European Union Law
Nationals of the member states of the European Union benefit from more favourable provisions of immigration law than nationals of other countries.It is important to realize, however, that not all EU nationals are in the same position – in some cases, there are special provisions.
Nationals of European Union Member States: The EEA (European Economic Area) includes all EU states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and, for immigration purposes, Switzerland. Since 1 January 2014, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals are also included without restrictions.
EEA Free Movement Applications at a glance…
- EEA National have a right to come and live or work or study in the UK without any restrictions.
- They can reside here for up to three months, or longer if they are considered to be a ‘qualified person’. The category of qualified people includes job seekers, workers, self-employed and self-sufficient people and students.
- Family members, whether European nationals themselves or not, can come with or join an EEA National, subject to certain restrictions. There are two groups of family members: immediate and extended family and different rules apply to each group.
Family members of a qualified person may also retain their rights to residence in the UK in certain circumstances, even where the qualified person dies or a marriage or partnership breaks down.
- EEA nationals and their family members are entitled to a document certifying their immigration status in the UK. After five years residence in the UK in accordance with the EEA Regulations, EEA nationals and their family members can apply for permanent residence and then later, British citizenship.
Croatia joined the European Union on 1 July 2013. Croatian nationals are subject to transitional provisions until 2020. Whilst they enjoy mostly the same rights of free movement as existing EEA nationals, certain restrictions apply to their access to the UK labour market.
ECAA – Turkey
There is an agreement between the European Union and Turkey that gives Turkish nationals special rights. In the past, the EU had association agreements with countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and other states that have now joined the EU. These allowed nationals of those countries to work in self-employment in the UK. Nationals of those countries, including people who came to the UK under the old association agreements, now have the right to work as self-employed people in the UK because they are members of the European Union.
The Ankara Agreement (an Association Between the Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community) is an agreement that aims to pave the way towards the accession of Turkey into the European Economic Community. The Association Agreement with Turkey provides rights for Turkish nationals and requires the Home Office to apply old, and more generous, rules to them. The UK Home Office’s original practice in interpreting the agreement as applying only to those who are already in the UK was changed in 2009 to open a route for Turkish nationals to apply for visas to come to the UK under the terms of agreement. The Ankara Agreement is not extended to Turkish citizens that have entered the UK illegally.
E2W has many years of experience in European cases and cases under the EEA Association Agreements. However this is a fast-moving and complex area of law and every case is different – contact us to discuss your specific circumstances and requirements and how we can help you with your case.
Turkish Businessperson visa
You can apply for a Turkish Businessperson visa if you’re a Turkish national and you want to start a new business in the UK or come to the UK to help run an established business.
You must be a Turkish national and show that:
- You have a genuine intention to set up a viable business
- You’ll be bringing sufficient funds to establish your business
- You’ll be able to pay your share of the costs of running the business
- Your share of the profits will be enough to support you and your family without your needing to have another job
If you want to join an existing partnership or company you must show you’ll have an active part in running the business and that there is a genuine need for your services and investment
Turkish Worker visa
You can apply for permission to stay in the UK as a Turkish Worker if you’re a Turkish national and have legally worked in the UK for at least 1 year as the spouse of a British or settled person without any restrictions on working in the UK, a holder of a work permit allowing you to work in the UK or a student allowed to work 20 hours a week during term time and full time during vacation periods
The length of time you can stay and what job you can do depends on how long you’ve legally worked in the UK.
To apply you must be a Turkish national and have legally worked in the UK for at least 1 year. You must have worked for the same employer for the period you’re quoting in your application.
You can include your family (‘dependents’’) on this extension if they’re already in the UK (e.g. your partner and children switch into this category from another visa).
You can’t apply to settle in the UK permanently
Brexit – Important Information
Following a referendum on 23 June 2016, 51.9% of British voters voted in favour of leaving the European Union.
The mechanism for leaving the EU, set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (the Lisbon Treaty), required the UK to formally give notice of its intention to leave which it duly did on 29 March 2017, triggering a two year period after which its membership of the EU will cease.
The UK remains a member of the EU throughout this process, however, and the rights of EEA nationals will remain guaranteed until the UK formally leaves the EU.
It is expected that transitional arrangements will be made regarding the status of EEA citizens for when the UK does leave the EU. The nature and scope of such arrangements remain unknown to date.
If you have any queries or concerns about this process, please contact a member of our team.