What is the change? The salary threshold for EU Blue Card holders will increase beginning Jan. 1.

What does the change mean? The minimum gross annual salary for non-shortage occupations will increase to €49,600 (from €48,400 in 2015). For shortage occupations, the minimum salary will increase to €38,688 (from €37,752 in 2015).

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: EU Blue Cards.
  • Who is affected: German companies sponsoring non-EU foreign nationals.
  • Business impact: The higher salary thresholds will impact labor costs.
  • Next steps: New and renewal applications for EU Blue Cards starting Jan. 1 or later must meet the new salary levels.

Background: EU Blue Card salaries are indexed annually. For non-shortage occupations, employers who meet the minimum level of income are not required to obtain approval of the Federal Employment Agency for issuance of EU Blue Cards. In shortage occupations, Blue Card applicants usually require approval of the agency, except when the foreign employee holds a German university degree. Shortage occupations include information and communications specialists, engineers, medical doctors and mathematicians.

BAL Analysis: The new salary levels represent a nearly 2.5 percent increase over this year’s thresholds that employers should factor into their 2016 budgets.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Germany. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact