Business visas in Scotland

If you’re a business or individual who wants to relocate to or invest in Scotland, you’ll need to consider different types of visa and immigration requirements.

Things to note

  • Scotland is governed by the same visa rules and legislation as the rest of the UK.
  • Several special business visa categories exist to ensure Scotland remains a competitive destination for investment.
  • If you require a UK visa, there are different options open to you, depending on your reason for coming to Scotland
  • Short-term options allow for visits to Scotland to search for investment and business opportunities
  • Longer-term options allow for permanent relocation of key investors and staff

Do I need a visa before travelling to Scotland?

Some nationalities need to apply for a visa before travelling to Scotland.

Check if you need a UK visa on GOV.UK

Business visa options

How do I apply for a UK visa?

Visa applications are made at UK Visa Application Centres.

Find your nearest visa application centre on GOV.UK

How long will it take?

There are more than 200 visa application centres worldwide. Priority processing is offered in over 100 of the centres and usually takes between three and seven days.

A super priority visa service is also available in several countries – this provides a decision within 24 hours. 

Certain types of visa can, over time, lead to permanent residence in the UK – also known as indefinite leave to remain – or eventually British citizenship.

In This Section

Sole representatives

Visa requirements for soul representatives of an overseas business.

Standard Visitor Visa

As a business or investor in Scotland, you can obtain a short-term visitor visa for business purposes.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

If you’re a recent graduate with a genuine, credible business idea, and you want to set up your business in Scotland, you may be eligible for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.

Tier 1 Investor Visa

If you’re a non-EEA or Swiss citizen you may be eligible for a Tier 1 Investor Visa if you’re investing at least £2 million in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in trading companies registered in the UK.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

Are you or are any of your employees a recognised leader (“exceptional talent”) or emerging leader (“exceptional promise”) in your field? You may be eligible for the exceptional talent visa to work in Scotland.

Sponsorship and recruitment

Here are some things to consider before sponsoring a non-European Economic Area national to work for you in Scotland.

If you have any questions or want to talk with one of our advisers, we’re always ready to help.