Advice service for EU citizens
Expert group to explore Scotland’s migration needs.
EU citizens in Scotland worried by the impact on their residency following the UK's exit from the EU are to be offered an advice and support service by the Scottish Government.
The service will be available at locations across Scotland to help those affected by changes in the immigration rules as a result of leaving the EU. Advice on rights and entitlements, based on an individual's immigration status, will be available.
Additionally, the Scottish Government funded EU Citizens' Rights Project will deliver information meetings across Scotland including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness, Motherwell and other venues.
The Scottish Government are also establishing a new expert group which will explore the impact of migration on the population and demographics of Scotland. The group of academics will consider UK migration policy and how it will impact on areas of devolved responsibility.
External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
"EU citizens who have made Scotland their home are understandably anxious about their future. They are welcome and valued and play a crucial role in our economy, our public services and our communities.
"Many EU nationals are concerned about still being able to access the NHS, schools for their children, housing and social security post-Brexit and the Scottish Government is committed to supporting EU citizens to enable them to continue to live, work and study in Scotland.
"We are concerned that there is a risk that people will miss out on applying for settled status for a range of reasons including vulnerability, financial problems, lack of awareness and understanding of the scheme and we have identified a clear need for the provision of accurate and consistent advice from trusted bodies.
"The information and services proposed by the UK Government do not go far enough and we do not believe they will provide the reassurance people need. This additional service will fill the gaps in the UK's support for EU citizens and ensure that we can encourage as many EU residents in Scotland to remain in Scotland.
"Over the next 25 years, Scotland's projected population growth will come from migration. It is imperative that we attract new talent to Scotland and tackle the issues raised by our ageing population.
"That is why we have established this new expert group to investigate the impact on our population, our workforce and our communities including the impact in rural areas faced by declining populations."
The PfG committed to establish a service to provide information and support on immigration and citizenship matters for EU citizens. Further details will be announced in due course.
The group will be chaired by Professor Christina Boswell of the University of Edinburgh. Professor Boswell also chairs the Royal Society of Edinburgh Working Group on Immigration and Diversity.
The Scottish Government is currently exploring options for providing the service.