The European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) permits Turkish nationals to establish themselves as a worker or in a business in the UK. It also allows them to attain residency rights in the UK. The old 1973 provisions apply to all ECAA applications, making the application process more flexible. However, an applicant is prevented from benefiting from the ECAA if it is discovered that they are in breach of UK immigration laws. In such circumstances, the applicant will be subjected to the points-based system that is currently operated.
In accordance with the published guidelines, if the above measures are met, the applicant will be granted leave to remain for an initial period of 12 months. The applicant may then submit an application for an extension under the same category. Upon this extension application, they must meet similar requirements to those above: the business must have already been established; there must be enough funds to run the business; and the profits must be high enough to support the applicant without them having to undertake additional paid work. If these criteria are met, a three-year visa extension will be granted.
Once they have been an ECAA businessperson in the UK for four years, it is possible for an individual to request indefinite leave to remain. This is because they have demonstrated that they are able successfully run a business and settle permanently in the country.
If you are a Turkish national who is interested in applying under the ECAA as a self-employed Turkish businessperson, please visit our ECAA Ankara Agreement pages.