UK Professional Immigration Assistance Epicentre
Welcome to www.legalcentre.org

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT (ECAA) WITH TURKEY

Turkish nationals who want to establish themselves in business in the UK.

Under the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) with Turkey, you have certain rights if:
  • you are a Turkish national; and
  • you want to apply to establish yourself in business in the UK
If you meet these requirements, you can apply to enter the UK in the Turkish ECAA business category, or to switch into this category if you are already here legally in a different category. The UK BA will consider your application under the business provisions that were in place in 1973.

If you are a Turkish national already working in the UK legally

A decision by the Association Council of the ECAA gives certain rights to Turkish nationals who are already working legally in the UK.
Initial applications

You can apply for a visa as a Turkish ECAA businessperson from outside the UK, or you can apply to 'switch' into this category if you are already here in a different immigration category.

You must show that:
  • you have the skills and ability to establish in your proposed business;
  • you will be bringing sufficient funds to establish your business;
  • you will be able to bear your share of the costs of running the business (its liabilities); and
  • your share of the profits will be enough to support you and any dependents you have without you needing to find other employment for which a work permit would normally be required.
If you want to join an existing partnership or company, you must also:
  • show that you will have an active part in running the business;
  • show that there is a genuine need for your services and investment; and
  • provide previous years' accounts for the business

Evidence for establishing yourself in business

You should provide evidence to:
  • support your business proposal or the running of your business, such as a business plan, partnership agreement, insurance documents, HM Revenue & Customs documents (including evidence of payment) or accounts prepared by a chartered accountant;
  • prove your financial situation and your ability to support yourself and any dependents, such as original bank statements, money transfers, bank loans; and
  • prove your living costs, such as a tenancy agreement, mortgage agreement, proof of payment for electricity or gas accounts, or proof of state benefits you have received
If you have joined a business that was already established, you should provide evidence (such as accounts for the business) that you will be or remain actively concerned with running the business and that there is a genuine need for you to be involved in the business.

Photographs

You should send us 2 identical, recent passport-size photographs of yourself and of each of your dependents applying on the same form. Write the name of that person on the back of each photograph.

All the photographs should:
  • measure 45mm by 35mm;
  • be in colour;
  • be taken against a white background;
  • be clear and of good quality;
  • not be framed or backed; and   
  • show your full face, without sunglasses, hat or head covering unless you wear this for religious reasons
Passport

You must send us your current national passport or travel document, if you have one. If the UK BA give you permission to stay longer in the UK, the UK BA will stamp this in your passport or travel document. You must also send the passport or travel document of each dependent who is applying on the same form.

Police registration certificates

You should provide your police registration certificate if you were asked to register with the police when you came to the UK. If any of the dependents included as part of your application were asked to register with the police, you should provide their police registration certificates.
If you meet these requirements, the UK BA will give you permission to come to or remain in the UK as a Turkish ECAA businessperson for 12 months.

However, if you are basing your application on a UK business that you have already established while present in the UK in breach of UK immigration law, you cannot benefit from the ECAA. Instead, you will need to apply as an Entrepreneur under the Tier 1 category of the points-based system in order to come to the UK as a businessperson.

Extending your stay

If you want to extend your stay as a Turkish ECAA businessperson, and you currently have permission to stay here in this category, you must show that:
  • you are still established in business;
  • you are still able to bear your share of the costs of running the business (its liabilities); and
  • your share of the profits will be enough to support you and any dependents you have without you needing to find other employment for which a work permit would normally be required
If you meet these requirements, you will normally be given permission to stay (which the UK BA call 'further leave to remain') for another 3 years, but you will not be allowed to work except as a Turkish ECAA businessperson.

If you meet most of the requirements but cannot produce all the evidence you need (such as tax returns for the whole year), you may be allowed to stay for 1 more year. At the end of that year, you may apply again.

Applying outside of the UK

There is no fee for making this application.

Depending on the country where you live, you may need to make your application online or using a paper form.

Applying inside the UK

If you want to apply for permission to switch, extend your stay or settle in the UK as a Turkish businessperson, you should use a dedicated application form for Turkish Businessperson.

There is no fee for making this application.

You must apply before your current permission to stay in the UK expires.

