Immigration to UK from Turkey

Foreign nationals coming to work, study, join family, or set up and run an innovative business in the UK, must obtain a visa or permit appropriate for their circumstances.

Turkish nationals aspiring to immigrate to the UK will need a visa to enter the country. To know more about how to immigrate to the UK, whether you are eligible, how you can apply, and to receive bespoke advice from a team of immigration law experts, call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to speak to our legal advisers.

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    Immigrate to UK from Turkey

    The UK’s strong economy, high-standard healthcare and education systems, low crime rate, a stable government and a multicultural environment attract a large number of migrants every year, many of whom eventually settle there, notwithstanding the fact that it is one of the most expensive places to live in the world.

    Apart from coming to the UK to work and to study, foreign nationals often move to the country to join their family members, under the family reunification principles. People fearing persecution in their home countries also travel to the UK every year to seek asylum.

    Moreover, although it is not possible to obtain a UK visa through fiscal or real estate investment, foreign entrepreneurs can come to the UK to found and run an innovative business. Foreign nationals of independent financial means may also find a suitable option to retire in the UK, although the country has cancelled its retirement visa programme.

    The type of visa you must apply for to move to the UK from Turkey will depend on your reason for travel as well as the length of your visit.

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    New UK Immigration Rule

    Historically, the UK has experienced a similar level of migration to that of other high-income countries. In the year ending June 2021, immigrants made up an estimated 14.5% of the country’s total population, in spite of the outflow of EU citizens post Brexit.

    In 2022, the net migration (i.e. the number of immigrants minus the number of emigrants) in the UK went up significantly due to many factors, such as the war in Ukraine, rising demand for skilled workers in the country’s health and care sector, increasing number of international students, and Hong Kong British National Overseas (BNO) status holders migrating to seek international protection.

    In December 2023, the UK government recently announced certain measures to cut down net migration in the country and curb abuse of its immigration system. The salient features are as follows:

    • A nearly 50% increase in minimum salary requirement for UK Skilled Worker visa, from £26,200 to £38,700 per year
    • An increase of the earning threshold for overseas workers who want to bring their family to the UK, from £18,600 to £38,700 per year
    • An increase in the annual Immigration Health Surcharge from £624 to £1,035, to ensure that migrants make a fair contribution to the country’s public funds
    • Overseas health and care workers will no longer be able to bring their dependent family members to the country
    • The 20% going-rate salary discount for shortage occupations will end, and the Shortage Occupation List will be replaced with a new Immigration Salary List, which will retain a general threshold discount

    Earlier in 2023, the government also announced certain measures preventing international students from switching onto work visas before they complete their courses of study in the UK.

    Foreign national students will also not be allowed any more to bring their dependents to the country, unless they are enrolled into postgraduate courses designated as research programmes.

    It’s important to note that these are still very new changes and may differ between the time of writing and when they come into effect. For the most up-to-date advice and guidance on these visa changes, reach out to us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online today.

    Standard Visitor Visa

    Non-EU foreign nationals coming to the UK for less than six months will need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa to enter the country. You may apply for this short-term visa for various purposes, such as:

    People at Piccadilly Circus in London, UK

    Coming to Work in the UK

    British or Irish citizens and people with pre-settled or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme don’t require a visa or permit to work in the UK. However, all other foreign nationals must have a valid UK work visa or permit to do so.

    The UK has several work visa options for overseas workers. You may choose what is appropriate in your circumstances, depending on your skills or qualifications and your employment situation. You may also be eligible for certain UK work visas given your nationality or the age group you belong to. The visa requirements and validity will vary depending on the type of visa.

    The UK work visa options can be categorised like the following:

    • Work visas such as Health and Care Worker visa and Skilled Worker visa, for people with an eligible job offer from a UK employer
    • For people working in the UK for their overseas employers, Senior or Specialist Worker visa, Overseas Domestic Worker visa, Graduate Trainee visa, Secondment Worker visa, Service Supplier visa, UK Expansion Worker visa, Representative of an Overseas Business visa
    • People without a job offer in the UK can apply for a British National (Overseas) visa, Graduate visa, Youth Mobility Scheme visa, India Young Professionals Scheme visa, Global Talent visa, UK Ancestry visa, High Potential Individual (HPI) visa
    • Temporary work visas such as Seasonal Worker visa, Government Authorised Exchange visa, Creative Worker visa, Religious Worker visa, Charity Worker visa, International Agreement visa
    • Other work visas, such as International Sportsperson visa, Minister of Religion visa (T2), Scale-up Worker visa, Frontier Worker permit

    Please note that Turkish Businessperson visa and Turkish Worker visa have been closed for new applicants.

    Our experienced immigration team can help with visas and permits, for Turkish people wanting to move to the UK. Contact Us

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      Coming to Study in the UK

      International students can apply for a study visa if they have been accepted by an educational institution in the UK, and have sufficient financial means to cover their tuition fees and living costs.

      Foreign nationals over 16 years of age will have to apply for a Student visa. They may apply for a Child Student visa if they are 4-17 years old, and want to study at an independent school in the country.

      Moreover, if your course duration is six months or less, you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa in the UK for study purposes. A Short-term study visa is also available to foreign nationals to come to the UK for studying English.

