“Opportunity Card” Allows Candidates to enter Germany for Job Hunting without Visa, 2024

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The Opportunity Card is designed to make it easier for skilled workers from outside the EU to immigrate to Germany and find a job. You can apply for the Opportunity Card at the relevant German mission abroad in your country of origin (for example, at the German Embassy or German Consulate). If you are already in Germany, simply submit the application to the relevant local Foreigners’ Registration Office. Use your professional training to immigrate to Germany.

The Opportunity Card in Germany allows a period of residence of one year. An extension is possible by up to two years under certain circumstances. If you have already held the Opportunity Card but left Germany thereafter, you can apply again (after a break of at least one year). You do not have to have a job offer or an employment contract or a family relationship.

Announcement of Opportunity Card visa in Germany

Germany’s parliament has passed legislation to open up new opportunities for job seekers from countries outside the EU. This change to their immigration law is called an “opportunity card”. The German Parliament, on Friday (June 23rd 2023) announced a change in their immigration laws allowing non-EU immigrants without jobs to come to Germany and be given a year to find employment.

The German Bundestag passed this legislation to open up new opportunities for job seekers from countries outside the EU. This is designed to encourage more people from outside the European Union to come to Germany for work.

According to Interior Minister Nancy Faeser of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), “this draft law secures prosperity in Germany,” she said as she presented the government’s plan in the chamber in the morning, though she added that it would only work if the bureaucratic hurdles were dismantled during its implementation. “It’s unacceptable that you have to fill in 17 different applications to bring a new care worker into the country,” she said.

A prerequisite for receiving a card will be a vocational qualification or university degree. The cards will be awarded to those who fulfill a certain number of conditions, for which they will be awarded points. These could be German and/or English language skills, existing ties to Germany, and the potential of accompanying life partners or spouses on the German labor market. The opportunity card will also permit casual work for up to 20 hours a week while looking for a qualified job, as well as probationary employment.

Eligibility and Requirement for the Opportunity Card in Germany

Every year, quotas will be set depending on which industries need workers. To be eligible for the Opportunity Card, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a vocational qualification or university degree that is recognized in Germany.
  • You must have a good command of the German or English language (German A1 or English B2).
  • You must have enough money to support yourself for one year. You can also prove this by means of an employment contract for a part-time job (up to 20 hours per week), for example.
  • You must not have a criminal record.
  • Applicants should carry appropriate proof (employment references, certificates) with them.
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Integrating refugees

Those who are awaiting asylum approval, and got their application in by March 29, 2023, have the appropriate qualifications, and a job offer and will also be permitted to join the labor market. This would also allow them to enter vocational training.

A similar change holds for those here on a tourist visa. They will not be required to first leave the country, before returning in an employment context.

Recognition of degrees

A major obstacle to immigration has long been the requirement to have degrees recognized in Germany. In the future, skilled immigrants will no longer have to have their degrees recognized in Germany if they can show they have at least two years of professional experience and a degree that is state-recognized in their country of origin. Someone who already has a job offer can already come to Germany and start working while their degree is still being recognized.

What skilled workers does Germany really need

  • Germany’s shortage of skilled workers is most pronounced in health, social care, nursing, engineering and education. In these fields, an average of 60 per cent of roles lack suitably qualified applicants.
  • Train drivers and people who control and monitor traffic on the rails are currently being sought.
  • There is also a lack of education workers, social workers, preschool teachers.
  • The biggest hole is for elderly and nursing care workers.
  • The metal and electrical trades, there is not only a lack of skilled workers there is also a need for more experts and people with university degrees.

Benefits Working with the Opportunity Card in Germany

  • Easy, fast and legal entry to Germany.
  • Securing your livelihood with a Good Income.
  • Possibility of permanent residence in Germany.
  • Immediate work permit after successful application.
  • The Opportunity Card makes it easier for candidates to find work in Germany.
  • It enables applicants to work in Germany without a lengthy recognition procedure.

How to Apply for Opportunity Card in Germany

You can apply for the Opportunity Card at the competent German mission abroad in your country of origin. To do so, you must fill out an application and hold a valid passport. You must also have proof of your education, language skills, previous stays etc. The points-based system will take into account professional experience, age and ties to Germany.

Opportunity Card Germany Launch Date: June 1st, 2024.

It can take several weeks or months from the time you apply to the relevant Foreigners’ Registration Office or the German mission abroad in your country of origin until you are granted a residence permit in Germany with the Opportunity Card. The German authorities undertake to process the permit as quickly as possible and to check your documents as soon as possible.

Currently, most non-EU citizens need to have a job offer before they can relocate to Germany. A visa for job seekers already exists, but the ‘chancenkarte’ is expected to make it easier and faster for people looking to find work in Germany.