Moving From England to Scotland

Landscape view of Old Man of Storr rock formation in Scotland, United Kingdom
Old Man of Storr, Scotland

Last Update: 28.10.2020

Capital City: Edinburgh
Population: 5,436,600 (2022)
Official language: English
Commonly spoken languages: English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic
Currency: Pound sterling (GBP; £)

Are you considering moving from England to Scotland? Whether it’s for a change of scenery, career opportunities, or simply a new adventure, there are many reasons to think about migrating to Scotland. From work permits and the cost of living to healthcare, education and property purchases, this comprehensive guide will explore everything you need for a smooth relocation.

Discover the intricacies of Scottish life, from the bustling streets of Edinburgh to the serene landscapes of the Highlands. Join us as we delve into the practicalities, challenges, and joys of making the transition northward. Let’s embark on this exciting journey together and make your move to Scotland a smooth and fulfilling experience!

What you should know before moving to Scotland

Scotland is a land with a rich history steeped in ancient traditions and breathtaking landscapes that range from rugged coastlines to misty highlands. There are, however, a few key factors you should consider before making the move from England to Scotland. No matter if you’re drawn to the vibrant city life of Edinburgh or the tranquillity of the Highlands, careful planning and research will ensure a smooth transition to this enchanting land of tartan, bagpipes, and warm hospitality.

Visa Requirements when Moving to Scotland

The good news is that UK citizens who migrate to Scotland don’t need to navigate through a labyrinth of paperwork or meet specific conditions. As part of the United Kingdom, Scotland follows immigration policies set by the UK government. This means that as a UK citizen, you won’t need to complete any extra paperwork to move across the border.

If you’re from the EU, EEA, Switzerland, or a related country and have been living in Scotland before the end of December 2020, you can apply for settled status under the EU settlement plan. Although the EU Settlement Scheme expired on June 30, 2021, you can seek guidance from resources such as Help and Advice for EU Citizens in Scotland or Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for further assistance.

Understanding visa requirements is crucial for a smooth transition to your new life. By staying informed and taking the necessary steps, you can ensure that your move from England to Scotland is as seamless as possible, allowing you to enjoy all your new home has to offer.

Where to live in Scotland

There are undoubtedly many beautiful places in Scotland where you can settle and start your new life. However, Edinburgh and Glasgow undoubtedly steal the spotlight as top contenders.


Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, effortlessly blends ancient history with a vibrant modern culture. The city offers everything you need – quiet places to read and sunbathe, various sports and recreational facilities, rich nightlife, and great food establishments and bars. There are many parks, schools, national museums and galleries, and hospitals. Public transportation is well-developed. Plus, for career seekers, the capital is the best city in which to find your place.


Glasgow offers its unique appeal. With its rich industrial heritage, the city boasts stunning Victorian architecture, bustling markets, and a diverse culinary scene that’s sure to tantalise your taste buds. There are plenty of schools and universities in Glasgow that attract many international and EU students. The city is very well developed, with young families, students and recent graduates searching for job opportunities. Add in its dynamic music scene, vibrant street art, and welcoming locals, and you’ll quickly see why Glasgow is a top choice for those seeking an urban adventure.

Whichever the best place to live in Scotland is for you, whether it’s a small and tranquil city or the capital, you should do the research and take the leap.

Working in Scotland

There are different types of work visas; hence, the combination of documents you may need to provide varies. However, if you have to apply for the General Tier 2 Work Visa, all you need to prepare are the following documents:

  • A valid certificate of job sponsorship
  • Evidence of an appropriate salary for the type of job
  • English language certificate with a level of at least B1
  • Bank statement proving that you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK
  • Travel history for the last 5 years, as well as evidence that you are eligible to travel
  • Tuberculosis test results, if you’re from a listed country
  • Criminal record certificate from any country, where you’ve resided in for more than a year in the last 10 years. This applies if your work requires contact with vulnerable individuals.

You can apply two ways: by submitting your documents at a UK embassy or online. You can find out more information about the application process here.

Working in Scotland as an EEA National

EEA and Swiss nationals enjoy less restriction in terms of employment. However, to work, claim benefits or apply for a student loan, you must acquire a National Insurance Number (NIN). To be eligible for a NIN, you must be in the UK and have the right to either work or study there. After Brexit, individuals with a National Insurance Number (NIN) were required to apply for EU Settlement to remain in the UK past June 30, 2021.

Transport in Scotland

The excellent public transport system is a game-changer for anyone considering a move from England to Scotland. Travel costs are significantly lower than those in England, whether you’re travelling within the country or abroad, provided you choose the right travel agent. By purchasing monthly or annual transport passes, you will be able to get around more easily and save money. The extensive and efficient rail network provides cross-country links within Scotland as well as provides regular connections to the rest of the United Kingdom. Whether you’re craving a scenic journey through the Highlands or a swift commute to Edinburgh or Glasgow, the rail network has you covered.

