Ankara Agreement

Jan specialises in Ankara Agreement cases and regularly represents Turkish businesspersons and Turkish workers.

Jan assists clients in the making of initial applications, further applications for leave to remain, and represents clients at appeal hearings including before the First Tier Tribunal, the Upper Tier Tribunal and in judicial review proceedings relating to their Ankara Agreement application.

He regularly represents sole traders and self-employed business persons from a wide range of businesses, including hairdressers, travel and business management consultants, self-employed chefs, cleaners, managers, café/shop owners and other professions and is familiar with the workings, operation and requirements of small and medium-sized Turkish businesses.

Success stories

He has won his clients’ cases on appeal where the Home Office refused initial applications and applications for further leave to remain on the basis of:

- the provenance of the investment in the business (where the money invested by the applicant has been a gift or a loan)

- an alleged lack of or size of investment

- where the UKBA criticised a lack of advertising

- where the UKBA alleged that clients were not actively involved in the running of their business

- where the UKBA disagreed with the manner of running the business

- where the UKBA rejected applications on the basis of the business plan (including where the author of the plan had failed to take instructions from the client, where the plan contained mistakes, where it was alleged that the plan was a duplication or identical to other plans submitted, where the plan failed to correctly represent the clients’ businesses)


- on the basis of the timing of the initial application


- on the basis of the nature of his business proposed (because the UKBA did not consider there to be a need for the business)


- where the UKBA took issue with the viability, financial performance and/or general credibility of the business


- where the UKBA took issue with the prices charged


- on the basis of the qualifications of the applicant to carry out the business of his choice


- on the basis of the applicants’ lack of English


- where the UKBA considered that the client was solely “providing a service for … clients rather than running a business”


Jan Doerfel’s experience and expertise in Ankara applications are as invaluable to his clients in relation to applications for leave to the UKBA as they are to the presentation of their cases before the courts.


In addition, Jan’s background in employment law has been of particular benefit and assistance to the Courts in Ankara Agreement cases where the UKBA alleged that applicants’ role in existing or envisaged businesses would amount to “disguised employment” rather than self-employment.


This question is purely a legal question which belongs into the field of employment law – namely the question whether someone is an employee or self-employed – and, as such, immigration tribunals benefit from Counsel’s assistance and guidance on case law (issued by employment tribunals and other courts) on this particular question.

Jan considers that legal advice is invaluable in relation to Ankara Agreement cases as the UKBA guidance on Turkish business persons itself is – in a number of respects – not reflective of the actual position for grants of leave as authoritatively expressed in case law and jurisprudence, and is in fact more restrictive than the applicable immigration rules (the 1973 Immigration Rules) provide. Hence caution and expert advice is required in approaching the UKBA guidance in particular as applicants who fear that they do not meet the ‘requirements’ set out in the UKBA guidance may still qualify under the Immigration Rules.

Turkish nationals who wish to establish as self-employed business persons would be well advised to get legal advice on their envisaged applications in order to be made fully aware of the applicable requirements for a grant of leave as a business person under the Ankara Agreement in the UK.

After all, the future of your business is dependent on the outcome of such an application or immigration appeal and Jan is clearly aware of the magnitude of what is at stake for (Turkish) business men and women who are established or wishing to establish themselves in the UK.

He would be delighted to provide you with honest and thorough immigration advice and representation to allow you to take sustainable and viable decisions on the future of your business in the UK and to protect the interests of you and your business.