Coming to work in Scotland as a European Economic Area (EEA) national

Living and working in Scotland is easy for our Swiss and European Economic Area neighbours. No visa is currently required, just the desire to put your specialised skills to good use in our thriving industries.

European departure board

If you and your family are British, Swiss or from one of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries (listed below), then you currently have the right to live and work in Scotland and the rest of the UK. You may wish to formally register your presence by applying for an EEA Residence card or even for Permanent Residence (if you are eligible).


Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Croatian nationals

As of 1 July 2018, there are no longer any restriction on employing Croatian workers.

Residence Cards and Permanent Residence

Although most EEA nationals are not formally obliged to apply for a residence card to live and work in Scotland / the UK, it might help you re-enter the country more quickly and easily if you travel abroad, as well as show employers you are allowed to work in the UK.

Some EEA nationals will also be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence card. This will certify an individual's right to live in Scotland / the UK on a permanent basis and any EEA national seeking to apply for British nationality will usually be required to provide a Permanent Residence card. 

British nationality

In various circumstances, it is possible for EEA nationals to acquire British nationality in addition to their own nationality. There are various criteria to be met and it usually requires the applicant to have been resident in the UK for at least 6 years prior to applying.