You can apply for permission for your dependents to remain in the UK with you, by listing them on your form. Alternatively, they can apply separately using a dedicated form.

There is no fee for making this application. However, you must make your application before your current permission to stay in the UK expires.
Applications of this type are lodged by post only.

If your application is successful you will be issued with a biometric residence permit.

What is my immigration status while my application is being decided?

If you make an application before your authorised stay ends, your existing immigration status will continue until your application is decided, even if the decision is not made until after the end of your permitted stay. If your existing visa or other permission to stay here allows you to work, you can continue to do so until your case is decided.

Settlement

To qualify for settlement, you must show that:
  • you are still running your business and meeting the requirements for an extension of stay; and
  • you have been in the UK for a continuous period of 4 years, with the most recent period spent as a Turkish ECAA businessperson under the provisions of the ECAA with Turkey, and the rest spent as a Turkish ECAA businessperson, a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant, a Businessperson or an Investor.
Turkish nationals who are already working legally in the UK

If you are a Turkish national who is legally employed in the UK because you have a visa that gives you permission to work, a decision by the Association Council of the ECAA has given you certain rights. You may:
  • apply for further permission to stay in the UK after you have worked here for 1 year, so that you can continue to work for the same employer (if a job is available);
  • change employers after you have been working here for 3 years, if you are continuing to work in the same occupation; and
  • work in any type of job for any employer after you have been working here for 4 years.
If your application is successful, you will be given permission to stay as a Turkish ECAA employed person.

If your family members are currently living with you in the UK, they may be able to extend their stay under the ECAA.

You will not be able to apply for permission to settle here permanently (known as 'indefinite leave to remain' - ILR).

You cannot benefit from the ECAA if you have breached UK immigration law in order to be able to work. If this is the case, you will need to meet the requirements of the current immigration rules - this means that you will need to apply for permission to stay and work here under the Tier 2 category of the points-based system.

Evidence that you have permission to work in the UK

You should provide evidence:
  • of your current right to take employment in the UK - this will be your passport showing your permission to come here to work; and
  • of all your employment during your current stay in the UK, including original pays lips for the whole period of your employment and original bank statements for the same period
You should also provide evidence that your employment will continue:
  • with the same employer, if you have been legally employed for between 1 and 3 years;
  • doing the same type of job, if you have been legally employed for 3 years; or
  • with any employer doing any job, if you have been legally employed for 4 years or longer

Photographs

You should send the UK BA 2 identical, recent passport-size photographs of yourself and of each of your dependents applying on the same form. Write the name of that person on the back of each photograph.

All the photographs should:
  • measure 45mm by 35mm;
  • be in colour;
  • be taken against a white background;
  • be clear and of good quality;
  • not be framed or backed; and
  • show your full face, without sunglasses, hat or head covering unless you wear this for religious reasons

Passport

You must send the UK BA your current national passport or travel document, if you have one. If we give you permission to stay longer in the UK, we will stamp this in your passport or travel document. You must also send the passport or travel document of each dependent who is applying on the same form.Police registration certificates

You should provide your police registration certificate if you were asked to register with the police when you came to the UK. If any of the dependents included as part of your application were asked to register with the police, you should provide their police registration certificates.
Dependents of Turkish ECAA nationals

A dependent is the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner, same-sex partner or child of a person who has valid permission to be in the UK under the ECAA.

There are 2 ways of applying to extend your permission to remain as a dependent:
  • a Turkish ECAA worker or Turkish ECAA businessperson can include their dependent(s) on their own application form; or
  • the dependent can apply separately using application form ECAA 3 Turkish Dependent

If you are not lawfully present in the UK when the application is made, you may be penalised.

Administrative Review

If your application is refused, you may have a right of an administrative review. Should it be the case, we are able to assist you to prepare and lodge your administrative review request.

The above options are not exhaustive as we treat every client's case individually. Please do not hesitate to book a phone, Skype or office consultation with us for a professional immigration advice and possible further representation before the UK Border Agency or the First Tier or Upper Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (FTT/UTT IAC).

We offer same day/instant Skype or phone consultations.

You can book your initial Skype or phone consultation with us via the following link: Legal Centre Skype or Phone Consultations