USA and the UK
Moving to Scotland from the US
Moving from the U.S. to Scotland can be a complicated process, which requires an extensive bundle of documents and paperwork. For this reason, it is recommended to seek the professional help of an immigration lawyer.
At IAS, our international immigration specialists can help you prepare for your application. Since there are many ways you can go about relocating to Scotland, our lawyers can help you choose the correct one for your situation and your family.
If you are a U.S. citizen and you wish to move to Scotland or anywhere in the UK, you should contact the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. or any British consulate near you.
Do I need a visa to enter Scotland?
U.S. citizens do not need a Tourist Visa to enter Scotland. However, they must present their U.S. passport, which must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date you arrive in Scotland. In addition, your travel documents must have adequate unused visa pages to allow for entry and exit stamps upon arrival and departure from the UK.
If you wish to study, work or otherwise stay in Scotland for longer than six months, you will require a visa. It is recommended to seek the advice of a professional immigration lawyer to investigate your situation thoroughly and ensure a smooth emigration process.
Seeking Medical treatment in Scotland
People living in Scotland can take advantage of the National Health Service (NHS) as well as private and complementary medicine practices available.
U.S. visitors in Scotland and the UK do not qualify for treatment under the National Health Service (NHS). This means that U.S. citizen visitors need to pay for treatment at the time of the visit.
If you are a U.S. citizen who is living temporarily in the UK, you should check if you qualify for free NHS treatment under the terms of your visa.
For this reason, before you travel to Scotland you should have sufficient medical insurance available to cover the cost of all medical treatment received while in the United Kingdom.
Joining your family in Scotland
If your family is already in the UK, you may be able to travel from the U.S. to Scotland to join them. Get in touch with IAS’ immigration attorneys to individually customize the immigration path which can best suit your needs.
UK Spouse Visa
You can apply for a UK Spouse Visa if you wish to join your partner who currently holds British Citizenship or settled status. The Spouse Visa will allow you to stay in Scotland for up to 33 months. After this period, you can apply for an extension which will eventually make you eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
UK Fiancé(e) Visa
Eligible UK Fiancé(e) Visa applicants can travel to Scotland from the U.S. to get married. However, for your application to be valid, your proposed partner should be a British citizen or a person already settled in the UK. When submitting your application, you must prove your intention to marry your partner within six months of your entry.
Scotland Business Visas
There are many visas which allow migrants to live, work and carry out business-related activities in Scotland.
The UK Start-up Visa is intended for high potential entrepreneurs who are seeking to start up their business in the UK and Scotland for the first time. Applicants are not required to have access to investment funds for their business but will need an endorsement from an approved endorsing body.
This visa is issued for 2 years. At the end of this period, you can switch into the Innovator category.
This visa category is for experienced business people who seek to establish their business in the UK. Applicants will need a minimum of £50,000 funding available to be invested in their business, as well as an endorsement from an approved endorsing body.
This UK Innovator Visa is valid for 3 years. Towards the end of this period, you can either apply for an extension for a further 3 years or apply to settle in the UK.
Scotland Working Visas
Skilled workers who have received a job offer from a UK-based employer can apply for a Tier 2 Visa. However, applicants must first ensure that their employer holds a valid Sponsor Licence. In the majority of cases, your employer may also have to satisfy the “Resident Labour Market Test”, meaning that there is no other person in the EEA who has the skills to do that specific job as well as you.
Tier 2 (General) Visa
The Tier 2 Visa UK is for skilled workers who wish to stay in the UK. To be eligible, applicants need to score a total of 70 points. They must also meet specific English language requirements, and show evidence of an appropriate salary.
Depending on your role and industry, there are several tiers within this visa category. Get in touch with IAS’ immigration attorneys in the US and UK to find out more.
Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa
Workers who wish to move from the U.S. to Scotland temporarily can apply for Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa.
To be eligible, you will need to have a job offer from a UK-based company which is allowed to hire foreign workers. This visa is valid for 12 months and it is open to those who wish to enter the UK as charity workers, artists, entertainers, diplomats or sportspersons.
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Scotland is part of the UK, along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Once you enter the United Kingdom on a valid visa, you will be allowed to freely move around the country without further need for visas.
For example, if you enter England on a Visitor Visa, you will be able to travel freely to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
For almost all types of UK visas, there are very stringent requirements, such as proving your English language skills. Nevertheless, citizens of English-speaking countries, like the United States, are exempt from this eligibility requirement.
As a general rule, you must apply for your visa before you travel to Scotland from the U.S. If you do not have the required clearance entry documents, you can be refused entry to the UK and sent back home.
When applying for your visa, you must take into account that the processing time may take longer than usual. To receive professional help from our immigration attorneys in the U.S., you can get in touch with IAS’ customer care team.
If you are a citizen of a Commonwealth country and have at least one grandparent who was born in the UK, you can emigrate to Scotland by applying for a UK Ancestry Visa. This visa lasts for 5 years. At the end of this period, you can apply to settle in the UK.