Due to the agreement signed between the European Union and Turkiye in 1963, Turkish citizens or their family members may be eligible for more flexible conditions when applying for a residence permit in the Netherlands. This agreement is commonly known as the Ankara Agreement (or Association Agreement), which is made between the EU and Turkiye and it was supplemented with the Additional Protocol in 1970 and Decision 1/80 in 1980. The purpose of this agreement is to establish a comprehensive cooperation between the EU and Turkiye, with a focus on various areas, such as developing the economy, improving employment and living conditions, strengthening the rule of law, and protecting human rights.
If you are a Turkish citizen or a family member of a Turkish citizen seeking to apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands, you may be eligible for less strict requirements due to the Association Law between the European Union and Turkiye.
Who can fall into the framework of the Ankara Agreement?
The benefits of this Agreement are extended to Turkish employees who are legally employed in the Netherlands, hold Turkish citizenship, work diligently and genuinely, and do not pose any threat to public or national security. The terms of this Agreement also apply to their family members.
What are the opportunities deriving from the Ankara Agreement?
Lower costs: Turkish employees and their family members are typically charged lower fees when applying for a residence permit in the Netherlands. This reduced cost also applies to extensions, return visas, or replacement of a residence document.
Lower age: In the case of a Turkish citizen working in the Netherlands wishes to bring their spouse or registered partner to reside with them, both parties must be a minimum of 18 years old, as opposed to the standard requirement of 21 years old.
No sponsor: Although recognized sponsors are eligible to apply for residence permits, you may be able to apply for a residence permit for paid employment, highly skilled migrant, or researcher visa on your own if you meet the relevant requirements mentioned above.
No point system: If you apply for a residence permit as a self-employed person, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (in Dutch: Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland or RVO) will evaluate your company’s activities based on your business plan rather than the point system.
No more work permit after 3 years: In normal cases, if you work in the Netherlands as a self-employed individual or an employee, you are not required to have a work permit (in Dutch: tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV) after 5 years. However, for Turkish citizens who work with the same employer, this duration is reduced to three years.
Moreover, in accordance with the Association Law between the EU and Turkiye, Turkish employees and their family members are also eligible to apply for specific residence permits in the Netherlands, such as the independent residence permit after the orientation year or the residence permit based on the three-year policy, with less strict requirements.
Opportunities for self-employed persons in the framework of the Ankara Agreement
If you want to apply for a residence permit as a self-employed person, it is important that your business is of essential interest to the Dutch economy. This means that your business must add value to the Netherlands. The RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) assesses the significance of your work by considering three key aspects: your personal experience, your business plan, and the added value it brings to the Netherlands.
In its assessment, the RVO gives each area a number of points. If you accumulate the required number of points as determined by the RVO, it indicates that your business is considered of essential interest to the Netherlands.
However, if you are a Turkish citizen, this points system does not apply to your situation. In this case, the RVO solely assesses your company based on the business plan.
These are the aspects that are necessary for the RVO in assessing the business plan:
Financial health of your company.
Identification of a product or service that fulfills a need in the Netherlands.
Contribution to the growth of the Dutch economy.
Potential for success in the free-market economy.
Absence of disruption to the free-market economy or labor market.
Would you like to take advantage of these opportunities? Then do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experienced specialists can provide you with further information and assist you with all the necessary processes in a professional manner.
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