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ECAA Turkish Businessperson & Turkish Worker Routes

UPDATE: Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay

New applications under the ECAA Turkish Businessperson and Turkish Worker routes can no longer be made following the UK’s departure from the EU on 31st December 2020.

Individuals who are in the UK and already hold permission under the ECAA route may continue to apply for an extension of that leave.

The partner or spouse and children of the businessperson/Turkish worker can be included as dependants on an application if they are already in the UK under the ECAA provisions and are seeking further leave to remain. The length of leave granted will end on the same day as the permission of the ECAA worker or ECAA businessperson on the ECAA route.

Under the new rules, only children aged 21 and under can apply to join the main applicant (also known as sponsor) in the UK. Partners or spouses will need to meet the requirements under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules (see below- Appendix FM).

The grant is subject to conditions such as no access to public funds (subject to any bi-lateral agreement) and the requirement to register with the police if aged 18 and over. Dependents will have the right to work and study (subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS).

A dependent with permission to stay in the UK through the ECAA route can apply for settlement under Appendix ECAA Settlement once eligible to do so.

APPENDIX FM:

Partners or spouses who have not previously been granted ECAA leave will not be able to apply under Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay. They should apply via Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.

Appendix FM allows British Citizens, settled persons and people in the UK with refugee status or humanitarian protection to sponsor their family to the UK. On 31st December 2020, the Immigration Rules were further changed to include individuals with limited leave under Appendix EU, and workers and businesspersons under Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay to bring their ‘partner’ to join them in the UK. 

A ‘partner’ is defined as the sponsor’s spouse, civil partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner or a person that has been living together with the applicant for at least two years prior to the date of application.

Appendix FM applications have financial and English language requirements as follows:

  • The sponsor is required to have a minimum income of at least £18,600 per annum (this threshold increases where the sponsor or his/her partner has non-British, non-EU dependent children applying)
  • Income from specified employment or self-employment can be included
  • Other sources of income including cash savings, pensions and income from properties or shares can be considered
  • Cash savings of £62,500 can be used to meet the financial requirements
  • The English language requirement can be met by obtaining an approved English language qualification. Alternatively, the applicant can meet this requirement if they hold a degree which was taught or researched in English (some nationals are exempt from meeting this requirement)

SETTLEMENT IN THE UK

Prior to 18 March 2018, applicants could apply to settle in the UK after a continuous period of 4 years lawful residence under the ECAA businessperson category. However, on 18 March 2018, the Home Office announced changes to the ECAA guidance for Turkish Workers and Businesspeople stating that applications post marked later than 15th March 2018 would no longer be accepted for settlement. This is further to the Upper Tribunal case of Aydogdu, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Ankara Agreement – family members – settlement) [2017] UKUT 167 (IAC). This means that a large number of applicants who entered the ECAA businessperson category with the expectation that they would be eligible to apply for settlement in four years’ time are no longer able to do so.

A new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules was published outlining a new settlement category for Turkish businesspeople, workers and their families. The new changes mean that Turkish workers and businesspeople will be able to settle in the UK after 5 years as either an ECAA businessperson or ECAA worker providing certain criteria, as follows, is met:

ECAA Businessperson:

The applicant must:

  • be a Turkish national who has valid leave to remain under the ECAA for the purpose of establishing themselves in business in the UK
  • have completed 5 years of continuous leave, with the most recent period being under the ECAA businessperson route
  • have met the knowledge of language and life in the UK requirement (KoLL)
  • not fall for refusal under the General Grounds for Refusal
  • have been able to financially support any family members with them without recourse to public funds to which they are not entitled
  • have registered with the police where required
  • in relation to the business, or businesses:
  • the applicant must have established, taken over or become a director and genuinely operate that business whilst she or he had leave as a ECAA businessperson
  • the business related to the applicant’s visa must be viable during any qualifying periods
  • the applicant must intend to continue to operate one or more businesses in the UK

Turkish Worker:

The applicant must

  • be a Turkish national who has valid leave to remain under the ECAA for the purpose of working here
  • have completed 5 years of continuous leave with the most recent period being under the ECAA worker route
  • have met the knowledge of language and life in the UK requirement (KoLL)
  • not fall for refusal under the General Grounds for Refusal
  • have the ability to financially support any family members with them without recourse to public funds to which they are not entitled
  • have registered with the police where required

HOW WE CAN HELP

Immigration applications under both Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay and Appendix FM can be complicated and require a significant amount of documentation. At Descartes Solicitors, our team can provide you with an assessment of the merits of your case and assist you with the preparation of your application. We are dedicated to providing clear, expert solutions to help make the process as straightforward as possible.

For further advice and assistance, please contact us on 0208 995 3556. Alternatively, please send your enquiry to us at info@descartessolicitors.co.uk