Readers' Letters: Home Office make it hard to work in Scotland

Last week there was a most interesting report on the demographic challenges facing Scotland with a declining birth rate and an ageing population. Already we can see the consequences, with the Scottish labour market experiencing serious shortages due to the drop in births and the draconian immigration policy of the UK government.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Tory government’s new Immigration laws are designed to discourage would-be applicants – unless, of course, they are highly qualified and well-off financially. For those not so favoured the difficulties are considerable. The problems currently being encountered by a young French acquaintance have genuinely shocked me. Our friend from Bordeaux has a university degree and is fluent in both spoken and written English. She is an artist and a musician. She came to Scotland to be with her partner, a qualified gardener with a long-established Edinburgh firm.

Our friend made her visa application some weeks ago in good faith, imagining that it would be a straightforward and speedy process. Having spent more than £3,000 working her way through the requirements, including the English test, she was told that the last stage was a face-to-face interview with a member of staff from the Home Office. For this she had to go to Manchester at her own expense.