The European Union is increasingly competing with other destinations in the global race for talent. In order to attract and retain highly  skilled workers in sectors facing skills shortages, the EU updated the blue card directive in October 2021.

On the 17/01/2024 the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus, approved legislation to implement the European Blue Card scheme.

The legislation aligns Cyprus with the relevant European directive, concerning entry and residency requirements for third-country nationals seeking high-skilled employment within the European Union.

As per Directive (EU) 2021/1883 – conditions of entry to and residence in the European Union of non-EU nationals for the purpose of highly qualified employment, “high-skilled are the workers who have ahigher professional qualification of studies that lasted at least three years. Such as a diploma, certificate or other evidence of formal qualifications issued by a competent authority attesting the successful completion of a post-secondary higher education program. This must be a set of courses provided by an educational establishment recognized as a higher education by the State in which it is situated”.

The Minister of Interior Mr. Constantinos Ioannou, said that “The proposed changes aim to adopt a more flexible framework for the entry and residence of high-skilled workers from countries outside the EU.”

According to an official announcement, these changes align with the government's strategy of encouraging legal migration as a measure for managing immigration and supplanting irregular migration.

The card applies in all EU countries apart from Denmark and Ireland.

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