Moving to Scotland – Removals Guide

Moving to Scotland:
Removals Guide

Embarking on a move to Scotland is an exciting and life-changing decision. Whether you’re drawn in by Scotland’s rich history, world-renowned education system, employment opportunities, stunning landscapes or the friendly people, Scotland offers a unique and vibrant experience for expatriates.

In this comprehensive Moving to Scotland guide, we’ll explore the historical backdrop of Scotland, explore education and employment opportunities and examine the requirements for permanent residency in Scotland.

Why not check out our other article for the Top 5 Best Places to Live in Scotland?

A Removal in the Scottish Highlands

Unveiling Scotland's History

Before making the move to Scotland, be sure to familiarise yourself with Scotland’s captivating history, which has helped shape it’s unique culture and identity. Marked by ancient battles and countless castles, Scotland’s history is part of the magnificent landscape. Boasting a legacy of writers and thinkers, Scotland’s contribution to the world cannot be overlooked.

1. Ancient Roots

Scotland’s history dates back thousands of years, with evidence of ancient civilisations and Celtic influence present up and down the country. Historic sites like Skara Brae in Orkney showcase the country’s prehistoric roots. With sites in the Central Belt like Carinpapple proving that there was once a thriving community in Scotland, almost 4000 years ago.

2. Medieval Scotland

Scotland is most famous for it’s numerous castles, built in the Middle Ages. Castles like Stirling and Edinburgh dominated much of the skyline during this period, with their presence today a testament to Scotland’s turbulent history. These castles plated a pivotal role in shaping Scotland’s future during the War of Independence against England in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Purdie Truck at the foot of Edinburgh Castle

3. Enlightenment Era

Scotland’s 18th Century played host to an era of enlightenment. Thinkers like Adam Smith and David Hume made groundbreaking contributions to philosophy and economics. This era laid the foundations of what we now call modern Scotland.

Purdie Van at the top of Calton Hill, Edinburgh

4. Modern Scotland

In the 20th Century, Scotland underwent significant social and economic changes, resulting in the creation of the Scottish Parliament back in 1999. Over 2 decades later, Scotland is now a dynamic blend of tradition and modernity, offering a unique and cultural experience for anyone moving to Scotland.

Moving to Scotland: Education

One of the big key attractions for international residents moving to Scotland is for its world-class education system. Offering free further education to it’s residents, the cost for international students is also considerably lower than other similar countries. It’s not all new and modern building either, many institutes still lecture from ancient university buildings, providing a diverse range of academic opportunities.

moving to scotland - good education
Removal Truck outside West Calder High School

1. Universities and Colleges

Scotland is home to some of the world’s oldest universities, such as the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow and the University of St. Andrews. If you compare these institutions against other universities from across the world, you’ll find that they not only offer a wide array of undergraduate and post-graduate programs, but rank amongst the best universities in the world.

2. Quality of Education

There’s a big emphasis in Scottish education on research and innovation. As such you’ll find that education programs are geared to promote critical thinking and develop practical skills, hopefully preparing students for success in their chosen field of study.

3. International Student Experience

Scotland, and in particular Edinburgh, is renowned for it’s population of international students. Given Edinbugh’s history and stunning beauty, if you take away the cold weather, there’s really no place like it in the world to study. Steeped in history, you can wander the streets for days all in the name of education!

The Scottish government also encourages international students to contribute to the local workforce after they’ve graduated. The Post-Study Work Visa allows graduates to stay and work in Scotland for up to two years, and in turn provide a pathway to further career opportunities.

Moving to Scotland: Employment

Understanding the employment landscape in Scotland is crucial for those considering moving to Scotland. The country offers a very diverse job market. From basic office work in the city, to farming in the country, Scotland has job opportunities for every level of education and desire.

Purdie Worldwide working hard in Edinburgh

1. Key Industries

Within Scotland’s major cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth, there are key industries chocked full of employment opportunities. Sectors like finance, technology, renewable energy, tourism and life sciences all have ample job opportunities for any keen ex-pat looking for work. Be sure to utilise online job portals and recruitment agencies when searching for employment.

2. Work Culture

Although Scotland’s work culture is a hard working one, there is a heavy emphasis on a healthy work-life balance. Employers tend to value creativity and innovation, fostering an environment that is geared towards conducive and professional growth for both the employee and the business.

3. Visa and Work Permits

Although Scotland has since left the EU, it’s still relatively straight forward to get a VISA if you’re coming from a country that’s still within the EU. Be sure to check out the Scottish Government website on EU citizens working in Scotland before you make any grand plans.

If you’re coming from outside the EU then you’ll definitely need a VISA, even it’s just a work or education VISA. In a nutshell, if you’re not British or Irish, then you’ll need some kind of VISA before moving to Scotland for work.

Moving to Scotland:
Permanent Residence

For those of you considering a long term stay when moving to Scotland, then you have to obtain permanent residency. The process of getting this involves meeting certain criteria and demonstrating an understanding and a commitment to contribute to Scottish society as a whole.

1. Residency Requirements

To be eligible for permanent residence in Scotland, individuals usually need to have lived in Scotland for specific period of time under a valid visa. By meeting certain criteria laid out by the Scottish government, the applicant must demonstrate a commitment to integrating into Scottish Society.

Most permanent residency applications often require evidence of a positive contribution to Scottish society. This could include employment, community engagement or other activities that showcase your commitment and dedication when moving to Scotland.

Removal Truck at the foot of Ben Nevis

2. Language Proficiency

The main language in the United Kingdom is English. Although there are some Gaelic speakers in Scotland, this is on the decline and not an essential part of the residency process. Therefore to gain permanent residency when moving to Scotland, you must demonstrate a proficiency in English. This ensure effective communication and integration into the community.

3. Legal Assistance

If you’re not sure of something, or can’t figure out your immigration forms, then do seek legal advice. Immigration laws can be complex, and having professional guidance can help ensure a smoother application process when moving to Scotland.

Moving to Scotland: Conclusion

The Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Moving to Scotland is a transformative experience that offers a blend of rich history, educational excellence, empathic employment opportunities and a chance to call Scotland home!

Whether you’re drawn in by the magnificent castles, the atmospheric academic scene, or the promising job prospects, Scotland has more to offer than you think!

By understanding the historical context, educational landscapes and engaging with your local community, you’ll soon become a kilt wearing, irn-bru drinking local in no time! 

Why not embark on this exciting journey with Purdie Worldwide? We offer fully comprehensive and competitive moving packages to suit every individual, so get in touch for a free moving to Scotland quote today!

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