Moving to Scotland from the US: The Ultimate How to Guide

So, you’ve decided to move to Scotland. You’ve made the right choice! Living in Scotland is one of the best things I have ever done with my life, and I recommend that anyone who can move to Scotland – should.

Moving to Scotland from the US can be challenging, but it is achievable. From applying for a job in Scotland, learning how to apply for a Scottish visa, or what to expect during the visa process, the Ultimate Guide to Moving to Scotland from the US is here to help you with every question you may have.

This post targets Americans moving to Scotland but chances are the visa process will be similar to people from several other countries worldwide (with a few exceptions). So, get excited about finally making your dream of moving to Scotland a reality.

Castle in Scotland. Moving to Scotland from the US? Visit this castle!

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How to Immigrate to Scotland from America

While I have had a slightly different experience moving to Scotland as I am Canadian, I went to the experts to help me compile the guide on immigrating to Scotland by Americans who have moved to Scotland from the US!

While this is not legal advice, I have real tips from Americans who moved from the US to Scotland who were once like you. I am grateful that I have several American friends who moved to Scotland that have experience using every visa discussed in this guide. 

I have a few friends who moved to Scotland to attend university and extended their visas once they graduated so they could start working. And I have a friend who married a Scot and now lives happily ever after in Edinburgh. And I have a few friends who moved to Scotland to work in their specific field and obtained sponsorship from their employers to move to Scotland and now live and work permanently in the UK.

All of my American friends said that, while applying for visas and moving to Scotland from the US was difficult and expensive – it was worth it, and they would do it again in a heartbeat.

Moving to Scotland from the US – Types of Visas

You will require a visa if you are an American moving from the US to Scotland. Luckily, there are a few different types of visas to choose from, including:

Student Visa – This visa is awarded to students who want to attend university in Scotland. The student visa is only available to active students, but once you graduate, you can apply for a graduate visa to extend your stay.

Skilled Worker Visa – A work visa is available to Americans who want to work in Scotland. The visa requires sponsorship from government-approved businesses. Currently, the only jobs available are for specific skilled positions. 

High Potential Individual – A new visa that allows people worldwide to move to Scotland for up to 2 years. The visa is for people who have recently graduated from eligible universities.

Family Visa (Partner/Spousal Visa) – If your partner is a British citizen and you plan on living together permanently upon your arrival in the UK.

Ancestry Visa – Ancestry Visas are not available to Americans. However, if you are from a commonwealth country and have a grandparent with British citizenship, you can apply for the Ancestry Visa. 

How to Move to Scotland with a Visa – Further Information

I want to go over more detailed information on each visa before we get into the nitty gritty on how to apply for a British Visa. This is so you can better understand what each visa entails, and it may help give you more options and ultimately find the best visa for you.

Student Visa/Study Visa/Graduate Visa

If you want to study abroad in Scotland, you are in luck, as getting a Student visa is the easiest visa to get in Scotland. Plus, once your visa runs out, it is possible to apply for an extension and a 2-year graduate visa once you graduate. This visa allows you to work in Scotland. Plus, there are also extensions available with standard student visas.

Attending university abroad can be expensive, but the easiest way is to move to Scotland.

So, if you are serious about moving to Scotland and you want to move to the country to study, the student visa is my recommendation as a jumping-off point for long-term life in the UK.

One thing to note is that student visas do not count towards residency, but it’s an excellent way to transition to a work visa which is much harder to obtain. Work visas count towards residency, so you can eventually permanently move to Scotland from America, but we will discuss this later.

Student Loans

If you need to take out a student loan to study in Scotland, you may be eligible to take out a loan in the US to study in Scotland. But before you do that, ensure the university of your choice accepts international loans. The US public education sector publishes a list of eligible universities every year.

Visa for moving to Scotland from the US

Can You Work in Scotland on a Student Visa?

Yes! Student visas will often allow you to work up to 20 hours a week so you can get a job to help with the costs of living in Scotland.

Find out more information on how to apply for a Student Visa in Scotland here: Student Visas for Scotland.

Depending on how long your course is – there are two different visas you can apply for.

Standard Visitor visa: This allows you to live in Scotland and study for up to 6 months. 

Student visa: This visa allows you to study and work in Scotland for several years. To obtain this visa, you must have been accepted into the university of your choice.

The Skilled Worker Visa 

Obtaining a work visa in Scotland isn’t the easiest visa to get, but it is possible. Before applying for a work visa, you must have a job offer and acquire sponsorship from your job before applying for a work visa.

