The German Green Card is a specific residence and work permit for IT specialists that was effective between 2000 and 2004. The German Green Card was introduced in order to reduce the shortage of IT specialists in Germany. Unlike the US-American original, the German Green Card was limited to five years. Only on-EU nationals who possessed a relevant university degree as well as a job offer with a minimum salary of 50,000 € were eligible to apply for the German Green Card. The applications were processed particularly fast and the Green Card owners were entitled to bring their families to Germany with them.