsor licence. Tier 4 is also for children between the ages of 4 and 18 who are studying at independent fee-paying schools in the UK.

Tier 5: this category contains six sub-tiers of temporary worker including creative and sporting, charity, religious workers, approved Government Authorised Exchange Schemes, and the youth mobility scheme which enables over 65,000 [21] young people every year to work in the UK, in any job for a maximum of two years. The visas are awarded to young people from countries that have reciprocal arrangements with the UK.

Countries in the EU and EEA (2016)


Definition [22] , [23]

European Union ( EU)

The 28 EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom

European Economic Area ( EEA)

The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU's single market. Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member, but is part of the single market. This means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals

A2 countries

Romania and Bulgaria, countries which joined the EU in January 2007

A8 countries

Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, countries which joined the EU in May 2004

A10 countries

Accession 8 countries, plus Malta and Cyprus, which joined the EU in January 2008

EU15 countries

Countries which were member of the EU before May 2004: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom


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