If you are a skilled worker, your chances of getting a job in Scotland are much better. The UK Government has a shortage occupation list they frequently update with a list of skilled occupations. 

You won’t be able to apply for any job in Scotland as the company must comply with the skilled labour positions with the government. The best way to get a job is to apply for specific types of jobs at government-approved companies. This means that the government has approved these companies to offer visas to people looking to move to Scotland.

Once you are offered the job, you need to apply to the government, and they will decide that the company, the job, and you all meet the requirements before issuing your work visa.

Your employer needs to be licensed, and you need to make a specific amount of money each year to qualify for the skilled worker visa. So check the company’s background before applying for any jobs.

Check out the list of skilled worker jobs here and see if you qualify for any of the positions. I have included a section further down in this post that will help you find Visa Eligible jobs.

Other Work Visa Options 

There are several other types of work visas available that you may qualify for, including how to work in the UK for your overseas employer or several different temporary work visas. Please check the list here to see if other work visas suit your life better than the skilled worker visa.

The High Potential Individual

There is a new visa in town, and it’s so new that I don’t know anyone who has applied for it yet! I had to tell you about it though because it opens the opportunity to move to Scotland for up to 2 years for several people from several countries around the world.

The visa is the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa which essentially allows recent graduates from eligible universities from around the world to move to Scotland temporarily.

There are approved universities from all over the world, so see if your university qualifies here.

Another stipulation is your qualification must be at the same level as a UK Bachelor’s or postgraduate degree or Ph.D. doctorate.

It is new but incredibly exciting for people looking at moving to Scotland from the US and around the world.

Ancestry Visa

I am still including the ancestry visa in this list for anyone with at least one grandparent with British citizenship. However, citizenships through parents and ancestry visas are only available to commonwealth countries. Sorry Americans!

Spousal Visa & Family Visa

You must marry a British citizen to obtain a spousal visa in Scotland. Luckily, this visa allows you the right to work legally in the UK without restrictions, so you can apply for any job you want.

For spousal and family visas, you must be in the US to apply, and you must stay in the US from the application date until approval.

Once your application is approved and you receive your visa, you will receive a Biometric Residence Permit. At this point, you will have a specific time frame to enter Scotland. Otherwise, your visa will be cancelled. So be ready to move in a few weeks.

​​How to Move to Scotland from the US

To apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must first receive a job offer, apply for your visa, and then you can move to Scotland. If you are moving to Scotland from the US, applying for your visa can be overwhelming. I will guide you through the process so that applying for your work visa will seem less intimidating.

How to Apply for Your Scottish Visa

When you apply for your work visa, there will be several appointments, fees and certain documents you must apply for or obtain before moving to Scotland from the US.

Costs Associated with Moving to Scotland for Americans

Visa Application Fee

The first step is to pay the cost of the visa fee. The price of the visa varies depending on which type of visa you are applying for. 

Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge

The price for the IHS varies depending on which visa you are applying for. However, there is a discount for those applying for student visas or the youth mobility visa. This will cover your healthcare for the duration of your visa. Find out more here.

Book a Biometrics Appointment

You will be required to attend a biometrics appointment. You will have your fingerprints taken. Please bring passport photos, your passport and supporting documents to this appointment. 

You must submit specific documents to the UK visa office depending on which visa you are applying for, including student records, your job offer, your marriage certificate or other documents required by your specific visa.

If you aren’t sure what you need, find out more information here: UKVCAS

If you need more information on costs associated with obtaining a visa to move to Scotland, check it out here.

Applying for your NIN

A NIN is required to get a job in Scotland. It is easy to apply for, but it can take up to 16 weeks to receive your card. Worry not; you can use a temporary number to start working if your job starts before you receive your card.

One fantastic thing about receiving a National Insurance Card is that you will have it forever. You will not need to reapply even if you move back to the USA and then return to Scotland.

I recommend applying for your NIN as soon as your visa is approved. Find out more information on how to apply here.

Waiting Times – How Long Will You Be Waiting for Your Visa?

Waiting times can vary, but generally, they are between 3 to 12 weeks. You can pay to expedite your visa if needed. 

Advice for Moving to Scotland from the US

Circle Lane is one of the streets in Edinburgh you can live on when moving to Scotland from the US.

How to Contact a Solicitor

My number one recommendation for anyone moving to Scotland from the US or elsewhere is to contact a solicitor. You can speak to a UK solicitor specializing in moving to Scotland for a fee. 

