Start typing and hit "Enter" to search.

Turkish Citizens

A Turkish national who wants to establish a business in the UK can apply under the Turkish ECAA business category. The application can be considered by the UKBA under the business provisions law that came into force in 1973.

Get In Touch

On September 12, 1963, the Turkish European Community Association Agreement (ECAA), which is generally known as the Ankara Agreement was signed. From the date the ECAA and Additional Protocol came into force, Article 41(1) requires that the Member States should abstain from introducing new restrictions on the freedom to provide services and freedom of establishment for Turkish nationals. This agreement was bounded by the United Kingdom when they decided to join the then EEC in 1973 and this provision is normally regarded as a 'standstill clause'. The introduction of the Ankara Agreement (which was held in case of C-16/05 Tum and Dari in the European Court of Justice on 20th September 2007) disallows any new limitations on the exercise of the freedom to provide services and freedom of establishment, especially those concerning the circumstances governing the first admission to an EU member state.

There is only one exception that does not allow the right to benefit from the standstill clause, which is when an applicant is making an application which is considered to be fraudulent or of abusive conduct. The findings of the ECJ in Tum and Dari is consistent with the aforementioned statement.

The individuals who are denied benefits from the standstill clause due to practice on fraud or abuse whilst making an entry clearance application will be evaluated under the following current rules:

  • If in the course of applying, the individual uses deception against the entry clearance officer;
  • If the individual relies on an established business that exists in the UK and if this business goes against the country's breach of immigration law;
  • If the current business proposal and the previous fraudulent or abusive conduct has any material link between them.

An individual has certain rights under the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA), if:

  • He or she is a Turkish national; and
  • The individual wants to apply to establish him/herself in business in the UK.

Entry Clearance (Visa) As A Turkish ECAA Business Person

A Turkish national who wants to establish a business in the UK can apply under the Turkish ECAA business category. The application can be considered by the UKBA under the business provisions law that came into force in 1973.

An individual must show the requirements below to qualify for entry clearance as a Turkish ECAA businessperson and they are:

    • The applicants must show that they have the skills and abilities to establish a proposed business;
    • He or she must have adequate finance to set up the business;
    • They must also show that they are can bear the liabilities of a business;
    • The profits generated from the business should sufficient enough to take care of the main applicant and any other dependents to the application without needing to seek additional employment that may require a work permit.;

If you are looking to join an already established business in the UK under the route, you must demonstrate the following:-

      • The individual must show that he or she must have an active part in the business' day to day management;
      • He or she must also show that their services and investment is needed;
      • He or she must also provide previous years' accounts for the business.

It takes 12 months for successful applicants to be granted entry clearance. In line with the 1973 provisions, there are circumstances where an applicant does have genuine intentions to establish a business but their business proposal is not fully supported by the content of their application. If such a case arises, entry clearance will be issued for a period of 2 months by the entry clearance officers to allow the applicant to finalise their proposal and establish their business in the UK.

Switching Into Turkish ECAA Business Person Category

For you to make a switch into this category you are expected to make available the following requirements:

  • That you are well able and possess the required skills to start up the proposed business venture
  • That you are financially capable to start up the business venture
  • That you will take responsibility for all inconvenient situations that may come from the business
  • That the earnings that would come from the business venture will be sufficient to cater for their maintenance needs as well as those of any dependants without seeking another job that would require a work permit
  • Whatever business proposal you have made do not sum up to employment in disguise.

If you have the intention of entering a partnership with a company already in existence in the country you are expected to show:

  • That you are fully involved in the business operations
  • That your expertise and the investments you made to the business are actually required
  • Previous years accounts of the business

If you meet the criteria listed above you may be issued a visa for 12 months as a Turkish ECAA business person. You are to make an application using the ECAA 2 Turkish business person.

These above-mentioned requirements are also the same requirements as the business provisions of 1973.

An application for consent to the Secretary of State can be done by you if you were granted entry as a visitor who wants to establish a business venture individually or as a partner in a new or existing business. This type of application would be considered on the basis of merits. This permission depends on a number of factors which also include the above-mentioned requirements for switch into the Turkish ECAA businessperson category. In the case where the application is approved, there will be a condition that restricts your (the applicant's) freedom to take employment although your stay may be extended further for 12 months. An appropriate extension of stay will be granted to you as a business person if the above-mentioned requirements are still fulfilled at the end of the period which you were initially admitted.

Our Services

We are profession immigration lawyers that handle the process of application for switching into Turkish ECAA businessperson visa. If you seek aid in making your application in this regard, do not hesitate to contact us. We always ensure to provide our clients with the best services as it concerns their case as can be seen on our testimonials.

