Visitor visas for Scotland

As a business or investor in Scotland, you can obtain a short-term visitor visa for business purposes to carry out business activities. Find out more.

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Besides getting a visa to visit Scotland for tourism or leisure, you can also obtain a visitor visa for business purposes.

This visa allows potential investors and business people to come to Scotland for a short-term period to carry out business activities. This can include:

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

As a holder of a visitor visa, you can usually stay a maximum of six months in any 12-month period, though they are not designed for holders to stay more than a few weeks at a time. However, the visa does not allow you to work (either paid or unpaid) in Scotland or the rest of the UK while you are visiting.

Who needs a visitor visa?

As a potential investor, it’s possible to apply for a visitor visa 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 Intermedia ry 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 Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa before you start your work as an entrepreneur in Scotland.