May 8, 2024

Greece's Immigration Policy Shift and its Impact on EU Blue Card and ICT Permit


Greece has relaxed certain criteria for foreign nationals seeking to apply for the EU Blue Card, while simultaneously introducing a “pre-screening” step for those applying for an EU ICT Permit. The effect of this is likely to lead to the EU Blue Card becoming a preferable immigration route, whereas the EU ICT may lose popularity. 


What has changed?

EU Blue Card: 
From 8th March, foreign nationals already in Greece on a short stay visa C or visa-exempt status have become eligible to apply for the EU Blue Card. Prior to this, only those holding a long-term visa D could apply for the EU Blue Card. Furthermore, they can also hold an employment contract with only a six-month duration (as opposed to nine months previously).

EU ICT Permit:
The Greek Ministry of Immigration has introduced a new step to the application process for an EU ICT. Applicants will be required to complete a “pre-screening” prior to their application being processed by the relevant Greek consulate. It is estimated that this step will add a further 40 days to the overall processing time by the Greek authorities. 

What to expect/impact

The relaxation of the Greek EU Blue Card eligibility requirements has been implemented to further align with the European Councils’ revised EU Blue Card directives. Coupled with the additional burden of the new “pre-screening” step of the EU ICT permit application process, it also supports efforts to promote local hires in Greece over intercompany transfers.

What you need to do

For further information on Greek immigration, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at


Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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