Turkish Nationals in the UK

EEA/Swiss nationals are not the only ones that derive favourable immigration status in the UK because of the EU Treaty provisions that have direct effect in the UK. The eventuality of Brexit it is feared may affect the favourable regime enjoyed by Turkish nationals in the UK.

Here is our summary of the rights of the Turkish nationals in the UK:

1. A Completely Separate UK Immigration Regime

Turkey first applied for the Associate Membership with the EU in 1959. The initial European Economic Community was established by the Treaty of Rome of 1957. Turkey remains the longest associate member of the EU.

The Ankara Agreement (Agreement Establishing an Association Between the Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community) of 1963 creates a separate immigration category for Turkish nationals in the UK:

  • Article 12 of the Ankara Agreement seeks to progressively secure the free movement for workers.
  • Article 13 seeks to abolish restrictions on freedom of establishment. 
  • Article 14 seeks to abolish restrictions on freedom to provide services.

2. Turkish Students and Workers

Turkish students and workers would need to apply for a visa to come to study or work in the UK under the general rules that apply for non-EEA/Swiss nationals.

A Turkish national who has been working legally in the UK for 12 months may be eligible to apply for Turkish worker visa. The Home Office does not charge any fees to the applicants in this visa category.

3. Turkish Businessperson Visa

Turkish Businessperson Visa is much more generous regime than the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa regime:

  • Turkish nationals are encouraged to apply if they want to start a business in the UK or they wish to run an established business in the UK;
  • the Home Office does not charge any fees to process this type of visa;
  • it is possible to apply for the visa online or through the visa application centre;
  • the initial visa is issued for 12 months with the possibility to extend the visa for additional 3 years before the initial visa period expires;
  • there is a clear set of required documents that need to be provided to support the successful application;
  • the visa permits to bring certain members of the family who are partner/spouse or children;
  • a Turkish national who is a Businessperson visa holder is permitted to settle in the UK after 4 years.

Should you require any assistance with a visa application process as a Turkish national, please contact us via e-mail: saule@hnilondon.co.uk or phone: 0203 286 4887.

My passion is international trade and investment. I have been specialising in global strategies for wealth creation and protection for the last ten years. I am a public accountant and a regulated UK immigration services adviser. I have personally benefitted from EU freedoms and served as a specialist adviser for a national government.

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Saule Voluckyte
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