Immigration has always been a part of Scottish history right back to the Irish Potato Famine when many Irish people came and settled in Scotland. However in more recent times immigration to Scotland has caused a population boom.
In 2006 Scotland’s population has risen by 22,100 since the previous year. 21,200 was recorded to be due to immigration, this included 8,900 people from other parts of the United Kingdom and 12,700 coming from overseas including some asylum seekers. 2006 was the fourth year in a row that Scotland’s population had experienced a rise.
The migration to Scotland seems to be much higher than that to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There have been new rule implemented just this week which encourages immigration to Scotland rather than England. The new points system, allows immigrants to gain a higher score if they agree to settle somewhere where their population is needed, Scotland has this week been named by the Home Office as one of these places.
This changes the status for thousands of immigrants who would usually be deported, now they simply need to agree to move to Scotland. There is a real danger however that immigrants will agree to live in Scotland and when it comes to actually settling they will move elsewhere in the UK.
There have also been stricter rules put in place that must be followed before citizenship is granted. Foreigners now need to live in the country for a probationary period before being granted citizenship which could take up to eight years which is wide contrast to the method used at the moment were citizenship is granted simply for settling in the country.
This immigration policy all seems well and good but it must be properly monitored to work effectively.
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