You can request a phone consultation with a solicitor who can answer all your questions about moving to Scotland. They know all of the laws and requirements for moving to Scotland and can take the guesswork out and help you move forward with applying for your visa.

You can contact several solicitors, but I highly recommend Davidson Morris.

What to do if your visa is denied?

If your visa is rejected, you will be notified of the reason for rejection and will have to reapply. So do not worry. If your visa is rejected, it isn’t the end of the world!

However, there will be no refund for the visa application, and you must pay that fee again. You will receive a refund for your IHS surcharge.

Can you retire in Scotland?

Sadly, the government removed the retirement visa, so moving to Scotland through retirement is no longer an option. 

Moving to Scotland for Americans – Finding Visa-Eligible Jobs

One of the best ways to move to Scotland from the US is by applying for a skilled worker visa.  A work visa is one of the hardest visas to get as there are limited options for which jobs you can apply for, but it is possible.

If you find a position you are interested in, the first step is to email the company to see if they can sponsor foreign workers. As mentioned previously, several skilled careers and companies are approved to sponsor you, but not every company can award you with this opportunity.

There are several ways to find visa-eligible jobs and positions you can apply for. The government makes finding jobs that qualify for the skilled worker visa easy. Check out the list of eligible occupations and their codes here.

How to Find a Job in Scotland

Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you may be limited in what kind of job you can get. If you are moving to Scotland from America with a work visa, finding a job that will allow you to move to the UK can be more daunting than regular job hunting.

The easiest way to find a job in Scotland is by applying for a skilled worker position. The UK government has prepared a list of jobs they consider skilled work, making it easier to see if you qualify.

The first step is to check out the list of skilled worker jobs. The job type you are looking for may be available across various industries, so go through all the occupation codes listed.

Next, look for companies that are on the list of the UK Register of licensed sponsors.

I advise that you first look for city and county. Then, export the list and eliminate the jobs you do not want. I recommend having one list for the area you want to live in and looking for each company’s job listing vacancies online. 

Another way to find a job available to people moving to Scotland is to check the visa shortage occupation list. Chances are you will be able to find someone hiring immediately rather than hoping your dream job lands in your lap.

Remember, when looking for a job in Scotland, the UK sets visa requirements, but Scotland sets job requirements. 

Do you want more information? Check out my post about finding a job in Scotland for foreigners.

How to Bring Your Pet to Scotland

When you move to Scotland, bringing your pet with you requires applying for the Pet Travel Scheme. Unfortunately, you are only able to bring cats, dogs and ferrets.

You must follow a few rules and documents you need to obtain before applying. If you are interested in bringing your pet to Scotland, please find more information on how to apply to the Pet Travel Scheme.

Manage Your Expectations for Moving to Scotland

I know that when you visit Scotland, it seems incredible and everyone thinks, “I NEED TO MOVE HERE!” but remember, visiting a place and falling in love with it as a tourist is very different compared to moving to a new country. 

I can tell you firsthand that living in Scotland is amazing, but it is still wise to manage your expectations as not everything will go the way you planned in your mind before moving. 

Nothing sucks the joy and fantasy of moving to Scotland more than the visa application process. Getting a visa to live and work in Scotland is expensive and stressful.

Most people spend thousands to tens of thousands of dollars obtaining their visa. Not only is the visa process stressful once you move, but it can also be challenging to assimilate into Scottish culture at first.

So your visa was approved. What’s next?

The beach and sea in North Berwick - one place you can visit when you move to Scotland from the US

Opening up a bank account

Opening up a bank account can be difficult in Scotland. However, it is not impossible. I have put together a detailed post about things to do when you move to Scotland, including opening a bank account. For further information, please find the post here: What to Do When You Move to Scotland: Checklist.

How to Navigate the NHS – Healthcare in Scotland for Americans

When you apply for your visa, you will be required to pay for an immigration health surcharge, but there are a few things you will need to do when you move to Scotland from the US to prepare you in case you need to use their medical services. I recommend getting travel insurance for a limited time while you make the transition.

Register to a local GP

Once you find a place to live in Scotland, register with a GP in the area as soon as you move. You never know when illness will strike, so it will be much easier to prepare by setting up everything immediately.

A visit to the hospital may mean you have to wait for a while to see a doctor, but you should be able to get a visit to your GP by booking an appointment. 

Who Pays for Healthcare in Scotland?

Like most public healthcare, the NHS does have its pros and cons. However, one thing that makes using the NHS in Scotland great is that everyone can use their services. You won’t go bankrupt visiting the doctor in Scotland.

