Turkish business people have been coming to the UK and setting up businesses for a number of years and taking advantage of the “Ankara Agreement.” However, the Home Office has announced that they will no longer accept applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under the Turkish European Communities Association Agreement (ECAA) Business Persons category, in light of the judgment in Aydogdu v SSHD. The Upper Tribunal found that the settlement of Turkish nationals and their dependants did not fall within the scope of a provision of the European Community Association Agreement with Turkey, called the ‘standstill clause’. While the Home Office examined the implications of the decision, ECAA ILR applications continued to be processed until 16 March 2018. However, no new ECAA ILR applications will be accepted on or after 16 March 2018.
Turkish business persons and their dependants can continue to apply for further leave to remain under the ECAA if they wish, for up to 3 years at a time, provided they continue to meet the relevant requirements. Applications for limited leave to remain under the ECAA provisions are unaffected by the Aydogdu judgment and will continue to be processed free of charge as normal.
The Home Office will introduce a new ILR category for current Turkish ECAA business persons into the Immigration Rules. While the requirements of such a category are to be determined, this will be a charged route in line with others who are seeking to settle in the UK.