For the past twenty years, Fiona O’Malley has built her home and career in Scotland. A nurse from County Mayo in Ireland, she arrived in Glasgow in 1996 as a graduate seeking a job and has worked for the NHS ever since.

Now, for the first time, she is unsure about her life here. The UK vote to leave the European Union, she says, has both frightened and angered her.

“It just seems insulting,” she says. “I have paid my taxes for 20 years in the UK, I have worked for the NHS and I have done my best to be a good nurse.

“I have never had this uneasy feeling before. There are jokes about how you will be going back or you’ll be sent back." She says it is meant as "banter", adding: "But it is something I had never considered before or even thought about.”

O’Malley is one of around 180,000 EU nationals in Scotland. Like her, many have been here for decades and established their lives here. Others have arrived more recently. In the wake of the Brexit vote, all are facing an future of fear, uncertainty and worry.

EU citizens are currently entitled to live and work in another EU country without requiring a permit, and enjoy equal treatment with nationals in that country. The Brexit vote means that is now all up in the air for EU nationals living in Scotland, who have been given little assurance about what lies ahead, despite calls by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for "immediate guarantees" on their residency status and rights.

Following the referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron said there would be no “immediate” change in their circumstances, but that their fate would be subject to negotiation.

Last week UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond announced he will hold informal talks with EU foreign ministers on the issue of reciprocal rights for EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU, next Sunday.

But he also warned it is likely to be one of the most politically sensitive issues in the UK’s negotiations on Brexit.

Meanwhile Tory leadership candidate Theresa May has been accused of using EU nationals as “bargaining chips” by saying she would not guarantee their rights in the UK unless she had equivalent guarantees for Britons living abroad in the EU.

The future for O’Malley, 43, and others like her, is therefore far from clear. She is extremely reluctant to think about leaving Glasgow, where she owns a home and has an established career and social life.

“I couldn’t just leave and go back to Ireland – I wouldn’t have a place to stay or a job,” she says. “I’m sure my family would take me in and I would find a job eventually, but it wouldn’t be a good situation to be in.

“I think if I lived in England I would be more worried, but because the SNP have been very vocal in their support, so you feel like they would stick up for you.”

Patrick Cirelli, 49, who works in telecommunications, is a more recent arrival in Scotland. He came to the UK from Los Angeles in 2012, and lived in London initially before moving to Glasgow.

He has dual Italian/American citizenship, which means he can work in the UK as an EU citizen – but now fears that could be under threat.

“The current Tory government is not willing to make any statement whatsoever that they are going to grant us any amnesty - and Theresa May is saying we will just have to wait and see,” he says.

“Even if I am allowed to stay, am I going to lose some of the rights I currently enjoy? I am a homeowner here, I have a job, but will I be allowed to continue to work?

“It is really up in the air. I am not a worrisome person, I am not someone who freaks out easily - I take each day as it comes - but I am very worried.”

Cirelli points out that although the Scottish Government is being very vocal on the issue, it does not have control over immigration issues.

"At the moment, Scotland is part of the UK, and unfortunately the Scottish Government does not set immigration policy,” he says. “I know the current Scottish government is adamant EU nationals will be permitted to stay but unfortunately it is not up to them.”

He adds: “Luckily I am in a financial position that if I need to move I will. But this is my home and it is where I have made my life.”

Justina Kolberg, 27, is from Tallin, Estonia, and lives in Edinburgh. She came to Scotland when she was 19 as it had always been her dream to live in the country.

“I didn’t know anything about the way of life when I came here – I just knew of Scotland as how it looked in pictures,” she says.

“It was just a dream and I had no idea I would one day have to defend my position here or defend my reasons for living in this place.

"Like thousands of others migrants here, for myself there is now the feeling of uncertainty and also the feeling of anger.

“We are living here like any British national and contributing equally to society – but we were even denied a vote in the EU referendum. Obviously I am scared for the future.”

Kolberg is about to enter her final year in a degree of MA Politics and International Relation, and also runs a small coffee shop business with her partner. She is uncertain about her future in Scotland - she might even leave of her own accord uneasy with the path the country is on. She says there are many factors which will affect her decision, particularly whether Scotland remains part of the EU or becomes independent.

“There is also the issue of the amount of hatred at the moment in England and general society," she says. "If that escalates or get any bigger, I wouldn’t feel comfortable living in such a society.

“But I have always loved Scotland and never had any desire to live anywhere else in the world.”

Sandra Marrs, a French national who has lived in Scotland for just over 22 years, is thinking about applying for British citizenship in case there are moves to send EU nationals home.

She and her partner John Chalmers are acclaimed graphic novelists who publish under the name Metaphrog, and last week won Best Visual Artist at the Sunday Herald’s inaugural Cultural Awards.

Marrs, 42, says: “I have not quite decided what I want to do. I have been studying for the citizenship test, but I have not decided whether to apply.

“It is all quite stressful and anxiety inducing, I have been here effectively half of my life and all of my adult life – I was 21 when I moved here.

“Scotland is my home, where I have my entire life. I have family and friends in France but I wouldn’t consider moving back there, not at the moment anyway. This is where I want to live in Scotland.”

Chalmers, 50, says the stance by Nicola Sturgeon to say that EU citizens are welcomed and valued offered a glimmer of hope.

But he adds the notion that EU citizens could be used as “bargaining chips” in Brexit negotiations raised frightening prospects for what might be ahead.

“This could potentially destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, wrecking the relationships, families and careers of those EU citizens who have established their homes and entire lives in the UK, and have had the right to do so under EU law,” he says

Dr Fernando León Solís, a senior lecturer in Spanish at the University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, moved from Andalucia in Spain to Scotland in the early 1990s.

He says he had never thought about applying for a British passport as he was a EU citizen, which offered protection and entitlement - but that was now “in tatters”.

“For a Spanish person, the idea of Europe and moving around has always been very important," he says. "Now the sense of entitlement has disappeared – but I do feel protected in Scotland.

“It has changed my idea of the position of Scotland in the UK – I was not very keen on independence until 6am on the morning of the 24th June.”

León Solís says he hopes the number of years he has been living here will give him some protection from “being kicked out of the country”.

But he adds: “In two years’ time I don’t know what rights I am going to have – whether I am going to have to have a work permit, carry an ID card. You would become part of a minority group and that is a big worry for me.

“When I woke up at 6am on the morning after the EU referendum, I just thought my whole world has collapsed. That sounds melodramatic, but that is how I felt and I am sure many European nationals feel the same."