A guideline from the European Commission dating back to 2009 stipulates that skilled workers from non-EU nations should have similar regulations with respect to their residence status in Europe as foreign worker’s status in the US. The EU Blue Card, the equivalent of the Green card in the U.S., is a residence permit issued by an EU member state in accordance with the new EU guidelines for highly qualified workers from non-EU nations.

On August 1, 2012 the law implementing the EU’s Blue Card Directive entered into force in Germany. The new law will especially streamline visa application and right of residence procedures for skilled professionals from abroad.

The new legal situation specifically benefits professionals planning to engage in work in Germany. They will gain easier access to the labor market if they can produce a binding job offer with a gross annual salary of at least 44,800 Euros. For skilled workers in the fields of mathematics, IT, natural sciences and engineering as well as for doctors, the threshold is set at just under 35,000 euros.