      Join Family in the UK

      Foreign nationals, who wish to come and reside for more than six months with their UK resident relative, will need to apply for a family visa.

      Eligible family members who can take this route to move to the UK are:

      • Spouse or civil partner
      • Fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
      • Child
      • Parent
      • A relative who must be in the long-term care of their UK resident relative

      Family members of EEA/Swiss citizens or eligible persons of Northern Ireland may be able to get an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK.

      Innovator Founder Visa

      Turkish citizens who are interested in starting their own businesses in the UK, can take the Innovator Founder visa route to immigrate to the country.

      To apply for an Innovator Founder visa, a foreign entrepreneur must have an original and innovative business idea, which will have to be endorsed by an approved body in the UK.

      The business idea must have a potential for growth, and there should be a clear plan to create jobs in the UK and expand the business footprint to national and international markets, to be successfully endorsed.

      This visa is valid for three years, and can be renewed thereof. You may also be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK after three years. However, your visa validity may be cut short if your business loses its endorsement.

      Seek Asylum in the UK

      Foreign nationals can seek asylum in the UK if they are unable to live safely in their home countries, fearing persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, sexual preference, or any other issue that puts them at risk because of the social, cultural, religious or political circumstances there.

      They may also seek asylum in case their country is at war or undergoing internal armed conflicts, and they cannot get protection from the authorities in such a scenario.

      For tailored assistance with moving to the UK, speak with our immigration lawyers today. Contact Us

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        Live Permanently in the UK

        To live permanently in the UK, Turkish nationals may apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). It is a settlement pathway in the UK, and allows you to live, work and study in the country for an indefinite period as the name suggests. You will also be able to use your ILR status to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation.

        There are different ways to apply for ILR based on your circumstances. For example, if you have lived and worked in the UK on a work visa for five years, you may apply for ILR if you meet all relevant conditions. For tier 1 visa holders, the mandatory stay duration can be two or three years.

        How to Apply for a UK Visa from Turkey

        The application process for a UK visa will vary depending on your chosen visa type, and whether you are applying from within the UK or from outside the country.

        Overall, UK visa application is an online process. You will need to create an account on the Home Office website and follow the instructions to understand how you can apply and what supporting documents you must provide.

        After completing the online application form and arranging for the required documents, you will have to schedule a visa appointment at your local UK embassy or consulate. On the day of your appointment, you will have to attend your visa interview in person, submit your documents and attend a UK visa interview.

        Asylum seekers can only apply from within the UK or at their port of entry to the country. After the initial screening, the Home Office will assign a caseworker to interview the applicants and collect supporting documents from them, among other formalities.

        Document Requirements for UK Immigration

        The supporting document requirements for immigrating to the UK will vary depending on your reason to travel to the country, and your chosen visa option thereof.

        We have provided below a general list of supporting documents, but please note that the Home Office may ask you for other relevant documents depending on your circumstances.

        The supporting documents include:

        • A valid passport, with at least one blank page
        • Proof of financial means
        • Tuberculosis test results if you are from a listed country
        • If you are coming to work, then your:
          • Job offer or employment contract
          • Certificate of Sponsorship reference number, and the name and sponsor licence number of your employer
          • Criminal record certificate in case of certain job categories etc.
        • If you coming to study in the UK, then:
          • Acceptance letter from a UK educational institution
          • Parental consent to study in the UK if you are under 18
        • For family visas, proof of relationship with your UK resident family member
        • Business plan and endorsement from an approved body in the UK for foreign entrepreneurs applying for an Innovator Founder visa
        • Any relevant documents that prove the genuineness of their claim for asylum seekers etc.

        Our specialist lawyers have the expertise to align your visa application with the best possible chance of success. Contact Us

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          How Can Total Law Help?

          Immigrating to the UK can be a fairly time-consuming process, and one which will require your utmost diligence. Even if you meet the eligibility criteria, it is of crucial importance to fill up the relevant forms correctly and completely as well as submit all required documentation, to avoid a possible visa refusal or rejection.

          Total Law can help.

          Our team of sympathetic immigration lawyers have the required expertise to assist you, regardless of your personal circumstances or the complexity of your case.

          If you are a Turkish national seeking overall advice with your UK immigration plan, or would like an immigration expert to complete your visa application on your behalf, we are here for you.

          We also offer document and application checking services if you just need a final check to confirm that your documents and application adhere to the Home Office guidelines.

          To know more about the services we provide and how we can help you, please call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online today, to speak to our team of expert immigration lawyers.

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            With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    It is not technically possible to retire in the UK, since the country has cancelled its erstwhile retirement visa programme, known as ‘the retired persons of independent means permit’. However, you may still be able to retire in the UK through alternative routes, if you have sufficient financial means to cover for yourself and your dependents without working in the country.

                    For example, if you have migrated to the UK from Turkey on a temporary visa for work, study, business, etc., you will be able to apply for an ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement Visa)’, after living in the UK for a certain amount of time. If your application is successful, you will be allowed to settle in the country for an indefinite period of time.

                    If the Home Office refuses your visa application, they will send you a decision letter informing you of the refusal reason(s), and whether you have a right to appeal. You can only appeal to the tribunal if you have the legal right to appeal.

                    Your decision letter will also inform you if you can apply for an administrative review instead.