Working as a non-UK national

If you are from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you will need a visa to live and work in Scotland.

Working Visas

You and your employees may need to apply for a visa to be able to work in the UK.There are a wide variety of visas that allow you to live and work or carry out business related activities in Scotland and the rest of the UK including:

  • Business visitor - If you need to come to Scotland to do certain business related activities such as arranging a deal, negotiating contracts or speaking at a one-off conference, you need to apply for a business visitor visa.
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) - If you are going to invest £200,000 in a new or existing business in the UK, you require a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. 
  • Tier 1 (Investor) - If you are going to make an investment of £2,000,000 you can apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa. The cost for this type of visa start from £1,350 and vary depending on your situation.
  • Tier 2 (General) - If you have an employer in Scotland who is willing to sponsor you because you have specialised expertise and there is a gap in the Scottish workforce that cannot be filled by someone else in the European Economic Area, you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa.
  • UK ancestry - If you are a citizen of a Commonwealth country and have a grandparent who was born in the UK, you can apply for a visa to live and work in Scotland. You must be aged 17 or over and have the intention to undertake work, as well as showing that you have enough money to support yourself in Scotland.

There are many other categories of visa available including, Student visas and Visitor visas. More information on the different visa classifications can be found on the Home Office website, along with information on how to apply, processing times and English language requirements.

Starting a business as a non-UK National

European Economic Area (EEA) nationals do not need permission to start a business in the UK. If you are from outside the EEA, you can start a business in Scotland but you will need to get a visa. Discover more about the different options when it comes to setting up a business in Scotland as a non-UK national here.


Get in touch

Investor Support Team

City of Edinburgh Council


Latest tweets

follow us @InvestEdinburgh