Employing all other nationalities

Nationals of every other country in the world require a visa if they wish to work in the United Kingdom.


Overseas (migrant) workers must apply for their visa or permit before they travel to Scotland and the UK. If they do not have the required entry clearance documents, they can be refused entry to the UK and sent back home.

They can apply online depending where they are located. Normally they apply for their visa or permit to allow them to enter and work in the UK at a British Visa Application Centre – these are often at British Embassies, Consulates or High Commissions located around the world.

Applications made in some countries are frequently dealt with within a matter of weeks; in other countries they can take a couple of months.

It is important to allow adequate time for an employee's application to be processed as they will not be able to enter the country until this is complete.

Find information on visa processing times on the Home Office website

EEA and Swiss Nationals

Certain EEA and Swiss Citizens who were resident in the UK before the 31st December 2020 may qualify for for leave to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. However, most EEA and Swiss Citizens coming to live or work in the UK from the 1st of January 2021 will require a visa to do so. 

The Home Office has published updated guidance on right to work checks for employers, including conducting right to work checks for EEA and Swiss citizens following the end of the Brexit Transition Period. Full details can be found here.