In addition to legal representation we also provide:

  • Immigration advise in accordance with the current immigration rules
  • Provide information to the client in relation to the Strength and Weakness that may exist in the case
  • Inform the client on the documents needed as evidence
  • Help in completing the immigration forms relevant to the case
  • Help the client in making the cover letter draft
  • Represent the client in communication with the Government in order to receive a favourable result concerning the case
  • Ensure that the client's interest is always protected as well as making progress reports to the client
  • Consistent follow-up until a decision on the case is made
  • Provide advice on the implication of the decision made by the Government concerning the case

Extension Of Stay As A Turkish ECAA Businessperson

An individual who has been granted permission to remain in the UK as a Turkish ECAA business person and he or she wants to extend their stay as a Turkish ECAA business person, or If you are getting towards the end of your Turkish businessperson visa you may be entitled to apply for an extension. The original 12 months is designed for Turkish nationals to come to the UK in order to set up a new business or indeed to take over an existing business. The British government stipulates that you must be in the UK at the time of the application to extend your visa and that you apply whilst still within the current visa period. As long as you meet the following conditions you may be eligible for an extension;

  • Business is still running
  • You're still able to pay your share of the business liabilities
  • Your profit share from the business is enough to support you and your dependents.

The permission to stay in the UK will be extended for another three years if these requirements are met but they might not be allowed to work except as a Turkish ECAA business person. An applicant may be granted a stay of one more year if he or she meets most of the requirements but are unable to provide the evidence needed such as the tax returns for the whole year. He or she can apply again at the end of the year.

The form needed for this application is known as the ECAA 2 Turkish Business Person.

As long as these criteria are met then you can apply for an extension for 3 years, though it is important to note that the applicant will have to continue to work for the nominated business on the visa application for it to be valid. This requirement does change after several years as we note below but it is pertinent that immigration officials are looking for a good history of working for one employer continuously.

The decision will take up to 6 months and you will be contacted if issues are encountered with your application. As the Home office is currently busy with applications due to the UK's impending exit from the European Union, you should expect a reasonably long wait for a decision.

You also have to note that the applicant must have a clean immigration history in the UK as it is likely to be a part of the decision-making process, this is because Turkish citizens benefit from being a member of the ECAA (European Community Association Agreement) and this allows this exemption for Turkish citizens in the UK. But if they are in breach of UK immigration law they will have to go down the points-based route which is much more difficult.

You must also note that you may change employers after three continuous years as long as you remain in the same profession, after four years you are free to work in any occupation and any employer.

This exemption for Turkish citizens is very valuable and means that Turkish citizens can jump the queue to get into the UK in order to set up in business or to take over an existing one. Don't miss your opportunity to work in one of the World's most sought-after locations.

If you wish to take advantage of this benefit for Turkish citizens then get in touch; we are experts at dealing with the process and can help to maximise your chances of success at application. Even if you have any issues with your immigration status we can help to try and secure the best option for you to work, or continue to work in the UK legally.

ILR As A Turkish ECAA Business Person

The ECAA Ankara agreement allows Turkish citizens to work or set up a business in the UK. The agreement allows holders of leave to remain under the category to gain residency rights in the UK and consequently Indefinite Leave to remain after 5 years of continuous residence under the route.

Under the provisions of the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) with Turkey, an individual can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK if they are in the here as a Turkish ECAA business person and if the individual shows that:

  • He or she has been meeting up with the requirements for an extension to stay and they are still running their business;
  • He or she, in concurrence with the provisions of the ECAA with Turkey, must show that they have stayed for a continuous period of four years in the UK, with the most recent and rest of the period spent as a Turkish ECAA business individual, as a Tier 1 migrant (entrepreneur), an investor or a businessman/woman.

The application form used for this application process is known as the ECAA 2 Turkish Business Individual.

Important Points To Note

Under this agreement, there is no minimum financial requirement and no job creation requirement like you have with the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route.

Also, there is no life in the UK test and English language requirement as with other immigration categories.

The application is also free and exempt from paying the immigration health surcharge.

Please note that you cannot make an initial application or even a switching application (inside the UK) whilst on a visit visa.

We have also seen cases of refusals resulting from an applicant already trading or working in the UK before the visa is granted or an application made, this may result in your entry clearance or even extension application refused. Research, preparatory work and full-fledged working activities must not be carried out prior to the application been granted.

Please contact our immigration solicitors should you need help in making this application.

Dependants Of Turkish ECAA Worker

The ECAA agreements allow a dependant of a Turkish citizen who is currently in the UK as a Turkish ECAA worker to apply to enter or remain in the UK. The ECAA refers to the European Community Association Agreement Worker.