And let’s not forget about buses. With a staggering 95% of Scotland’s population residing within a five-minute walk of a bus stop, it’s no wonder why buses are a popular choice for getting around. No matter if you’re exploring city streets or venturing further afield via coach, Scotland’s bus network is both efficient and affordable.

Moreover, full-time volunteers (up to the age of 25) and individuals between 16 and 18 enjoy ⅓ off the price for bus and rail fares. Those who are over 60 years old can travel by bus for free. If you decide to settle on one of the Scottish islands, then each year, you can enjoy two free return journeys to the mainland by ferry. Additionally, the country boasts several international airports, facilitating seamless travel to and from global destinations.

Driving in Scotland

The well-maintained road network makes driving a safe and accessible option, perfect for those who enjoy the freedom of the open road. To bring your car from anywhere else in the UK to Scotland, you will need the following:

  • Show vehicle registration and ownership documents and keep them with you at all times
  • Insure the vehicle – it’s a law in Scotland that the vehicle must have at least third-party insurance
  • Learn about the number plate symbols which are not typical in the rest of the UK

Your valid UK driving licence is valid in Scotland as well. Strictly follow all rules, speed limits and signs on the road. Also, keep an eye out for wild animals or cattle on the road.

Education in Scotland

If you are moving to Scotland from England with children, then you’ll be happy to know that the country has an excellent education sector with top-performing primary and secondary schools as well as top-rated universities.

Free tuition is provided to children from 5 to 16 years, which includes two years of nursery education before starting school. Scotland also offers free university tuition. However, only Scots, EEA and Swiss nationals can take advantage of this perk.

Although this scheme covers only the first university degree, it can help you save a considerable amount of money. British students from other parts of the UK are expected to pay an equivalent to the price of the course in their respective country of origin.

Being a student in Scotland

How long do you have to live in Scotland to qualify for free university? While many consider this division to be unfair, there is a way to circumvent the situation by planning ahead. You only have to spend three years in Scotland to be considered a resident. Afterwards, you can avoid tuition fees the same way any other EU national would do.

Healthcare in Scotland 

One of the biggest advantages of moving to Scotland is the healthcare system. In terms of management, the Scottish and English NHS are separate. This allows the Scottish Parliament to make changes, which are in favour of patients and those seeking emergency help. Some of the perks are:

  • 24/7 emergency service: It’s called NHS 24/7, and it offers medical help online and over the phone
  • Waiting time: Compared to England, Scotland has a smaller population. Thus, it is often possible to arrange a same-day surgery appointment
  • Free examinations: Every Scottish resident benefits from free eye check-ups, and the elderly enjoy free medical care
  • Employed or self-employed individuals in Scotland are entitled to free healthcare from the NHS, as well as their spouses and immediate family members

Are Prescriptions Free in Scotland

The Scottish Parliament abolished prescription charges for all patients on 1 April 2011. Moreover, if you are registered with a general practitioner (GP) in Scotland but have to use your prescription in England, you won’t be required to pay any fees. The only exception is the GP10 form unless you are eligible for an exemption. In that case, you will be charged £7.40 per item.

On the other hand, if you have to use an English prescription in Scotland, you will be required to pay £7.40 per item unless you have an Entitlement Card.

With healthcare and education being free, you may want to check out some of the actual costs of living in Scotland before you pack a suitcase and move there.

Moving Care Home From England to Scotland

Relocating to a nursing home in Scotland is not that difficult, but it will take some time, and certain things need to be taken into account before you move:

  • Welfare Power of Attorney: If you want to organize the relocation of a relative, who is unable to manage his or her own affairs, it is advised to set up a Power of Attorney or Guardianship. This will make the process easier and it may save you additional charges.
  • Ordinarily Resident Status: By arranging the change in ordinary residence from England to Scotland, you can avoid unnecessary payments. The reason such a mistake can have financial, and sometimes legal, consequences are that the local social work service at your place of ordinary residence is not obliged to fund nursing accommodation in another jurisdiction. As a result, you may be required to pay the full price of the provided care until the change has been made.

Supplementary resources can be found on the Government of Scotland website.


Moving from England to Scotland opens up a world of possibilities. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow or the charming coastal towns, Scotland has something to offer everyone.

However, regardless of the distance, international house moves are never an easy task. That’s where Fantastic Removals comes in. We understand the challenges of relocation and are here to help. Our professional removal company will take care of everything, ensuring a smooth transition to your new home in Scotland. So, let us handle the logistics while you focus on embracing the exciting opportunities that await you!

92.00 % of readers found this article helpful.

Click a star to add your vote
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (15 votes, 92.00 % )

Sign Me Up for Fresh Updates I want to have fantastic stories delivered straight to my inbox for free.

Comments are closed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This