Scotland Welcome Pack for British Nationals (Overseas) from Hong Kong

A guide for adults and dependants who have been granted leave on the new British National (Overseas) visa to access public services and make the most of the opportunities in Scotland.

Employment and Training

There are a number of ways to find work in Scotland and below is a list of the support services that we provide to help you in securing employment.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS)

SDS is Scotland’s national skills body and provides careers information, advice and guidance, as well as work-based training programmes aimed at building career management skills. They support a wide range of pathways into work, including Modern Apprenticeships (further information below). There are SDS Careers Centres based in each local authority area which you can visit to access support, for more information on these.

There is also an online service, My World of Work, which can assist you through every stage of your working life. Anyone can access information on a wide range of subjects, including choosing a career, learning and training, applying for jobs and making a career change. You will find information on researching careers to building your CV.

They also deliver Career Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG) services. The service enables people to adequately prepare for, enter and progress through the labour market, and to fulfil their potential in the workplace.

Working In Your Local Area

You can apply to work for your local council across a wide range of job roles and services. Visit My Job Scotland to view, search and apply for jobs in your area.

Jobcentre Plus helps people to find and progress in work, including those who are unemployed and claiming benefits. Visit your nearest Jobcentre Plus for help with finding a job and information on any benefits you and your family might be entitled to, or visit the website at Manage an existing benefit, payment or claim.

You can find further information surrounding the support services available at Working, jobs and careers.

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs)

Modern apprenticeships in Scotland can offer you opportunities to learn on the job, get the experience you need, and work towards a qualification.

Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs)

Graduate Apprenticeships provide work-based learning opportunities up to Master’s degree level for new and existing employees. They have been created in partnership with industry and the further and higher education sector. The apprenticeships combine academic knowledge with skills development to enable participants to become more effective and productive in the workplace.

Your National Insurance Number

You have a National Insurance number to make sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name only. It’s made up of letters and numbers and never changes.

You can look for and start work without a National Insurance number if you can prove you can work in the UK. You can also go online to which allows you to authorise an employer to access your data to prove that you have the right to work in the UK.

Employers are required to conduct mandatory Right to Work checks on all prospective employees. Having a National Insurance number is not part of these checks, and the possession of a National Insurance number does not prove that an individual has a right to work.

If you do not have a NI number you can find further information on how to obtain one at:

As part of the application process for a National Insurance number, you may be required to attend a face-to-face appointment where the Department for Work and Pensions can validate and confirm your identity and right to work. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the face to face National Insurance number service is currently suspended.

Qualifications recognition

BN(O) status holders with a non-UK professional qualification may need to have their qualification officially recognised to work in a profession that is regulated in the UK. It will need to be recognised by the appropriate regulator for a particular profession.

Professionals with non-UK qualifications should contact the appropriate UK or Scottish regulator for further information. If professionals are uncertain of the appropriate regulator, they can check the Regulated Professions Register to find out which regulatory or professional body they should contact for further information on how to get their professional qualification recognised.

If your qualification has already been officially recognised by the relevant UK regulator, make sure you understand the terms of your recognition decision by checking in with that regulator.

Applying for basic disclosure

A basic disclosure is a criminal record check. This is often required by employers when you are applying for a job. You get a certificate showing any ‘unspent’ criminal convictions you may have. Unspent means you need to declare them. You can use this certificate to show to prospective employers or other people that need to know this information. More information can be found at Apply fora basic disclosure.



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