11 November 2009

Scottish and British ministers meet to discuss UK visas and immigration

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The Scottish Government's External Affairs Minister Michael Russell and the UK Government's Immigration Minister Phil Woolas met in London recently to discuss how the UK visa and immigration system could help Scotland achieve its population growth target.

Of particular interest to the Scottish Minister was putting forward the case for Scotland-specific flexibitilities to the points-based UK visa system.

Mr Russell said the meeting was fruitful, with the pair making good progress on broader policy issues like promoting Scotland as a place to work, live and study for new immigrants and those wanting to obtain a UK visa.

"The Scottish Government's position is clear. Scotland has an ageing population and an increasing dependency ratio. We need the flexibility within the system to attract more people of working age to contribute to our economy, fill skills gaps and help us prosper over the longer term,” Mr Russell said in a statement.

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