Germany Job Search Opportunity Card Visa

Are you interested in traveling to Germany to search for a suitable job? Do you have at least two years of professional/vocational training in a field or a university degree? If yes, here is a great opportunity for you.

Germany has introduced the Opportunity Card (Chancenkarte) to attract skilled workers from around the world. This visa allows qualified individuals to search for employment in Germany. If you are from a country outside the EU/EEA and would like to apply for a Germany Opportunity Card, read the details below. You will find key details about the Opportunity Card and how to apply.

What is the Job Search Opportunity Card?

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The Job Search Opportunity Card is part of Germany’s new Skilled Immigration Act, which aims to simplify the process for skilled workers to find jobs in Germany. It targets professionals with qualifications in high-demand sectors, such as IT, engineering, healthcare, and more.

Benefits of the Opportunity Card (chancenkarte)

  • Job Search: The visa allows you to stay in Germany for up to 12 months to search for a job.
  • Access to Opportunities: Germany’s robust job market offers numerous opportunities in various sectors.
  • Pathway to Permanent Residency: Successful employment can lead to permanent residency in Germany.

Opportunities Offered by the Opportunity Card

The Opportunity Card allows you to search for employment or start a business in Germany for up to one year. During this period, you can work part-time (up to 20 hours a week) and participate in job trials for up to two weeks per employer. These trials can help secure qualified employment, apprenticeships, or qualification programs.

Preparation Tips:

  • Start early: Prepare your applications to meet German standards.
  • Seek assistance: Utilize resources to aid your job search.

Once you secure a job or apprenticeship, you can apply for a residence permit for qualified employment, vocational training, or self-employment. If you qualify, your Opportunity Card can be extended for up to two years.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Germany Job Search Opportunity Card, applicants from countries outside EU/EEU must meet specific criteria:

  1. Qualifications: A The basic requirement is (at least) two years of vocational training or a university degree according to the rules of your country of origin recognized university degree or equivalent qualification in a high-demand field.
  2. Work Experience: Relevant work experience in the chosen field.
  3. Language Proficiency: Basic proficiency in German (A1) or proficiency in English (B2).
  4. Financial Stability: Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during the job search period.

You have two options:
Option 1: Your professional/academic qualification (obtained abroad) is fully recognized in Germany. or you obtained your university degree or professional qualification in Germany.

Option 2 :

To qualify, you need to score at least six points in the points system and meet the following criteria:

  1. Training: Successfully completed vocational or academic training recognized by the issuing country.
    • Vocational Training: Must have included at least two years of training.
    • Qualification Validation: Obtain a positive result for this qualification from the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB), which can be applied for online.
  2. Language proficiency:
    • German language skills of at least level A1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
    • English language skills of at least level B2 (CEFR)

Living Expense coverage: For both Option 1 and Option 2, you must prove sufficient financial resources to support your job search in Germany. This can be done by:

  1. Blocked Bank Account: A minimum balance of €1,027 net per month (as of 2024).
  2. Declaration of Commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung): A formal guarantee from a person in Germany to support you financially during your stay. This declaration can be submitted to a Foreigners Authority in Germany, and in some cities like Offenbach am Main and Wiesbaden, it can be done online.

How Does the Points System for Opportunity Cards Work?

The points system is applicable if you can’t prove a fully recognized German or foreign qualification. You must still show formal qualifications and language skills. Points are awarded based on the following criteria:

  • Qualification Equivalence: 4 points for partial recognition of your document in Germany.
  • Shortage Occupation: 1 point if your qualification is in a high-demand field.
  • Professional Experience: 2 points for 2+ years within the last 5 years; 3 points for 5+ years within the last 7 years.
  • Language Skills: 1 point for A2 German, 2 for B1, 3 for B2 or higher; 1 additional point for C1 English or native fluency.
  • Age: 2 points if under 35, 1 point for ages 35-40.
  • Previous Stays in Germany: 1 point for 6+ months within the last 5 years.
  • Spouse’s Qualifications: 1 point if your spouse also qualifies for an opportunity card.

This system ensures applicants meet the necessary criteria for the Opportunity Card visa.

Application Process

To apply for Germany Opportunity card, you should follow the following steps:.

  1. Read the program details and eligibility and ensure you meet the criteria
  2. Prepare Documents: Gather all necessary documents, including proof of qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, and financial stability.
  3. If you have not applied for recognition of your qualification, you can apply HERE
  4. Online Application: Complete the online application form available on the official Germany’s Digital Diplo Portal.
  5. Submit Application: Submit your application along with the required documents.
  6. Await Decision: The processing time varies, but applicants will be notified of the decision via email.

Note: Online application for Applicants from Afghanistan and other countries is not open. Applicants can apply for their visa locally at their German mission.

Read the full guide on how to prepare to Enter Germany for Job Search Opportunity HERE

Conclusion

The Opportunity Card is an excellent initiative for skilled professionals seeking to work in Germany. By meeting the eligibility criteria and following the application process, you can take advantage of the numerous job opportunities available in Germany.

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