Standard Visitor Visa

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

A standard visitor visa will allow you to visit Scotland for tourism or leisure purposes and come to Scotland for a short-term period to carry out business activities, such as: 

  • Arranging and negotiating business deals
  • Meeting suppliers and contacts
  • Viewing potential sites or premises
  • Negotiating contracts

As a holder of a standard visitor visa, you can usually stay a maximum of six months in any 12-month period, however, they are not designed for holders to stay more than a few weeks at a time.

The visa does not allow you to work (either paid or unpaid) in Scotland or the rest of the UK while you are visiting.

Do I need a visitor visa?

As a potential investor, it’s possible to apply for a visitor visa for business under the prospective entrepreneur visitor category.

This allows you to take part in meetings and discussions to obtain funding to join, set up or take over a business and be actively involved in the running of a business in the UK.

A visitor visa under the prospective entrepreneur visitor category is usually relevant when the proposed funding for your business is from one of the following:

  • A government department or Intermediary public body
  • A venture capital firm regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Entrepreneurial seed funding competitions 

Once you secure funding for your business, you need to move to a different visa, such as a Start-up visa or Innovator visa before you start your work as an entrepreneur in Scotland. You’ll need to be able to show support from one or more approved endorsing bodies for the Start-up or Innovator categories.

Guidance on endorsing bodies for Start-up visas

Guidance on endorsing bodies for Innovator visa

In this section

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.

Sole representatives

Visa requirements for soul representatives of an overseas business.

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.

Contact us

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