Importantly, there are two ways in which an extension application can be made under this route

      • As a direct inclusion on the application forms. The application forms required in this case is the FORM ECAA 1. Here, the dependant is included directly in the Form ECAA 1.
      • Alternatively, the dependant may apply on a separate application from the dependant. The form required here would be the ECAA 3 Turkish Dependant.

The requirements of entry clearance under this route are summarised below: -

      • The applicant must not liable for automatic refusal on the basis that either as a result of their actions, they now fall within the general grounds of refusal.
      • The applicant must be a spouse/partner or a Turkish ECAA worker who is currently in the UK with a valid leave.
      • Where dependency is on the basis of a spouse, neither of the partners must be in another legally binding relationship. Every previous marriage must have been legally dissolved.
      • The relationship between both parties must not be such that UK laws forbid them from getting married.
      • Where the dependency is on the basis of an unmarried partner, both parties must have been in a durable relationship for at least 2 years prior to the date of application.
      • As at the time of the application, both parties to the application must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship
      • There is a provable intention to live together in the UK.
      • There is no intention on either party to stay in the UK beyond the granted leave period.

Turkish ECAA Workers

As a Turkish ECAA worker, the following apply:-

  • Where the ECAA worker has worked in the UK for one year, they can apply for further permission to remain as long as they are still needed on the same job in which they were originally employed
  • You may also qualify for an extension if you have been in the same job for up at least three years and you are still needed on the job;
  • After working in the UK for four years, the applicant can work for any employer at any type of job.

Upon a successful entry clearance application, the applicant will be granted leave as a Turkish ECAA Worker. Please note that this is not a settlement category; as such, the applicant will not be able to apply for settlement after years under this route. They may, however, using the form ECAA 1 Turkish employed, be able to apply for permission to stay in the United Kingdom.

Dependants of the ECAA worker may also apply to join their parent, spouse/partner in the UK. Application as dependants may either be submitted separately or together with that of the main applicant.

The birth of the Turkish ECAA work visa emanated from the bid to strengthen Turkish ties with the EU. Social and economic links are the focus in this route and are crystallised by the ECA Agreement. The rights of Turkish nationals who are working or seeking to work in the UK under this route are expressed under Article 6 (1) and first came into force as a result of a decision issued in 1980.

An initial 2 years leave will be granted to ECAA workers; after which an extended period may be granted provided that they continue to meet the terms of their visa and do not fall for refusal under general grounds.

At Reiss Edwards, we specialise in offering bespoke tailored approach in our service offering. Boasting of over 40 years' experience in immigration law, you can rest assured that the best immigration lawyers in the capital are dealing with your case. Feel free to contact us now on 020 3744 2797.

Dependents Of A Turkish ECAA Worker

Dependants of Turkish nationals who are business persons or workers in the United Kingdom can apply to join their partners who have valid leave to remain as Turkish ECAA workers in the UK.

According to the immigration rules, a dependant under this route would refer to a child, spouse, unmarried partner or civil partner of a Turkish ECAA worker who has a valid leave to remain in the country.

Documentary Evidence/Requirements

  • International passports of applicants
  • Two passport size current photographs
  • Documentary evidence of your relationship
  • Evidence that they will continue to live in the UK with the sponsor
  • For child dependants, there will have to be evidence that the parent has the sole responsibility of the child.
  • Financial evidence that you can support yourself in the UK without recourse to public funds.
  • Tuberculosis test results if they are from a country where they have to take the test and they are applying from outside the UK.
  • For in-country applications, you may have to show that you have not been in breach of immigration rules in the UK.
  • If you were required to register with the police within the first 6 months of your initial entry into the UK, you will have to show evidence that you had done that.

In the event that you have a child in the UK, you should also apply for permission for them to stay in the UK. This is particularly important if you will be travelling out of the country with them.

To make an application for your child born in the UK, you will need to complete the PBS Dependant application form and submit it with a full UK birth certificate for the child.

Turkish ECAA Worker Visa Lawyers London

Our immigration lawyers pride themselves in honesty and excellence. Having spent over 40 years of combined experience in practising in immigration law, you can be sure that only the best of the best immigration lawyers will be handling your case. Give us today for a free assessment.

If you have any questions or need help in making an immigration application, contact us today to speak with one of our immigration lawyers.

Some of our Happy Clients
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me


  • The enquiry has been responded to privately by one of our immigration solicitors

Reiss Edwards Awards


Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar

I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Reiss Edwards Reviews


"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

Read More

Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

Read More

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

Read More

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

Read More
Back to Top