Visa options for Turkish nationals moving to the UK

Each year, UK Visas and Immigration receives thousands of visa applications from people all over the world looking to start a new life in the island nation.

Most of those applications are related to international students and the skilled worker category, but there are some countries that have special visa routes to the UK.

Turkey is one of them.

Turkey and the UK have a long history dating back centuries. In fact, London even became the home for one of the first Turkish overseas embassies in 1793.

With more than 200 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, it’s not surprising that today there is a large Turkish community in the UK. According to the last census in 2011, there are more than 500,000 people with Turkish origin living in the country.

For Turkish nationals seeking to become a part of British life, there are two specific visa categories available – the Turkish Businessperson Visa and the Turkish Worker Visa.

To find out which one is right for you, this article looks at each category individually to see what is needed to apply.

Turkish Businessperson Visa

The Turkish Businessperson Visa is for entrepreneurs that want to move to the UK to start a new business or to run an existing one. To apply, you must be a Turkish national and show proof that your intention is genuinely related to setting up or operating a business.

“Proof of intention” can be a vague term, so the points below explain it in a little more detail.

If the business is a new venture, you need to:

  • Have enough money to establish the business.
  • Show that you can pay the costs of running the business.
  • Provide evidence that the profits will be enough to support you and your family.

If the business is already established, you have to:

  • Show that you will be actively involved in running the business.
  • Show there is a demand for your appointment and investment.

Next, the examples below are documents that can be submitted as proof of your intention to run a business. They will also demonstrate that you are suitably qualified with enough money to support yourself and the business.

Acceptable documents for the application:

  • Business plan, premises documents, partnership agreements and insurance documents.
  • Official business accounts and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) paperwork.
  • Any relevant formal qualifications.
  • Bank statements and other forms of income, including money from a family member or third party.
  • An official agreement about your involvement in the business.

If your application is successful, you and your family (partner and children under 21) will be allowed to stay in the UK for 12 months. After that, there is the possibility of extending the visa for another three years. This visa route could also lead to permanent UK settlement in the future.

And finally, there is no fee to pay to submit the Turkish Businessperson Visa application.

Turkish Worker Visa

The Turkish Worker Visa is different to the Businessperson route in that it’s aimed at Turkish nationals already working in the UK for at least one year. People can only apply for it from within the UK.

For example, a Turkish national who is married to a British or settled person and doesn’t have any restrictions on working in the UK can apply for this visa. Likewise, Turkish nationals with a valid UK work permit or students that have been allowed to work alongside their studies can apply for this visa route.

Not everyone is granted the same amount of time to stay in the UK though. It all comes down to how long you have already been in the country for.

Let’s take a look at what’s available:

  • For people that have already been in the UK for one to three years, this visa can be granted for up to two years.
  • For those that have been working in the country for three to four years, they will get up to 12 months.
  • For people that have been in the UK for more than four years, they could get up to another three years.

It’s important to note that proof of employment is needed to apply for this visa, such as pay slips, bank statements and letters from an employer. This applies for the whole time that you have been in the UK.

Like the Turkish Businessperson Visa, there is no fee involved in the application, and the Turkish Worker Visa could provide a path towards long-term settlement in the UK.

Applying for a visa

As with most things in life in today’s digital world, the application process for the Turkish Businessperson Visa and the Turkish Worker Visa is all online. That means any supporting documentation will need to be uploaded along with biometric information (fingerprints and photograph).

For both visa applications, a decision is usually made within six months of applying.

The online application forms can be found on the UK government website, including for those that want to extend an existing visa.

The Turkish Businessperson and the Turkish Worker visas are not the only routes available to Turkish nationals either. If the above categories don’t work for you, other options to explore include the Tier 2 (General) Visa for skilled workers and the Student Visa.


Article Created By Hayley Maguire

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