The Turkish European Communities Association Agreement (ECAA) was established under the Ankara Agreement with the aim to promote economic relations between Turkey and the Community. The UK became bound by this agreement when it joined the European Union in 1973. However, the Ankara Agreement will cease to have effect in the UK following Brexit as the UK will no longer be tied to the Agreement. The government intends to preserve the rights of those Turkish businesspersons already in the UK, by enabling resident ECAA workers and ECAA business persons and their family members to settle in the UK.
Indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
The government introduced new Immigration Rules in 2018 which enables Turkish nationals who are already in the UK as ECAA businesspersons and their family members to apply for ILR. The new rules are contained in Appendix ECAA of the Immigration Rules.
The requirements mirror the requirements for ILR in other categories which includes:
If the ILR requirements cannot be met, then it is likely that an applicant would be able to extend their leave.
There are some additional specific provisions for this category which includes:
Finally, the question that still remains is what will happen to Turkish nationals arriving in the UK after a no-deal Brexit? The government may decide they will have to apply for a visa in another category or they may be interim provisions introduced. We eagerly wait to see what the government proposes; especially with less than 100 days till the UK leaves the EU.