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Visiting Scotland after Brexit (tourism and short-term work)

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This process is often known as 'Brexit'.

The UK Government and the EU have now agreed a deal on their future relationship. From 1 January 2021 this new relationship with the EU will begin.

There will be effects on some areas of life in Scotland. This may include changes to tourism in Scotland.

This page will be updated to give the latest facts. Keep checking back for new information.

Visiting Scotland from the EU from 1 January 2021

EU citizens are still welcome to visit Scotland from 1 January. However, there may be some changes to how you enter the country and what you may need to bring with you.

Passports and visas

Citizens from EU or EEA countries can visit the UK without a visa. But from 1 January 2021, they will only be able to stay for up to 6 months.

EU citizens will still have to show a valid passport or national ID card at the border from 1 January 2021.

You will not be able to use your EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021. However, you can continue to use your national ID card to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025 if you:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • have a frontier worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider

The UK Government has more information on visiting the UK after Brexit.

Travel

We expect international passenger services between the UK and EU countries to continue from 1 January 2021. This includes all routes by air, sea, road, and rail.

Driving in the UK

If you are an EU citizen who plans on driving in the UK when you visit, the rules will not change from 1 January 2021. You do not need an international driving permit.

You do not need to carry an insurance green card, if you have vehicle insurance issued in:

  • the EU
  • Andorra
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Serbia
  • Switzerland

We advise you to carry other valid proof of insurance.

The UK Government has more information.

Travelling with pets

The rules for taking pets from the UK to EU countries have changed.

The UK Government has more information on travelling with pets.

Using mobile phones

If you have a SIM card issued by a mobile phone network from an EU or EEA country, you'll pay the same in both the UK and the EU for:

  • calls
  • texts
  • mobile data

The UK Government has more information.

EU and EEA citizens working in Scotland from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, free movement of people between the UK and EU will end. New rules will apply for people from EU and EEA countries living and working in Scotland.

Anyone from outside the UK employed in Scotland may need a UK visa or work permit from 1 January 2021.

If you employ or wish to recruit EU citizens from 1 January 2021, you can read guidance on recruiting outside the UK on GOV.UK.

If you are from outside the UK and are looking for a job from 1 January 2021, read the guidance on visas on GOV.UK.

Further information on the UK visa and immigrating system is on GOV.UK.

Applying to Continue Living in the UK and EU Citizens Settlement Scheme

Citizens of EU or EEA countries (except Ireland), or Switzerland may be able to apply to continue living in the UK from 1 January 2021. More information on how to get European Temporary Leave to Remain is on GOV.UK.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens may be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. Read more about the scheme and how to apply.

Data

The rules around handling personal data from EU/EEA countries may change from 1 January 2021. Organisations may need to take action on data protection and data flows of personal data from EU or EEA countries after the end of the transition period.

Guidance on what businesses may need to do to use personal data is on GOV.UK.

Movement of goods

If you import goods from EU or EEA countries, changes to customs arrangements at borders could mean delays from 1 January 2021.

The UK Government has more information on importing goods.

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