In March 2018 the Home Office abolished the route to settlement that had long existed in the UK under the Ankara Agreement. The Home Office then issued replacement rules for Turkish National business people to obtain indefinite leave to remain.
These new rules are stricter than what previously existed. Applicants can now only obtain settlement after 5 years (previously 4 years under the Ankara Agreement), must pass an English Language test and pay an application fee of £2389.
A group of Turkish nationals currently living in the UK challenged the retrospective change in R (Alliance of Turkish Businesspeople Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department 2019 EWHC 603 (Admin). They argued that the Home Office moved the goal posts, in legal terms, as they had a legitimate expectation of being granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK under the old rules when they decided to enter and live in the UK. The Group of Turkish nationals asserted that frustrating the expectation they had was so unfair as to be unlawful.
On 18 March, in delivering their judgment, the High Court held that whilst there was a legitimate expectation, frustrating it was justified. Mr Justice Dingemans explained in his finding that the policy changes were justified as The Home Office “was entitled to attempt to introduce some uniformity with the nationals of other states”. He went on to say that making it harder to settle was helpful to those affected as fluency in the English language will assist integration and the cost of making an ILR application will go towards the operation of the system which would benefit all applicants. Dingemans stated that the extra year was “important” but “not excessive”.
For specialist advice on the Ankara Agreement, please contact author, business immigration director Ayan Yalchin, on email@example.com or 020 7275 2011.
Ayan has more than 18 years’ post-qualification experience acting on behalf of businesses and individuals in a variety of immigration related proceedings and is a leading expert on all aspects of the Ankara Agreement. Please also see an article published by Ayan Yalchin ‘The Ankara Agreement- Turkish Business Persons and Workers’.
Ayan heads our business immigration team based in our Dalston branch. He continues to be recommended by The Legal 500 and the 2019 edition praises him for his immigration work in London. Ayan specialises in Tier 1 visas, Tier 2 visas and sponsorship licences for companies, including renewals and advising on processes and compliance, Tier 4 visas (students) and Tier 5 visas (temporary workers), as well as all types of entry clearance, FLR, settlement, EEA and ECAA applications.
Ayan has a strong practice representing high net worth individuals and has extensive experience providing bespoke immigration solutions to a wide range of industries including fashion, food and beverage, precious stones, finance, insurance, media, IT, energy and healthcare.
Duncan Lewis Business Immigration Solicitors
Our Immigration department is ranked as a top-tier practice in Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay matters in The Legal 500 2019. As leading immigration specialists we advise on business immigration, right to work in the UK, Tier 2 visa applications, student/graduate visas, spousal visas and visa overstays.
Our broad practice provides a full service to SME business clients across the UK in relation to the Points Based System (PBS); Sponsorship license applications and immigration strategy/compliance advice. Our specialist solicitors are also able to advise businesses and individuals on any changes to UK immigration law during Brexit negotiations and after 29 March 2019, post-Brexit.