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Indefinite Leave to Remain for ECAA Turkish Workers or Business Persons

Under Council Regulation (EEC) 2760/72 (often referred to as the “Ankara Agreement”) and its Protocol, there are special arrangements for employed and self-employed Turkish nationals in the EU, including in the United Kingdom. The UK became bound by the Agreement and Protocol on 1 January 1973, with its accession to the EU. In my prior post, I discussed the effects of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU for Turkish workers.  In this post I look at Indefinite Leave to Remain for ECAA Turkish Workers or Business Persons.

Indefinite Leave to Remain for ECAA Turkish Workers or Business Persons

On 16 March 2018, the previous ECAA Business Persons ILR policy was withdrawn, following the cases of R (on the application of) Aydogdu v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Ankara Agreement – family members – settlement) [2017] UKUT 167.  As with, R (on the Application of) KP Turkey v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1109 for Turkish Workers, it confirmed the standstill clause did not prohibit restrictions on the right to settlement. 

However, the UK did provide a tailored category of settlement for this group of Turkish nationals from 6 July 2018 in Appendix ECAA.

Self-employed Turkish Business Persons, Turkish Workers and their family members who have leave under the Turkish European Communities Association Agreement (ECAA) can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK. The current requirements in the Immigration Rules in Appendix ECAA, are contingent on Turkish nationals still holding valid leave as ECAA Turkish Business Persons or Workers following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, as discussed in my prior post.

Turkish Business Person ILR

To apply for ILR as a Turkish ECAA Business Person, currently, you must be a Turkish national who:

  1. Has valid entry clearance, leave to enter, or leave to remain under the ECAA for the purpose of establishing themselves in business in the UK, which has not been revoked, curtailed or lapsed
  2. Continues to operate their business in the UK in line with such leave
  3. Has spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK. The most recent period of leave must have been as a Turkish ECAA business person, and can be combined with prior leave as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  4. Has met the knowledge of language and life in the UK requirement 
  5. Does not fall for refusal under the General Grounds for Refusal 
  6. Has the ability to financially support any family members with them without recourse to public funds to which they are not entitled 
  7. Has registered with the police where required 

For periods of leave as a Turkish Business Person or Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, reasons for absences during the qualifying period are not considered. 

Turkish ECAA Worker ILR

To apply for ILR as a Turkish ECAA Worker, currently, you must be a Turkish national who:

  1. Has leave to remain under the ECAA worker category, which has not been revoked, curtailed or lapsed
  2. Continues to work lawfully in the UK in line with such leave
  3. Has spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK. The most recent period of leave must have been as a Turkish ECAA worker. Prior leave can have been in a combination of any of Turkish ECAA Worker, Tier 2 (General Migrant), Tier 2 (Minister of religion) Migrant, Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Migrant or work permit holder 
  4. Has met the knowledge of language and life in the UK requirement 
  5. Does not fall for refusal under the General Grounds for Refusal 
  6. Has the ability to financially support any family members with them without recourse to public funds to which they are not entitled 
  7. Has registered with the police where required 

For Turkish Workers, any absences from the UK during the relevant qualifying period must have been for a purpose that is consistent with the Worker’s basis of stay here, including paid annual leave, or for serious or compelling reasons.

Definition of continuous period lawfully in the UK 

You must have residence in the UK for an unbroken period with valid leave. This means you must: 

  • Not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days during any 12 month period in the continuous period (excluding evidenced absences from the UK for the purpose of assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis overseas)
  • Have existing limited leave to enter or remain upon departure and return from the UK, except in specific circumstances
  • Current periods of overstaying will be disregarded only where paragraph 39E applies 
  • Previous periods of overstaying where a further application was made before 6 July 2018 and within 28 days of the expiry of leave
  • Previous periods of overstaying where a further application was made on or after 6 July 2018 and paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules applied 

The continuous period is to be calculated to end on whichever of the following dates is most beneficial to you:

  • the date of application
  • the date of decision
  • any date up to 28 days after the date of application 

You can apply up to 28 days before you would accrue your 5 year continuous period.

Dependants 

There are also provisions under the Rules for dependent partners to be granted further leave to remain, and to be granted settlement. To settle, the dependent partner must have lived continuously with the partner for 5 years whilst the partner was an ECAA worker or business person or had leave under another category of the Rules. Further relationship, English language, Knowledge of Life in the UK, general grounds for refusal, and absence requirements apply. 

There is also a provision for dependent children to apply for indefinite leave to remain. In addition to other requirements, they must not be married or in a civil partnership, and must not exist in an independent family unit, away from his/her parents, or be leading an independent life, and unless certain exceptions apply both of their parents must have lawfully settled or be granted at the same time. 

Contact our Business Immigration Barristers

For advice and assistance with applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain for ECAA Turkish Worker or Business Person, contact our business immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

SEE HOW OUR IMMIGRATION BARRISTERS CAN HELP YOU

To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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