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Nasty shock for Ankara Agreement businesspeople

Nasty shock for Ankara Agreement businesspeople


Nasty shock for Ankara Agreement businesspeople

19 March 2018

The Ankara Agreement (Turkey/EC Association Agreement) must presumably die with Brexit: it is part of European law. So at some point Turkish businesspeople will no longer be able to set up in business in the UK under its relatively generous auspices.

But in 2017 the ECAA received a premature broadside from an unexpected quarter: the Upper Immigration Tribunal.

To put it short, businesspeople and their dependants under the Agreement had historically been able to acquire Indefinite Leave to Remain quicker than other working migrants because of the “standstill clause” in the Agreement.

But the Upper Tribunal decided in a case called “Aydogdu” that the standstill clause did not cover Indefinite Leave to Remain applications. The implication of this might be that ECAA businessperson beneficiaries would have to wait five years for Indefinite Leave to Remain, like other working visa holders.

But it has turned out worse than this. Now the Home Office has announced that ECAA Indefinite Leave to Remain applications dated later than 15 March 2018 (ie last Thursday) will not be accepted. And that eventually a new route for ECAA businesspeople will be created within the Immigration Rules – and far more onerous, we strongly imagine.

This is a blow for those who came to the UK under the ECAA with the expectation of acquiring Indefinite Leave to Remain: we will have to see what the future holds.

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