From experience in Ireland, I contend that Europe's scientific visa and the EURAXESS services can solve most of the problems regarding entry of foreign scientists into European research institutions and companies (Nature 488, 557; 2012). Fast-track immigration is an important consideration for internationally mobile scientists and helps to attract the best global talent to Europe.
Ireland, like the United Kingdom and Denmark, was not obliged to introduce the scientific visa under the 2005 European Union (EU) directive, but it was recognized that the visa would help to attract non-EU researchers to the country. The scheme, which offers a free and fast service, has been successfully operating in Ireland since 2007 and is open to universities and companies.
Visas are issued rapidly and work permits are not required. Researchers' families can accompany them immediately and use public schooling. Family members have access to the job market and can stay on to look for a job after the contract ends.
More than 200 EURAXESS offices in 40 European countries, including Ireland, help foreign researchers to move across Europe by providing practical information. The EURAXESS portal (http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess) is a free advertising forum for EU research positions.