Should I get my tourist visa started?

Hello! Sue from the US here.  In the planning stages of moving to Inverness in 2024. I plan to work as a Real Estate agent there if possible.  If not- I'm open.  I have decades of hospitality and natural resource management experience as well.

My biggest question is timing.  I understand I will need a 6 month tourist visa first, during which I can look for a job and work.  Then have my employer "sponsor" me for a 6 month work visa, in the hopes of then being kept at the job and applying for my 5 year visa.

I am planning on selling my house early next year (March/April). What advice does anyone have for how soon should I get my tourist visa started? 

Hello wildlifemaiden,

Welcome to 1f601.svg

Please note that I have created a new thread with your post on the Scotland forum.

This way, I increased your chances of gathering information here.

In the meantime, I suggest you read the Living in Scotland guide for expats.

All the best,

Cheryl team

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

I've read this and your other comments on the Forum; my instant reaction is that this will not be easy.  You've probably read this before, but as a US citizen, if you exclude the family-related visas, you have 2 options:

  • a short-term visitor; this link will take you straight to the section that tells you that you don't need a visa to stay for up to 6 months, it also explains that you may not do any work (paid or unpaid), or work for yourself while you are here.
  • a working visa; there are many of them and this link will take you to the webpage that lists every single one.

Within the 2 links I've provided is a wealth of official information, to cut to the end, if you can find a job (as an Estate Agent) where the employer is willing to sponsor your application and offer you a salary that meets the minimum level (currently £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour), then they can register with the UK Home Office and apply to sponsor your visa.  You can only apply for one of these visas from outside the UK, not while you're in the UK on a tourist visa.

How to do this?  Use the internet, join LinkedIn (link), and reach out to your Peers who are already working in the UK property market; find out who is hiring and whether the salaries are enough to enable you to qualify; this link will take you to a search I just conducted as to what Estate Agents jobs are available in Scotland a couple were actually being advertised on LinkedIn.

Anyway, you know you can't just retire and move to anywhere in the UK as a lady of leisure, you're going to have to work and I wish you every success.

I hope this has helped.


Expat Team