If you are currently in the United Kingdom on a Turkish Worker or Turkish Businessperson visa, you may be able to apply for settlement to stay permanently in the country. Settlement or ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain for ECAA Turkish Workers), is available to those who pay the mandatory settlement fees and meet the other requirements relating to English language, knowledge of UK culture and history, and lifestyle. Today’s blog will therefore provide an overview of how to apply for settlement as a Turkish worker or businessperson. Keep reading to discover how long a Turkish worker or businessperson can stay in the country, Turkish businessperson ILR settlement fees, and other critical information for those seeking to apply for settlement as a Turkish worker or businessperson.

How to apply for settlement as a Turkish worker or businessperson

We will help you with the application process to apply for settlement as a Turkish worker or businessperson. Applicants should follow these general steps: 

  • 1. Determine if you meet the eligibility requirements: 
    • In order to be considered eligible for ILR, those on Turkish worker and Turkish Businessperson visas must meet the following requirements: 
      • Provide evidence that you resided and were employed in the country for a minimum of five years prior to applying for ILR.
      • Apply without having ever received any welfare from the British government throughout the entirety of your time living in the UK.
      • Take and pass the Knowledge of Life in the UK exam. 
      • Provide proof that you fulfill the English language requirement (for more information about this requirement, see below). 
      • Have spent 180 days or fewer abroad in a one-year period, throughout the minimum 5 years you have spent living in the UK
      • Are continuing to operate your original business (for those on Turkish businessperson visas). 
  • 2. Gather your required documents: 
    • All applicants, be they Turkish Workers or Turkish Businesspersons, will need to possess the following documents in order to fill out their application form and complete the rest of the application process: 
      • A valid passport, and any expired passports in the event that the passport you are using at the moment does not reflect past time spent residing in the country on a valid UK visa. 
      • Certificate showing that you have been registered with the police for at least five years (if applicable). 
      • Unique Reference Code demonstrating your English language abilities. 
    • In addition to the above materials, applicants on Turkish Businessperson visas will also have to supply the following required documents: 
      • Financial documents that show evidence of the work you have completed, such as invoices. 
      • Evidence that you own or rent the space your business is occupying.
      • Advertising items.
      • Evidence of your contributions for National Insurance (if applicable).
    • As it can take some time to gather your required documents, please make sure that you do so prior to applying for settlement. For example, make sure that your passport is valid before you start applying. If it has expired, you will have to renew it in order to begin the settlement application process. 
  • 3. Fill out the application form: 
    • Applicants can contact us here to help them with the application form, filling out the required information and following all the steps and guidelines. In addition to uploading certain supplemental documents as needed, or alternatively, submitting them at the biometric information appointment, if possible.   
  • 4. Pay the application fee: 
    • Applicants for settlement (ILR) are required to pay £2,389 (the basic cost of the application).
    • In addition, applicants are subject to the £19.20 fee for biometric information collection. 
    • Keep in mind that each family member who is applying for settlement as your dependent is also individually subject to the basic application cost of £2,389 and the £19.20 biometric collection cost.  
    • Please note that the above costs are not inclusive of healthcare surcharge fees for those who seek to extend a Turkish Worker/Businessperson visa (also note—the cost to extend is only £1,033, vs. the cost of applying for settlement (£2,389), and how long you can stay in the country is limited for those applying to extend vs. those applying for ILR). 
  • 5. Give your biometric information: 
    • In what represents the only in-person part of the application process, applicants must have their photo and fingerprints (biometric information) collected. 
    • Collection points for biometric data are exclusively the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service points, which are located throughout the country.
    • Please note that you must schedule an appointment in order to give your information (i.e. you cannot simply show up to a location and expect to be seen). At some point during the application process, you will be given the opportunity to make an appointment at a UKVCAS location convenient to you.
    • In addition to having your photo and fingerprints taken, your biometric appointment is where you will have the opportunity to scan your supplemental application materials (if you have not already uploaded them via your application). 

How long you can stay

  • Wondering how long a Turkish worker or businessperson can stay in the country once they apply for settlement (ILR)? Turkish businessperson ILR applicants who successfully receive settlement can effectively stay in the country indefinitely. 
  • Achieving Indefinite Leave to Remain for ECAA Turkish Workers and Turkish Businessperson allows them to live, work, and study in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales for however long they choose. 
  • In addition, those who achieve ILR are eligible to apply for previously off-limits public welfare. NHS benefits and state educational opportunities will be newly available to those who successfully receive settlement. 
  • Finally, a Turkish Worker or Turkish Businessperson who achieves settlement is one step closer to achieving UK citizenship, should he or she choose to pursue it. After achieving settlement and living in Britain for a year, one can begin the process of applying for citizenship. 

Reasons for rejection

  • Turkish Worker/Businessperson applicants may be refused ILR status for one or more of the following reasons: 
    • You failed your knowledge of life in the UK exam, you failed to demonstrate your English language abilities, and/or you failed to meet the other eligibility requirements outlined above. 
    • You lied on your ILR application. 
    • You are found to be (or were found to be) in violation of British immigration law. 
    • You were convicted of a crime, either abroad or in Britain. 

The English language requirement

  • As previously mentioned, applicants for settlement must meet the English language requirement, which is stricter for settlement than it is for more temporary statuses. 
  • Applicants who are from one of the following countries do not need to prove their English language abilities: 

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, USA.

  • Those who are mentally or physically disabled or age 65+ are similarly exempt from the requirement. 
  • Certain other categories of applicants applying for settlement, including domestic violence victims and refugees, may be exempt from the English language requirement.  
  • If you do not fall into one of the above categories of persons, you will have to demonstrate your English language requirement by either: 
    • Having graduated from an English-language college/university, or; 
    • Receiving a B1, B2, C1, or C2 English qualification on an official English language test. 
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