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Turkish ECCA Agreement

*** This category is closed to new applicants. It remains open to individuals already holding Turkish businessman visas to extend their stay or apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years. ***



Ankara Agreement

Turkish nationals may accrue rights to establish a business in the UK under the ‘Turkish European Community Association Agreement 1963’ – also referred to as the ‘Ankara Agreement’.

It enables Turkish nationals to establish a business without having to produce a £200,000 investment as required under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and from having to create jobs for 2 resident workers.

It also allows them to apply for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ to stay in the UK on a permanent basis and sponsor dependants.

RLegal can assist with applying for permission to stay under the Ankara Agreement. We have over 20 years experience.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team please telephone us on 020 7038 3980, email us at or click here to complete our online form.

If you would like to discuss your potential Turkish European Community Agreement please call a member of the team on 020 7038 3980, complete our online enquiry form or contact us by email at

As the Ankara Agreement came into force on 1 January 1973, the UK has to consider the provisions of the immigration rules for businessman effective at that date, which at the time had:


• no requirements for individuals to show £200,000;
• the need to have employees; or
• have been granted a visa to enter in this capacity.


This is known as the ‘stand-still’ clause.


The European Court of Justice in the case of Tum and Dari C-16/15 (2007) upheld Turkish worker rights under the Agreement and confirmed the stand-still provisions with the exception that it does not apply where fraud and abuse can be shown. In such cases the Home Office will apply the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa criteria.

An application under the Ankara Agreement can be made from overseas or from within the UK if the applicant is here lawfully.


The authorities will examine the merits of the business to determine both whether it is viable and if there is a genuine need for it.


It is possible for an applicant to be served with a questionnaire or to be interviewed by the authorities.


Initial applications if approved are granted for 12 months.


Extensions can be granted for up to 3 years.


At the end of 4 years an applicant can submit an application for indefinite leave to remain.


Spouses, unmarried or civil partners should apply at the same time as the main applicant.

RLegal can assist with the following:


- Comprehensive legal advice


- Ensuring your application meets the legal requirements


- Completion and submission of the application


- Ongoing liaison with the authorities.

Contact us

Interested in our services? Contact us and one of our solicitors will contact you

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