Many Turkish nationals want to come and work in the UK. Under the provisions of the Ankara agreement, a special visa route exists for Turkish nationals. This allows Turkish nationals to apply for leave to enter the UK on a completely different basis to other non-EU migrant workers.
There are currently two routes open to Turkish nationals who want to migrate to the UK. Both options were established as part of the European Community Association Agreement with Turkey. These options are:
• ECAA 1, Turkish worker visa; and
• ECAA 2, the self-employed Turkish Businessperson visa.
Choosing which route to pursue can sometimes prove a daunting task to the applicant and it is necessary to understand fully the different requirements of each category.
ECAA 1 – Turkish Worker Visa
In order to be eligible for this visa, an applicant has to satisfy certain requirements. You can apply for permission to stay in the UK in the ECAA1 category if you are a Turkish national and have worked in the UK legally for a period of at least one year.
Applications under the ECAA 1 category must be made from within the UK before the applicant’s current leave expires. The length of time you can remain and what job you pursue under the ECAA 1 category is dependent on how long you have worked legally in the UK.
This visa is ideal for Turkish nationals who have been living in the UK with leave that is due to expire, but intend to extend their stay in the UK It is important to note that applicants cannot settle in the UK permanently with this visa.
ECAA 2 – Turkish Businessperson Visa
Entrepreneurs wishing to establish a new business or seeking to enter the UK to join an existing business can apply under the ECAA 2 category.
Unlike the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa, applicants are not required to satisfy a requirement for minimum funds. However, applicants must be able to prove that they have enough money to set up the proposed business. Applicants on this route must also be able to demonstrate that their share of the profits from the business is substantial enough to support themselves and their dependants.
The ECAA 2 visa allows applicants to apply up to 3 months before the intended date of travel to the UK, which is recommended as the current Home Office guidance estimates that applicants can expect to receive a decision on their visa application within 12 weeks from the date on which they apply. This time estimated is based on applications being made from outside the UK. Please note that there are eligibility requirements which may entitle applicants to ‘switch’ from another visa inside the UK.
This visa is normally granted initially for a year, and allows for an extension of a further three years, providing that an applicant satisfies the requirements. A further advantage of this visa route is that you can bring dependants from outside the UK with you, providing that they too satisfy the eligibility requirements.
Should you require any assistance for yourself and/or your dependants please contact us. These categories may not suit all Turkish applicants, so please contact us for a full range of other UK immigration options.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.