Turkish Businessperson (ECAA 2) visa guide (tier 1) guide

Turkish Businessperson visa 

Turkish Businessperson visa route is for Turkish nationals wishing to establish a new business or seeking to invest in an established business in the UK. The European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) with Turkey, known as the Ankara Agreement, allows Turkish nationals to enter the UK and establish themselves as a self-employed business person. Applicants are not required to satisfy a requirement for minimum funds, Life in the UK or English language tests. Turkish applicants do not have to pay health surcharge and the application is free.

How long you can stay?

  • You can come to the UK with a Turkish Businessperson visa for 12 months.
  • You can apply to extend this visa for a further three years to continue operating your business if it is still a viable business and other requirements are met
  • You may be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) once you’ve been in the UK for five years.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • Set up a new business in the UK
  • Join and run an existing business
  • Switch to this visa from another visa category
  • Work for your business
  • Bring your family members (‘dependants’) with you

You can’t:

  • Do any work outside your business, eg work where you’re employed by another business
  • Get public funds

Who can apply?

You must:

  • Be a Turkish national
  • Have a genuine intention to set up a viable business
  • Have required skill and ability for the proposed business
  • Hold sufficient funds or assets of your own to establish your business
  • Be able to pay a share of the costs of running the business
  • Demonstrate that the share of profits from the business will be sufficient to support yourself and your dependants without reliance on another job or recourse to public funds
  • Show that you have not stayed in the UK by breaching UK immigration rules

If you intend is to invest in an existing business, you must show that:

  • You will have an active part in running the business
  • There is a genuine need for your services and investment

Proof of business

It will be necessary to provide the documentation proving that you are either in process of setting up or running the business. For example:

  • a business plan
  • insurance documents
  • a document setting out the terms of your involvement in the business
  • partnership agreements
  • documents for your business premises
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) documents (including evidence of payment)
  • business accounts prepared by a chartered accountant or approved by an auditor
  • evidence of your finances and your investment in the business, such as UK or overseas bank statements, overseas money transfers, and bank loans
  • qualifications for running the business, such as relevant formal qualifications or evidence of previous relevant experience
  • evidence of any financial assistance from a third party, such as bank statements or other financial documents as evidence of their finances, and a legal or other document confirming their involvement in and share of the business

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