UNITED KINGDOM: No New ILR Applications for Turkish Businesspeople

May 11, 2018

On 16th March 2018, the Home Office updated its guidance on leave to remain applications for Turkish businesspeople under the European Communities Accession Agreement (ECAA or the Ankara Agreement).

From 16th March 2018, no new applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under the ECAA business persons category will be accepted. Any applications postmarked before 16th March 2018 will be processed under the previous rules.

Turkish business persons and their dependents can continue to apply for further leave to remain under the ECAA, for up to three years at a time, free of charge.

The Home Office states that it will introduce a new ILR category for current Turkish ECAA business persons, with an application fee.


Under the ECAA, Turkish workers can apply for leave to remain in the UK as either:

  1. A Turkish worker who has worked legally in the UK as a work permit holder, or as the spouse of a British or settled person, or as a student allowed to work up to 20 hours a week in term time and full time during vacation periods; or
  2. A Turkish business person wishing to establish a new business or join an existing business.

In 2017, the Upper Tribunal, in the case of Aydogdu v SSHD [JR/15737/2015], found that the settlement of Turkish nationals and their dependants did not fall within the scope of a provision of the ECAA, called the ‘standstill clause’. While the Home Office examined the implications of the decision, ECAA ILR applications continued to be processed until 16th March 2018.

Our Advice

Employers who may be affected by the new rules are encouraged to consult their Newland Chase immigration specialist for a case-specific assessment.

For advice and information on immigration to the United Kingdom in general, please contact us.