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 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 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 an 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:
An individual has certain rights under the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA), if:
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 an entry clearance as a Turkish ECAA businessperson and they are:
If you are looking to join an already established business in the UK under the route, you must demonstrate the following:-
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, an 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.
For you to make a switch into this category you are expected to make available the following requirements:
If you have the intention entering a partnership with a company already in existence in the country you are expected to show:
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 of 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.
We are profession immigration lawyers that handle the process of application for switching into Turkish ECAA business persons visa. If you seek aid in making your application in this regard, do not hesitate to contact us. We always insure 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:
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 business persons 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;
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 the 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.
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:
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.
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
The requirements of entry clearance under this route are summarised below: -
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As a Turkish ECAA worker, the following apply:-
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. The 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 is 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 extension 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 be 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.
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.
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.