IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Cyprus has implemented the European Union’s Intra-Corporate Transferees Directive, which provides multinational companies greater flexibility in the transfer of non-EU nationals within the same corporate group.
What does the change mean? Non-EU/EEA managers, specialists or trainees may be transferred within the same corporate group from outside the EU by applying for ICT permits, which function as both a work and residence permit. Individuals holding ICT cards issued by another EU member state may apply for a long-term mobility ICT permit if they intend to remain in Cyprus for more than 90 days in a 180-day period.
- Implementation timeframe: Ongoing. The EU ICT directive was adopted into Cypriot law on Feb. 17 through an amendment to the existing Alien and Immigration Law.
- Visas/permits affected: ICT permits.
- Who is affected: Non-EU/EEA managers, specialists or trainees transferring from outside the EU to work in Cyprus; non-EU/EEA managers, specialists or trainees who hold an ICT permit in another EU member state and are transferring to work in Cyprus for less than 90 days. If more than 90 days, the transferee must apply for a long-term mobility permit with the Civil Registry and Migration Department.
- Business impact: The ICT permits will allow for greater intra-Europe mobility and facilitate the transfer of knowledge among EU offices of multinationals.
Additional details: The procedures for entry, stay and work of intra-corporate transferees depend on whether Cyprus is the first or second EU member state for the transferee. For short-term mobility (no more than 90 days within a 180-day period), Cyprus need not issue a permit, and the transferee may reside and work in Cyprus based on the ICT permit issued by the first member state. For long-term mobility (more than 90 days), the transferee must apply and obtain a long-term mobility permit from Cyprus.
If Cyprus is the first member state, ICT permits will be available to non-EU managers and specialists who have at least 12 months of experience in their corporate group (or at least six months for ICT trainees). Assignments in Cyprus cannot be longer than three years for managers and specialists or longer than one year for trainees. Holders of ICT permits issued in Cyprus will be eligible for stays of up to 90 days in a 180-day period in other EU member states, but host countries may require notification. Those who intend to stay more than 90 days in another EU member state may be required to apply for a long-term mobility permit in the host country.
Those holding ICT permits issued by another EU member state will be permitted to remain in Cyprus for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without applying for a new permit, although their employers will be required to notify Cypriot authorities of the assignment. The notification can be done either before the transferee enters the EU (i.e., while applying for the initial ICT permit) or after the issuance of the first ICT permit. For assignments longer than 90 days, holders of EU ICT permits will be required to apply for long-term mobility permits in Cyprus, submitted by the Cypriot host company at the central office of the Civil Registry and Migration Department either before the transferee’s arrival in Cyprus or while in Cyprus on short-term mobility.
BAL Analysis: Cyprus’s new law should make intra-Europe mobility easier for non-EU intra-corporate transfers as Cyprus has joined a growing list of countries to have implemented the EU directive.