EU’s Blue Card for highly skilled workers approved in Cyprus

In a significant move in alignment with the efforts to promote legal migration in Cyprus, the Council of Ministers approved pivotal amending bills on January 17, 2024, aimed at establishing a more flexible framework for the entry and residence of highly skilled workers from outside the EU.

These bills outline the procedures and requirements for obtaining the EU Blue Card, which allows highly qualified employees from third countries to enter and reside in Cyprus. A Blue Card pertains to a residence permit within a European dimension, which allows for free movement within member states and provides enhanced rights to its holders. To attract such professionals, the amending bills introduce more lenient entry requirements, set a salary threshold ranging from 1 to 1.6 times the average gross annual salary of Cyprus, and provide family members of Blue Card Holders increased rights as well.

The term ‘highly qualified’ is defined as a person who has obtained a higher education qualification of at least three years duration, or alternatively, professionals in the information and communication technology sector with a minimum of three years of relevant experience within the seven years preceding the Blue Card application.

Furthermore, the Department of Labour assumes a pivotal role, mandating the consideration of a valid employment contract and relevant high professional qualifications for both the initial permit and changing employers within the first twelve months of residence. Moreover, the bills set out the conditions for the refusal, revocation, and non-renewal of the Blue Card.

The legislation introduces provisions for short and long-term mobility within the EU after twelve months of employment in the first member state. These rules are designed to simplify the process and offer more flexibility for accessing long-term resident status.

These legislative amendments are aligned with Cyprus’ talent attraction program and bring national legislation in harmony with the relevant European Parliament Directive. While the EU’s Blue Card scheme is being implemented in 25 of the bloc’s 27 member states, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland have opted out. This represents a significant leap towards cultivating an environment conducive to skilled migration, ultimately fostering economic growth.

At Christys & Co LLC Advocates and Legal Consultants, our dedicated team remains informed on all developments in migration laws. With our experienced lawyers, we can ensure a seamless process for both employees and employers, navigating the complexities of these transformative legal changes.

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