Who will be eligible for Scottish citizenship on independence and in the future?


Who will be eligible for Scottish citizenship on independence and in the future?


The current Scottish Government has set out detailed plans for citizenship on independence.  British citizens habitually resident  in Scotland on independence will be considered Scottish citizens. This will include British citizens who hold dual citizenship with another country. Scottish born British citizens currently living outside of Scotland will also be considered Scottish citizens. 

Following independence, other people will be able to apply for Scottish citizenship. For example, citizenship by descent will be available to those who have a parent or grandparent who qualifies for Scottish citizenship. Those who have a demonstrable connection to Scotland and have spent at least ten years living here at some stage, whether as a child or an adult, will also have the opportunity to apply for citizenship. 

Procedures will also be put in place to allow certain migrants lawfully resident in Scotland to apply for naturalisation as a Scottish citizen. 

The Scottish Government will allow dual citizenship. It will be for the rest of the UK to decide whether it allows dual UK/Scottish citizenship - though we know that dual citizenship is allowed for those with any other nationality, and the UK Government has said that “it is likely that it would be possible for an individual to hold both British and Scottish citizenship.”  (Indeed, the Law Society of Scotland has suggested that it might be contrary to EU law if Westminster attempted to deprive anyone of British citizenship merely because they had acquired citizenship of another member state ie Scotland). 

Future changes to citizenship laws would be a matter for Scottish governments elected in 2016 and beyond.