Scotland needs an immigration policy suited to our specific circumstances and needs. Scotland needs people to want to work here, in our businesses, our universities and in our public services. The current UK one-size-fits-all approach to immigration is failing Scotland.
The SNP will continue to seek devolution of immigration powers so that Scotland can have an immigration policy that works for our economy and society. And we will stand firm against the demonisation of migrants.
The SNP Scottish Government has published a new plan for a Scottish immigration system that protects our public services and economy. The plan sets out why a different approach is needed; how the UK government can address the challenges Scotland faces now; and how we can get on with building an immigration system that works for Scotland. You can read more about this plan here.
We believe the Scottish Government should have a role in deciding the ‘shortage occupation list’ – the list of occupations which have difficulties in finding suitable candidates in the UK – in order to attract the people that Scotland needs.
We will continue to make the case for the reintroduction of a Post-Study Work Visa scheme for Scotland – as recommended by the Smith Commission and supported by all parties at Holyrood. This would allow students who have came to Scotland to study to stay and contribute to our economy.
The UK government recently introduced a Skills Immigration Charge – a charge for employers, including the public sector, of £1,000 per non-EEA worker per year. This fee will lead to skills shortages, harm our economy and remove funding from frontline public services. We firmly oppose this policy.
And for those that have already chosen to make Scotland their home, we want a more compassionate approach to family migration.