The fees for using the NHS in Scotland are covered through taxes from citizens and anyone who works in Scotland. (People like you!)

When you move to Scotland, you will have access to the UK’s nationalized healthcare service like citizens. Immigrants pay for healthcare out of their tax dollars as citizens do, but people moving to Scotland do have to pay a health surcharge fee upfront as part of the immigration process. This ensures that people aren’t moving to Scotland to use medical services for free and then leaving the country.

Filing Your American Taxes While Living in Scotland

Even if you move to Scotland permanently, you must file your American taxes yearly. I have an American friend who has been living in England for 20 years, and she still has to pay taxes in the US every year. It’s like this for Canadians as well – I pay my Canadian taxes yearly even while living in Scotland.

Taxes in the UK are filed for you, unlike filing taxes in the US and Canada annually. Please note that if you are self-employed, you will still need to hire an accountant and do your UK taxes yearly. 

The amount of taxes you may need to pay depends on your wage in Scotland. You will likely not have to pay taxes in the US. However, be prepared, as it does happen if you earn a large enough wage while living and working in Scotland. 

So, when you file your US income tax – you must include your foreign income, but chances are you will not owe anything if you meet the “foreign earned income exclusion.”

You can pay your taxes through the HMRC here when tax time comes.

Find out more about how to file your taxes in the US here.

Can an American move but work remotely for an American country?

Technically, you can live in Scotland while working remotely for a company in the US. However, it is not recommended. You can apply for a visa to work for an American company in Scotland, but the visa options are very limited.

The limited visas can be found here. Scroll down to the section for Work in the UK for your overseas employer to learn more.

Do Remove Visas Exist in Scotland?

Remote work visas are not a thing in the UK yet, but it would be nice! Perhaps in the future, they will! Living abroad while staying at your current job would make things much easier. 

It is not available yet because working remotely in the UK can create a permanent establishment for a foreign employer. This makes the foreign employer tax liable in the UK, which most companies do not want to deal with.

If you want to move to Scotland, as in living there for longer than six months and working at a Scottish job, you must have an immigration status that affords you the right to work in the UK.

How to get your Driver’s License in Scotland

If you are an American living in Scotland, you should obtain a driver’s license to purchase or drive a vehicle. Getting a driver’s license in Scotland is not as easy as getting one in the US or Canada. 

Your American driver’s license will be valid for 12 months from your entry date so you can settle into life in Scotland before worrying about getting a new driver’s licence.

The first step to obtaining a license is taking a class and getting driver training. The rules are very different between Scotland and the US, and it is highly recommended to get professional training so you know the laws of the road.

When you are ready, I recommend taking a theory test which you can book here.

Second, apply for a provisional license here.

Third, you must book a Driving Test. You can get a manual or automatic license. I recommend getting a manual as you can drive both types of cars.

It isn’t easy to get a license in Scotland. One of my Scottish flatmates struggled so much and had to retake the driving test repeatedly. She took classes for years, and it was still really hard for her.

Driving in Scotland

Driving in Scotland is very different from driving in the US and can be confusing and stressful at first. Most vehicles are manual. And as you know, the driver’s seat is on the right side, and drivers drive on the left side of the road. 

So, here are a few things to be prepared for when driving in Scotland.

  • There are loads of roundabouts throughout Scotland, so learn how to use them. 
  • Roads in Scotland are much more narrow than in the US. Sometimes narrow roads mean you may have to wait for a car to pass.
  • Scottish cars are smaller – there are no Escalades or G-Wagons here
  • Be careful when driving through the country, as pheasants like jumping onto the road every chance they can.
  • Scotland has a strict drink-drive limit, so don’t drink and drive (I mean, don’t drink and drive anywhere)
  • Be prepared for loads of roadwork, traffic jams, potholes and learning to drive on cobblestone streets. There is always loads of roadwork in every country, though, so this isn’t exclusive to Scotland.
  • The MOT yearly exam – be prepared to get your car into the mechanic every year for a mandatory MOT test. Make sure you store extra cash for this, as any issues must be fixed before they return your car. 

More Tips for Moving to Scotland from the US

Glencoe - moutain range in Scotland

How to find a place to live in Scotland

Finding a place to live in Scotland can be intimidating. Which city do you pick? How much will you pay for rent? Will the place you live have everything you need to live comfortably? Will you need to buy furniture? Is there decent public transport if you cannot walk to work? 

