To obtain the EU Blue Card, you must be able to prove that you are employed and earning the minimum salary. This minimum salary is determined in relation to the contribution assessment ceiling (Beitragsbemessungsgrenze). This ceiling is the highest amount of your pay and earned income which is taken into account to calculate your social security contributions. The minimum salary for international qualified professionals is generally two-thirds of the annual contribution assessment ceiling for general pension insurance. For occupations in which there is a severe shortage of qualified workers in Germany, the salary threshold has been lowered to 52 per cent of the contribution assessment ceiling.