Visitor visa

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.

Those coming to the UK as a visitor may need a visa in advance (depending on where they are travelling from). Details on those who need to obtain a visitor visa before travelling can be found here. Those who do not require to apply for a visa in advance are still required to comply with the permitted activities for Visitors.

It is usually recommended that those travelling to the UK as a visitor obtain a letter in support of their visit to the UK (outlining the specific tasks that the individual will carry out in Scotland). This can be submitted as part of the visa application (where necessary) or showed on entry at the UK border.

TalentScotland may be able to provide support about what to include in this letter (which would normally be issued by the business hosting you in Scotland). Get in touch for more information.

Visits from the UK to the EU

The Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020 meaning the end to freedom of movement.   British nationals can no longer work in the EU without some form of permit or visa.  If you are normally based in Scotland and are required to visit the EU for business purposes or to provide services, you may need a visa to do so. This will depend on factors such as your nationality, the period of your visit and the types of activities that you will perform.

You may wish to seek legal advice in the country you intend to visit to establish whether you need a visa or some form of work permit. The UK Government have also published guidance on providing services and business travel to the EU after Brexit which can be found here.