There are so many things to consider when finding a place to live in Scotland. Depending on where your spouse lives, your job or the university you will be attending can narrow this down.

Once you know which town or city you are moving to, you can begin narrowing your search for a flat. 

If you are moving to one of the larger cities, I have a post about finding a flat in Edinburgh and finding a flat in Glasgow that can help with your search.

What Should You Pack Moving for Scotland?

Should you bring all of your furniture, car, clothes etc? Most flats in Scotland have furniture or are fully furnished, which is really helpful when you first move to Scotland. 

So, what should you pack? Bring the essentials and anything you will miss from back home and buy the rest when you move to Scotland. I do have a post about what to pack for Scotland that I recommend checking out so you are prepared.

Getting Around Scotland

Getting around larger cities using public transport like buses, trams, or walking is easy—most of Scotland, especially larger cities, is very walkable. Trains go nearly everywhere, and renting a car is easy when needed.

Things to know about getting around Scotland:

  • Train tickets are lower priced during off-peak times. 
  • Get a day ticket when travelling via bus. You can travel as much as you need for one price.
  • If you do not have a car or want to do a lot of food shopping, you can get your food delivered from the supermarket. You purchase everything online, and they pick it, pack it and bring it to your door. It is affordable and saves time. I always hated carrying a giant pack of toilet roll on the bus!

Can Americans vote in Scottish Elections?

Once you move to Scotland from the US via a visa, you can vote for all legal residents in Scotland. So non-Eu citizens like Americans are allowed to vote. Just note that this isn’t an option for all visas, such as temporary or student visas.

Cost of Living in Scotland

Living in Scotland can be affordable, but certain cities (Like Edinburgh) are more expensive than others. I go over the pros and cons of living in Glasgow vs Edinburgh to give you an idea of the cost of living between Scotland’s two largest cities.

Rent: Average rent depends on where you live in Scotland. Places like Edinburgh and Glasgow are more expensive than areas outside the city. Most letting agents and landlords also list rent prices PCM (per calendar month) or PW (per week), so double-check which price is listed before getting too excited at a good deal.

Council Tax: Council tax bands differ depending on where you live in the city, the size of your house or flat and more. When searching for a flat in Scotland, I recommend checking out the council tax band prices before you move in.

TV License: If you have a TV in your home in Scotland, you must pay a TV tax. This fee can be paid monthly or yearly and is mandatory. You can avoid paying for this by not having a TV at home.

Subsidies for having children: Subsidies are available if you bring your children or plan on having children when you move to Scotland. Please find more information here.

Mobile Phone: Mobile phone plans are much more affordable in the UK than in the US. Plus, they have great perks like unlimited data, and some companies offer vouchers for local businesses (cinemas and restaurants)

Bus/Transit: Public transit is affordable in larger cities, but if you live on the outskirts of Edinburgh or Glasgow, you may need to pay a higher price for a pass with First Bus or Lothian Country.

Things to know before Moving to Scotland from the US

When you are planning on moving to Scotland from the US, it is a great idea to speak to other people who are planning on moving to Scotland or have already moved to Scotland from the US.

Join Facebook or Online Groups 

I recommend taking advantage of the Facebook groups that exist. Not all groups are good, but generally, they can help talk through cultural differences or figure out where to find something. 

If you have loads of questions, they are a million times more helpful than any government website on how to buy property, get immigration advice, navigate the healthcare system, deal with any American tax issues, and all the stuff you want person-to-person advice on.

What is the ACTUAL price of this item?

Listen, it is nearly impossible not to convert prices when you first move to Scotland from the US but try to avoid converting the prices of things into your home currency to determine their value. 

If you see a jumper for 20 pounds, don’t think of it as “Is this worth 27 USD?” I did this all the time. Eventually, this feeling to convert prices fades, but do your best not to start doing this when you first move.

Set up bank accounts and mobile phone plans early.

There can be a lot more time, hassle and paperwork involved in administrative tasks, so however long you think you need to set up a bank account or get on a mobile phone, plan that stuff – start it earlier. 

Sign up for Wise, which you can use until you get your Scottish bank account. Or, you can continue to use Wise forever! You can open an account for both the US and the UK and will be able to set up prepayments for things like rent or getting a paycheque from your job.

Firth of Forth and train bridge in South Queensferry

How does living in Scotland differ from the US?

When I first moved to Scotland, I was really unprepared for how different it would be to live in North America. I was super homesick, couldn’t understand the accent and didn’t know where to buy new trousers for work.

