EU and EEA citizens in Scotland
We recognise the significant contribution that European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens make to our country: enriching our culture, strengthening our society and helping to grow our economy.
We want EU and EEA citizens and their families to continue to make their lives here in Scotland. We have set out our position in Scotland's Place in Europe, and believe the UK should remain in the European Single Market and continue to benefit from the free movement of people.
We recognise that many EU and EEA citizens are concerned about their future rights and status in the UK. Since the EU referendum we have sought to reassure EU and EEA citizens that they are welcome in Scotland.
The First Minister, in her open letter to EU citizens immediately after the referendum, called on the UK Government to provide assurances that those living here would have their rights protected, and to make it clear that Scotland remains a stable and open place to live, study, work, and do business.
In response to the UK Government's paper setting out their negotiating position on citizens' rights, we published our position paper, Protecting the rights of EU citizens, in July 2017. We continue to urge the UK Government to clarify the outstanding questions and provide EU and EEA citizens with certainty about their future.
Activity to date
The timeline below outlines what we have done since the referendum to protect the interests and rights of EU and EEA nationals living in Scotland.
We have committed to respond to the UK Government's call for evidence on the economic and social impact of the UK's exit from the EU. The consultation was launched on 4 August and will close on 27 October.
The Minister for International Development and Europe, and the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, met with a group of EU nationals in Edinburgh to discuss their concerns.
In response to the Scottish Parliament's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee's report on EU Migration and EU Citizen's Rights, we published The EU referendum and its implications for Scotland to outline the importance of free movement between the EU and Scotland.
The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, and the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, met with a group of EU nationals working within NHSScotland to discuss their concerns.
The Minister for International Development and Europe spoke at Migrant Voice's annual conference in Glasgow, where he conveyed the Scottish Government's support for EU nationals.
The Minister for International Development and Europe reiterated our calls for the UK Government to guarantee the status of EU nationals during a Scottish Parliament debate concerning welcoming international migrants in Scotland.
We published Scotland's Place in Europe to convey our position that full membership of the European Single Market and Customs Union, and the freedom of movement that comes with it, is the best outcome for Scotland and the rest of the UK.
The Minister for International Development and Europe met with a group of EU nationals to hear their concerns. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport met with a group of NHSScotland staff from within and outside of the EU to discuss their perspectives on Brexit.
We held a public Q&A in which the First Minister and senior cabinet ministers responded to questions from EU nationals living in Scotland regarding the referendum result.
The First Minister wrote to the Prime Minister to ask for an immediate guarantee for EU nationals living in the UK.
The First Minister also invited consuls and diplomats from EU countries to a meeting in Bute House and issued an open letter to EU citizens living in Scotland.
UK Government resources, including its negotiating position
- UK Government website on the status of EU citizens in the UK
- UK Government policy paper on safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU
EU Brexit Taskforce resources, including the EU's negotiating position
- find a private solicitor specialising in immigration on the Law Society Scotland website
- find an immigration adviser registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner on the OISC website