Scottish Connections Framework

This Framework sets out a cohesive and cross-cutting approach to diaspora engagement. It outlines a series of commitments and ambitions to strengthen and expand our relationships with, and between, Scotland’s international communities, and expand on existing work with our established networks.

Living and Working in Scotland

Scotland is an open, welcoming country. Our history and economy have been shaped by immigration, just as Scottish immigrants have shaped their new homes. While Scotland’s population is at an all-time high, demographic challenges – including an ageing population, lower fertility rates, and depopulation in some rural areas – mean that immigration is increasingly important to Scotland.

In 2021, the Scottish Government’s Ministerial Population Taskforce published Scotland’s first national population strategy, A Scotland for the future: opportunities and challenges of Scotland’s changing population.[10] The strategy aims to address the significant demographic challenges that Scotland is expected to face in the next 25 years, including ensuring we have sufficient people with the skills to meet the needs of our economy and public services.

Population growth in this period is expected to come entirely from inward migration. Welcoming people from all over the world – including returning Scots and members of the diaspora – is a key component of the strategy.

The ability of immigrants to come to live and work in Scotland is determined by the UK’s immigration system. The Scottish Government has set out our vision for how a tailored migration policy, within a UK framework, could operate to meet Scotland’s distinct demographic needs in Migration: helping Scotland prosper.[11]

Moving to Scotland

As part of a wider programme to support migration to Scotland, we launched the Moving to Scotland[12] resource in January 2021. This provides practical information about key issues for anyone looking to relocate to Scotland, including a checklist to guide people through their move to Scotland. It also features real life stories of people who have made Scotland their new home.

Talent Attraction and Migration Service

We want people not only to move to Scotland, but to stay here. The Talent Attraction and Migration Service (TAMS), which will launch later this year, will improve Scotland’s ability to attract and recruit people with the skills that our economy and public services need now and in the future.

TAMS will offer advice to those who are considering moving to Scotland, or who have just arrived. Via a new digital platform, the service will provide information on topics that people need to understand to help them move and settle into their communities, including how to access public services.

TAMS will also help employers and individuals navigate the UK’s immigration system, including by providing one-to-one advice where required.

TAMS will complement the work led by Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise to support inward investors attract and retain the right talent for their workforce. The work is supported by a network of Talent Ambassadors, who use their own connections to showcase Scotland as a great place to start and build a career.

UK Ancestry visa

Some members of Scotland’s diaspora may qualify for a UK Ancestry visa,[13] if they have a grandparent was born in the UK. This unique opportunity allows those who are eligible to remain in the UK for five years and to work or study, and they are able to bring their partners and children with them.

Unlike other immigration routes, Ancestry visa applicants are not required to have secured a job in the UK at the time of their initial visa application and there are no restrictions on the type of work they can undertake.

We will use our International Network and digital communications to ensure our growing diaspora networks are aware of opportunities for moving to Scotland including through the Ancestry visa.



Back to top