Now that I have lived in Scotland for a few years, these things seem silly, but the culture shock hit me at the time. Not only are Scottish people much different, the work culture and general life are quite different from life in Scotland. Here are a few things you may be used to in the US that are generally unavailable in Scotland.

Scottish houses rarely (if ever) have basements. Be prepared to lose all of that extra storage space.

Washing machines are usually installed in the kitchen. Plus, most places only have a washing machine as it is rare to have a tumble dryer. You can get a place with a dryer (I had one, it was bliss), but most people use dryer horses or hang their clothes outside.

Scottish flats and houses do not have screens on their windows so that bugs can get inside. Scottish people may claim that bugs do not enter their homes but tell that to the 40 spiders walking into my room like they owned the place.

Rainy & Cold Scottish Weather!

Scotland is incredibly rainy. Unless you are moving from Oregon or Washington, be prepared sometimes to hate the rain.

Houses in Scotland are COLD. You may need to wear a jumper (sweater) all the time or have blankets around you while lounging on the couch.

There are no open-plan homes like in the US. Every room has a door that helps separate each room, which is great for fire safety. Keep your doors closed when you go to bed to prevent a potential fire from spreading.

You can only have a limited amount of people living in one house. Otherwise, many safety regulations are required depending on how many people live with you—things like extra fire alarms, which may raise the rent.

Council & TV Tax – Be prepared to pay for the dreaded council tax and tv taxes each month (or annually.)

The Hot and cold taps are separate – Do you want to scald your hand while the other freezes? You can do this in Scotland!

No closets – Most homes in Scotland do not have closets built into the room, and you will have to use wardrobes which I hate. They are smaller and take up extra space in your room.

The power outlets are different in Scotland. You will need a power converter to use American electronics, so I recommend buying new ones once you arrive in Scotland.

Depending on where you live determines where your children can go to school.

The catchment area also determines Doctors officers (GP offices). You won’t be able to use a GP across town if there is one in your area.

Want to know more? Read all about the pros and cons of living in Scotland as an American here.

Check if you can get indefinite leave to remain.

Once you live in Scotland for a specific amount of time, you can apply to get indefinite leave to remain. This will allow you to work and live in Scotland permanently and is an excellent step towards getting British citizenship if you are interested in that.

To get ILR, you must take a residency/Life in the United Kingdom test. You can buy a study book and take practice tests online. Take the tests repeatedly until you are prepared for the test. This test is required, and you will need to take it to get indefinite leave; it is essentially a citizenship test. The test is about British life, culture and history.

You must take the test within 100 miles of your home because it’s weighted to which part of the UK you’re in. So if you are in Scotland, focus on Scotland, as the questions will be highly related to Scottish life and history. 

You can take it as many times as you need to, and once you pass, they print out a certificate that you need to keep with all of your immigration paperwork and submit. 

What happens when your ILR expires? 

Permanent residence means you don’t have to apply for more visas. It’s not actually permanent, but there is no expiration on it. 

However, they can revoke your status from you if you live outside the UK for two years or if you do anything worthy of deportation. 

You can reapply, and they will either grant it again, or you have to start your immigration journey from scratch. Some people choose to stay on ILR forever rather than apply for citizenship.

Biometrics residence permit

When you get your biometrics residence permit, carry it with you. It can be used as proof that you have the right to work if you want to start a new job. 

You need your biometrics residence permit to reenter the country when you travel abroad in addition to your passport.

It will have the day your indefinite leave started and the type of permit you have. For example, it may say student, and remarks can say you can work for 20 hours a week. 

Or a biometric residence permit will have a settlement, and remarks are ILR. The permit is valid until a specific date, meaning you must ask for a new card, but it isn’t an expiration date. 

Depending on your visa type, it may take a different amount of time to be eligible for ILR and the ability to apply for citizenship. You may need 5+ years on work visas to become eligible to apply for ILR.

Find out more about how to obtain ILR here.

Two deer in the Scottish Highlands

Closing Thoughts

So, are you still excited to move to Scotland from the US? You should be! It may not be easy, expensive, and definitely for the privileged, but you can do it! It might not be the easiest task, but if you want it – go for it.

Save the money, jump through all of the hoops, and work hard, and you will get there. Stay positive; before you know it, you will live in Scotland.

Do you need more information? I have loads of resources for you to look at, and you are more than welcome to email me if you have any questions. If all else fails, definitely contact a solicitor, and they can answer any questions you have.

Moving to Scotland from the US Resources

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