Employing a British or Irish citizen

As an employer in Scotland you can hire a British or Irish national without restriction. This means they are entitled to live and work here and the rest of the UK and do not require a visa to do so.


A 'British national' can broadly be defined as someone who either has a British passport or is entitled to obtain one. There are different methods for acquiring a British passport such as through birth, descent or residence.

Those from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man may also work without restriction in the UK.

Irish nationals are broadly defined as those who have an Irish passport and their rights to live and work in the UK are governed by the Common Travel Area arrangements.

Employing family members of British citizens

Non-British and non-Irish nationals who are married to, or children of, British citizens may make an application enter the UK. Those in the UK on this basis are generally entitled to work without restriction. However, if there are any restrictions, they will be outlined on their Biometric Residence Card or other documents legally giving them the right to be in the UK.

Spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners and dependent family members of migrants on a Points-Based System visa (Skilled Worker, Student or Temporary Worker visas) can generally apply to join them in Scotland and are usually able to work in the UK.

UK Ancestry

UK Ancestry visas are available to most Commonwealth citizens who have a British (or British-born) grandparent. This visa lasts for five years. People who hold this type of visa can usually work in the UK without restriction for its duration.