Summary of key proposals
Vision, Values And Principles
- Scottish Government will consult on values to inform a Scottish approach to migration policy, if agreement reached on need for a tailored policy.
A Tailored Approach For Scotland
- Responsibility for migration should be devolved to Scotland, as part of a UK framework, to allow new routes to be created for migration to Scotland.
- Scottish Government will consult on delivery models for a Scottish Visa, if agreement reached on need for a tailored policy.
A Place-Based Route For Migration To Rural Areas
- Scottish Government and UK Government should work together to design, develop and evaluate pilot schemes to encourage migration to rural areas.
- The Scottish Government will commission the Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population to consider what a pilot approach to migration in remote areas would need to achieve in order to benefit Scotland’s rural and island communities.
Key Features Of A Scottish Visa
- Eligibility criteria set according to needs identified in Scotland, clear rules leading to greater certainty
- Scottish Ministers accountable to Scottish Parliament for policy and decisions
- Migrants holding Scottish Visa required to live in Scotland
- An additional option alongside all other UK visas
- No sponsorship role for employers in this route – so no sponsor licencing costs or bureaucracy
- Not liable to Immigration Skills Charge, as currently defined by UK Government
- No salary threshold in this route
- Online application process
- Offers pathway to permanent settlement in Scotland
Influencing Change In The UK System
- Targets to bring down migration to the UK should be ended.
- Fees and charges for UK immigration, settlement and citizenship applications should be reduced.
- All existing routes in the UK immigration system should be reviewed and simplified, removing financial and administrative burdens on applicants and sponsors.
- A new points-based system for the UK should follow international examples and include regional or devolved schemes.
- Family migration should be significantly reviewed, looking at definition of family members, costs, and children born here.
- The Scottish Government will commission the Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population to look more closely at the impact that current family migration rules have on families in Scotland.
- The employer-sponsored visa should have a lower salary threshold.
- The proposed transitional 12-month visa should be extended to 24 months and made a permanent option for EU citizens after the UK leaves the EU.
- Arrangements for working visitors should be extended to six months, and a broader range of activities should be allowed.
- Youth mobility schemes to the UK should be extended for a year if young people live in Scotland during that time.