Scotland has a well-earned reputation for providing an incredibly warm and open welcome to everyone who chooses to come here. In fact, this welcome is so good, that some just never want to leave, and really, we can’t blame them.

If you’re planning on coming to Scotland to live, work, study, visit or invest then it’s important to make sure you have the right information regarding visas and immigration.

If you're visiting for tourism or short business trips it’s sometimes possible to travel without a visa. However, anyone who is not British or European (EU and EEA Nationals) will usually need a visa for longer visits to Scotland including coming for work or to study.

Check out the information below for more advice on what you will need when planning your journey.

EU and EEA citizens

Coming to Scotland is straight forward if you’re British or from one of our European Economic Area (EEA) neighbours. No visa is currently required and you have the right to live and work in Scotland and the rest of the UK. 

If you want to register your presence in Scotland more formally, you can apply for an EEA residence card, or even for permanent residence. You can find out the most up to date information on the website

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Staying In Scotland as an EU National

In June 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU during the EU Referendum (known as Brexit) and since then there's been a great deal of talk around what this means for European nationals currently living here. We consider EU nationals residing in Scotland an integral part of what makes Scotland great and are keen to maintain these close ties. Read the Scottish Government's position on EU citizens in Scotland.

The UK Government has confirmed that it has now reached an agreement with the European Commission on citizens’ rights. The UK Government has published details on the settlement scheme for EEA nationals and advises that this will open fully by March 2019.

Find out more about staying in Scotland as an EU National on

Moving to Scotland from outside the EU

From America and Canada to China, Australia and everywhere in between, Scotland welcomes people from every corner of the globe, every day. The good news is, with the right visa, you can come and join them!

The type of visa that you require will depend on a number of different factors and there are several different types of visa you can apply for. You must remember to apply for your documentation before you travel to Scotland, as you can be refused entry if you do not have the required papers.

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Bringing your Family

Moving to Scotland is an incredibly exciting opportunity and we know that you may want to share that adventure with your family. It’s important to organise the visas and permits for your partner and your children before they arrive to help them settle into their new life easily.

Find out more about bringing your family to Scotland on

Visiting Scotland from outside EU

From crumbling castles to pristine beaches, jaw-dropping landscapes to bustling city centres, you’ll never be stuck for something to do on a trip to Scotland. With so many things to choose between its important to make sure you have your documentation sorted out so you can hit the ground running.

More on passports, visas and customs on

Studying in Scotland from outside the EU

If you’re from outside the UK, you may need a visa to study in Scotland. It’s extremely important to make sure that you have the correct type of visa while you’re studying in Scotland. There are several different categories that will depend on the type of course you’re studying, your age and how long you plan to stay in the country.

Find out more about student visas

Investing in Scotland from outside the EU

Now is the perfect time to invest in Scotland, with a massive range of opportunities across the country in all our key growth sectors. Scotland is also the most successful part of the UK for spin-out creations, highlighting our commitment to investing in new and emerging ideas.

Find out about business visas in Scotland on

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