Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

Farewell to the Ankara Agreement

29 July 2019 #Immigration #Setting up in the UK

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: 

  • A 5-year residency requirement for the main applicant and their spouse/partner
  • Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement
  • Application fee (currently £2,389) 

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: 

  • The route will recognise time spent in the UK as an ECAA business person or worker, 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 be 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.
  • There is also a new route for spouses to obtain further limited leave to remain while they accrue the necessary 5 years’ continuous leave in order to apply for ILR. 


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.

Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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