EC Association Agreements
EC Association Agreements provide a mechanism for nationals of certain countries to set up in self-employment in EU Member States with rights and privileges akin to those of an EU national. In the UK, this means that an applicant under an Association Agreement does not have to meet the requirement to invest £200,000 under the Immigration Rules as would an applicant under the Businessmen rules.
An applicant would need to demonstrate that:
- he will be involved in the full-time running of the business and that he will not take any other employment;
- he will have a controlling or equal interest in the business with a proportionate financial investment in it;
- he has enough money to support himself and any dependants in the UK without recourse to employment or public funds; or
- if he is joining an existing business, he will need to provide audited accounts for the pervious 3 years together with an explanation of the basis on which you will join the firm.
An application under the Association Agreement should be made to the nearest British consulate in the applicant’s usual country of residence. The issue of whether or not it is possible to submit an application whilst already in the UK is contentious and is one on which we would recommend that you seek specific advice.
Successful applicants will be granted permission to remain in the UK for a period of 12 months. Before the expiry of the first 12 months period, an applicant may apply for an extension for a maximum period of a further four years, provided that he/she continues to satisfy all the necessary requirements. After five years continuous stay in the UK in this category, an applicant can apply for indefinite leave to remain, (settlement).
For further information on how we can assist you, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7038 3980 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this brief guide is correct to the best of our knowledge and belief. However, it is written as a general guide only and it is strongly recommended that specific advice is sought before action is taken.