Moving to Scotland
Scotland occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. The capital city, Edinburgh, attracts and fascinates expats with its nerve-racking atmosphere and scenic beauty. The capital is intimately intertwined with the natural landscape. The city is one of high culture, literature, art, science and philosophy. All this and more makes Edinburgh one of the most endlessly intriguing places in Europe and a premier destination for expats.
Considered the second biggest country in the United Kingdom after England, Scotland is home to the world’s greatest malt whiskies, preserved historical sites and inventions such as the television, telephone and penicillin. Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, which is also known as the largest financial center in the United Kingdom, following London. Scotland’s official language is English, and its currency is the Pound Sterling. The government of Scotland is a devolved one within constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
Scotland has one of the most advanced and progressive economies in Europe. The country’s diverse economic sectors range from manufacturing, services, oil and gas, to financial services, tourism, textiles, technology and more. Scotland also houses the oil capital of Europe, Aberdeen – the third largest city in the country which bears the nicknames “Granite City,” “Gray City,” and “Silver City with the Golden Sands.”Since Scotland is a well-developed and popular destination for travelers in the United Kingdom, the tourism sector of the country continues to be a thriving one and is said to account for 3% of Scotland’s economic output. In 2013, Scotland had an estimated 6.5 million tourists – a 1.6% increase from the previous year.
Foreign nationals who plan to move to Scotland require a valid passport and visa issued by the Scottish Embassy in their country of origin to enter the country. However, foreigners coming from EU and EEA member nations are exempt from this rule. For EU and EEA expats wishing to take up employment in Scotland, they are allowed to stay in the country to find work, while those from non-EU and EEA member nations need to go through the “points-based immigration system” of the United Kingdom in order to work in Scotland. One of the requirements for qualification is to have a valid job offer from a UK-based employer.
Scotland takes pride in its manufacturing of malt whisky, the country’s best-known product and one of its primary exports. In terms of culture, Scotland is known for its kilts, bagpipes and unicorn as its official animal. Among the most famous tourist spots in Scotland include Edinburgh Castle, Loch Ness, Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat, EileanDonan, Melrose Abbey and Ben Nevis. Tourists will never get bored in Scotland, as the country offers a vast selection of interesting activities – from white water rafting, canyoning, hiking, sailing and fishing, to skiing, snowboarding during the winter season.
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