Apply for Turkish Businessperson (Ankara Agreement)

Ankara Agreement visas permits Turkish nationals to establish themselves as a worker or in a business in the UK. At also achieves them residency rights in the UK.

The old provisions introduced in 1973 apply to all Turkish applicants, which makes the process more smooth and flexible. However, if the applicant can be prevented from benefiting from the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) if there is proof that there is a breach of UK Immigration laws.

If this were to happen the applicant will be subjected to the points-based system that is currently operated.

If You are a Turkish National with a Business Idea

We can help turn your idea into reality

Eligibility criteria

  • Must be a Turkish national
  • Must have genuine intention to start a business (or join an existing one)
  • Must have financial resources

Start your business in the UK.

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*Ankara Agreement


FAQ – Turkish Businessperson Visa

Is it possible to apply with someone else

No, this visa does not give the ability to apply with a partner. You would need to apply under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route as business partners. Under this route you can apply alone, join an existing company or take over an existing one.

Do I have to explain where the money came from

Origin of funds should be provided to improve the process application. Especially if the money has been provided from a family member or a friend.

Where should I keep the money

You should keep your money in a regulated financial institution and be sure that you can transfer the money when you come to the UK.

How long can I stay in the UK

Initial Ankara Agreement applications will grant 12 months. After that you can apply for a 3 year extension. However, if your business is not established to the margin of what the Home Office would consider “acceptable” you would be given an “emergency” 12 month extension. During that time you are expected to improve and if necessary fix any problems you had. After that you can apply for settlement after 4 years. You can apply for British Citizenship in the 6 year.

Are there any restrictions on my visa

You cannot access public funds nor can you take any other form of employment besides the one you have now. Nor can you switch into this visa if you already operate a business as a Tier 1 (entrepreneur)

Is it possible to leave the UK during the visa period

Yes, you can spend up to 180 days per one year outside the UK. However, if you will wish to apply for British Citizenship you should consider not leaving for than 90 days per year.

Can someone else provide or support my application

Yes, it is possible to depend on money that was provided to you by a family member(s) or a friend. However, confirmation is necessary to confirm use of funds.

When should I invest my funds

You should start investing when you come to the UK.

Can I operate more than one business

No, until you receive your settlement (ILR) you should continue working in your original business.

When should I consider applying for settlement and/or British citizenship

You can apply for settlement in the UK after 4 years of residence, on the condition that your business is still active and functioning. You can apply for Naturalisation (British Citizenship) after 6 years of residence and if you have not left he UK for more than 90 days per year.

Is it possible for me to bring my family with me to the UK

Yes, you can bring your spouse, civil partner and children under 18. For those dependants who live in the UK they can apply from the inside.

Where can I invest my funds

You can create, take over or join any business you wish as long it is not related to property, its development or management or you can join an existing active company.

Can I switch into this visa

Yes, you can switch into this visa as long as you are a Turkish national who is in the UK lawfully under any other immigration category (Note those who have a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and are running a business cannot switch into a businessperson visa) and meets the necessary requirements.

Turkish Businessperson Visa

Ankara Agreement visas are for those Turkish nationals who wish to:

  • Start a new Business in the UK
  • Come to the UK to help run a business

To be eligible for Ankara Agreement visas to enter the UK you have to be able to show:

  • A Genuine intention to start a business
  • Sufficient funds (there is no minimum requirement)
  • Pay your share of the costs
  • Share of the profit will be enough to support you & your family
  • You will have an active role (if you are joining a company)
  • There is a genuine need for investment (if you are joining a company)

You can use your own money (you can also use funds from a third party such as a family member, as long as you have permission to use them) for the Ankara Agreement visas. You can only apply under this visa alone without any “business partners”.

Turkish businessperson visa do not require you to prove your level of English language skills or any maintenance. However, it is expected that a business will provide enough funds for maintenance.

In addition, you will have to show that the funds you have collected has the backing of research in the relevant field. In other words, which ever business field you pick you must have done research in the relevant costs and location, this will be reflected in the amount of money for your investment. While it might seem to be an easier option than the Tier 1 visa, the fact there is on minimum requirement puts on more strain on the applicant, which in turn they may need to search for help for advice and guidance.

It is possible to switch into a Turkish Businessperson visa with any other type of point-based or non-point-based system, as long as the potential applicant is legally in the UK (and holds a valid Turkish nationality).

Genuineness Test

Ankara Agreement visas have its own version of the genuineness test. It is the proof provided to the genuineness of the intention to start a new business, the clarity of the business plan, the research made and any relevant previous or current experience in that particular business.

For this you will have to show:

  • Proof that the money is available to you or that you have permission to use it
  • Proof of your current living costs
  • Business Plan
  • Any relevant qualifications or experience
  • If applicable third party assistance
  • Viability and credibility of your funds

Turkish Businessperson extensions

To be eligible for a possible Ankara Agreement extension after your initial 12 months of residence, you will be expected to show that:

  • Your business is still active in the UK
  • You are still able to pay your share of the costs of running the business
  • The profits of your business are enough to support yourself and (if applicable) your family

If there are doubts about your 3 year extension the Home Office may issue you an “emergency” 12 month visa when:

  • The business has experienced difficulties during the initial 12 months and success is still to be proven
  • The company is producing losses or marginal profits while it is being set up
  • The applicant can only provide bank statements not business accounts

Genuine Turkish Business Person Test (Extensions)

For extensions in the Ankara Agreement route you will have to demonstrate to the Home Office that you are fulfilling your obligations. In other words, you have genuinely started or joined a business in the UK.

Furthermore, you will also have to show that you have invested the relevant amount of funds into your business (new or existing) and that you genuinely intend to continue in that business.

The Home Office will consider:

  • The evidence you have submitted
  • The credibility of your source of funds
  • Insurance, registrations, accreditations
  • Any other relevant documents and information

Settlement in the UK as a Turkish Businessperson

For a Turkish national who is in the UK under a Businessperson visa settlement requires:

  • Not conducted or associated with those that are “undesirable” (criminals, illegal individuals and etc.)
  • Not to pose a security threat
  • Show that the profit of their business alone is still enough to support themselves and any dependent. Marginal profits may not be sufficient
  • Be able to show that their business is still running and will continue to do so for at least another 12 months
  • Be able to demonstrate that their business is genuine (for example, clients, partners, turnover and etc.)

Note that the Home Office may also questions (and be sceptical) of the validity of businesses that are being passed on between friends and family members. It may imply fraud for the purpose of supporting a Turkish Businessperson application.

It is also possible to use your previous leave (for example if the previous visa was a Tier 2 visa), however the most recent period must be made from a Turkish Businessperson visa.

Ankara Agreement visas does not require the applicant to complete the Life in the UK Test nor proof of English or a specific maintenance requirement.

Apply for Settlement (ILR) in the UK after 4 years of residency.

Our Approach to UK Visas

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5
  • Initial Consultation
  • Document Collection
  • Document review
  • Finalisation of Immigration Matter
  • Home Office Decision