Are you planning a trip to Scotland? Wonderful! We look forward to welcoming you. If it's your first visit you might have some questions about passports, visas, money and customs. We'll answer those questions for you here.
Do I need a passport to visit Scotland?
If you're not from a EEA country, then you must hold a valid passport before you visit Scotland and the UK.
Your children may also need their own passports.
Do I need a visa to visit Scotland?
If you are an EU citizen:
No, you don't need a visa. You can stay in Scotland for any length of time.
The UK is due to leave the EU in late spring. If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, what you need to enter Scotland will not change until 2021.
If the UK leaves without a deal, you will still be able to enter without a Visa if you're an Irish citizen, or from any other EU or EEA country, or Switzerland, but you may be limited to a visit of up to three months.
For the latest information, please see the UK Government advice for visiting the UK after Brexit.
If you are from outside the EU:
You might need a visa. It depends on how long you are planning to stay and why you are visiting. You can find out more on visas from the UK Government.
What goods can I bring in to Scotland?
You can bring most everyday items with you when you visit. There are some goods that you are not allowed to bring, such as firearms. There are other goods that have a limit to the amount you can bring in, such as alcohol and tobacco.
The rules are different depending on whether you are travelling from within or from outside the EU. You can find out more from the UK Government's advice on bringing goods in.
Can I bring in medicine?
Yes, you can bring in your own personal medicines. If you bring in medicines for yourself, you do not need to declare your medicines to UK Customs. However, in case there is an issue in the UK or abroad, it is a good idea to have a letter from your doctor confirming your need for the medication. Always carry medicines in a correctly labelled container as issued by the pharmacist. There may be restrictions on the amount of drugs that you can bring into the country. Before you travel, seek advice about the requirements from HM Customs and Exercise.
How much currency can I bring into the UK?
If you are travelling from within the EU:
You may bring as much money as you like, in any form.
If you are entering from outside the EU:
You have to declare any amount over €10,000 when you enter the UK.
How should I bring my money?
There are thousands of cash machines (ATMS) in Scottish cities and towns. Check with your bank to see if you can use your card in these. If you are visiting the islands or remote areas, you may not be able to find a cash machine, so think about taking some money with you.
You can cash travellers cheques at banks and bureaux de change. There is usually no charge for cashing sterling travellers cheques.
Save money with tax-free shopping
Want to make your holiday money go further? If you're from outside the EU, you can reclaim the sales tax on your purchases.
The sales tax - or value added tax (VAT) - is currently applied at 20% to most goods and services except food, books and children's clothing.
There are a number of steps to take during and after your visit, in order to reclaim the sales tax. You can find information on how to reclaim sales tax by visiting the HM Revenue & Customs website.