The Ankara Agreement, which is sometimes referred to as the ECAA (European Community Association Agreement) has played a significant role in the relationship between the UK and Turkey. It was signed in 1963, and the UK was one of the first countries to sign it. The agreement aimed to establish better economic and social relationships between the two nations and to promote trade between them.
The Ankara Agreement has been instrumental in facilitating the movement of Turkish workers and businesses to the UK. The agreement allowed Turkish individuals to come to the UK to set up their own businesses or work for others. It also granted them the right to reside and work in the country for an extended period.
However, since the UK’s decision to leave the EU, there have been concerns over the fate of the Ankara Agreement. With the end of the Brexit transition period, the agreement was no longer applicable to the UK. This has created confusion and uncertainty for Turkish individuals and businesses who are already established in the UK under the agreement.
To mitigate this, the UK government launched the Ankara Agreement visa, which is available to Turkish nationals who were already in the UK before 31 December 2020. The visa allows individuals and their dependents to apply for settlement in the UK and provides them with the right to work, study, and access public services.
The Ankara Agreement visa enables Turkish citizens to continue their businesses and work in the UK without any interruption. It is important to note that this visa does not apply to new applicants seeking to work or set up a business in the UK. Individuals who want to come to the UK under this agreement will now need to apply under the UK’s new immigration system.
Overall, while the fate of the Ankara Agreement remains uncertain in a post-Brexit world, the UK government’s decision to create the Ankara Agreement visa has provided some relief and security for those who were already residing in the UK under the agreement.