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Guidance: Turkish ECAA business guidance

Updated: Replace guidance document with a new version.

This guidance gives information on deciding applications from self-employed Turkish businesspersons who wish to apply for an extension of stay in the UK to self-establish in business or continue operating their business under the Turkish EC Association Agreement.

The Home Office will no longer accept applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under the Turkish European Communities Association Agreement (ECAA) Business Persons category.

This is in light of the Upper Tribunal’s reported judgment in Aydogdu v SSHD [JR/15737/2015]. The Upper Tribunal found that the settlement of Turkish nationals and their dependants did not fall within the scope of a provision of the European Community Association Agreement with Turkey, called the ‘standstill clause’. While the Home Office examined the implications of the decision, ECAA ILR applications continued to be processed until 16 March 2018.

No new ECAA ILR applications will be accepted on or after 16 March 2018. Any ECAA settlement applications postmarked prior to 16 March will be processed under the same terms as before. Updated guidance is available on this page.

Turkish business persons and their dependants can continue to apply for further leave to remain under the ECAA if they wish, for up to 3 years at a time, provided they continue to meet the relevant requirements. Applications for limited leave to remain under the ECAA provisions are unaffected by the Aydogdu judgment and will continue to be processed free of charge as normal.

We will introduce a new ILR category for current Turkish ECAA business persons into the Immigration Rules. While the requirements of such a category are to be determined, this will be a charged route in line with others who are seeking to settle in the UK.