27.07.2018 A new settlement category for Turkish business people, workers and their families who are in the UK under the EU-Turkey European Communities Association Agreement ECAA

27.07.2018 A new settlement category for Turkish business people, workers and their families who are in the UK under the EU-Turkey European Communities Association Agreement ECAA

The Home Office has announced new Immigration Rules to enable Turkish nationals who are in the UK as either European Communities Association Agreement (ECAA) business persons or ECAA workers, as well as their family members, to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

A Home Office statement announced the end of a restriction on applications from July 6, which was introduced in March this year.

“This means that Turkish workers and businesspeople will be able to settle in the U.K. after five years as either an ECAA businessperson or ECAA worker (or equivalent points based system routes), as long as the most recent period of leave was under the ECAA”, the Home Office said.

In addition to its commitments under the European Communities Association Agreement (ECAA), the UK will provide a tailored category of settlement for this group of Turkish nationals.

From 6 July, ECAA business persons and ECAA workers, as well as their family members will be able to apply for ILR, with standardised ILR requirements including:

  • a 5 year residency requirement for main applicants and their spouses/partners
  • a knowledge of language and life in the UK (KOLL) requirement
  • the standard ILR application fee

Some eligibility requirements will be specific to the new ILR routes for persons here under the ECAA.

For example:

  • the route will recognise time spent in the UK as an ECAA business person or worker, as well as time spent on equivalent routes under the Points Based system (PBS), provided the applicant is currently in the UK under the ECAA provisions
  • children will able to settle at the same time as the main sponsor, including those children over the age of 21 provided they meet certain dependency requirements

The Home Office had said applications until March 16 would continue to be processed and those who would like to stay in the U.K. and carry on under the Ankara Agreement visa would be able to apply for extensions of “up to three years at a time, provided they continue to meet the relevant requirements.”

With the latest update, Turkish citizens who are in the U.K. with such visas would be able to apply after a total of five years for an ILR visa, which would make them live and work in the U.K. without further restrictions.

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