Opportunity card for Germany – Everything you should know

The German government recently announced the term “Chancenkarte” which basically means – Opportunity card.

This is a great initiative by the government of Germany to bring in skilled labor to fill the ever-increasing demand for skilled workforce in Germany.

According to a recent survey, Germany is lacking approximately 400,000 skilled laborers every year.

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The opportunity card could come as a savior that can bridge the gap of demand and supply of the skilled workforce in Germany.

What is an Opportunity card?

An opportunity card is a new regulated way of attracting skilled workers from non-EU countries to Germany.

Back in September 2022, The German government announced the plan to launch a new way of attracting international talents to Germany and coined the term Opportunity card (Chancenkarte).

When can you start applying?

The opportunity card is a new type of visa that is yet to be implemented.

You can expect to have this publicly available by late 2023.

Eligibility criteria for an opportunity card

To be eligible for the opportunity card in Germany, you must satisfy the following conditions:

  1. Age: You should be under 35 years.
  2. Qualifications: A university degree or professionally qualified.
  3. Experience: You should hold at least 3 years of work experience.
  4. Language: Either German language or previous residency in Germany is required.

Atleast 3 of the 4 conditions should be met in order to be eligible for the opportunity card.

The more conditions you satisfy, the better chances you have.

Also, as this new type of visa is yet to be implemented, there is no full clarity around the exact eligibility criteria and how the points will be calculated.

Benefits of opportunity card for Germany

The opportunity card will definitely help Germany in attracting skilled foreign labour.

Companies in Germany usually prefer candidates who are already residing in Germany or at least in the European Union.

With the implementation of the opportunity card, talented professionals who are willing to work in Germany can move to Germany even without having an offer in hand.

This is similar to what the existing Jobseeker visa offers. Read further to understand the exact difference between the opportunity card and the jobseeker visa.

Drawbacks of the German opportunity card

Some of the shortcomings of the opportunity card are:

  1. There will be an upper limit on how many opportunity cards will be allocated in a year. It basically means that there will be more applicants and less number of visas available each year under this category.
  2. Not everyone is eligible for a visa under this scheme. You will be eligible only if you meet certain eligibility criteria as listed previously.
  3. It might lead to additional verifications and bureaucracy leading to longer wait times for visa approval.
  4. If you are an IT professional, you can usually get an English-speaking job in Germany. But, the eligibility criteria of the opportunity card will force you to learn German even if you might not need German proficiency in your job.
  5. The age limit of 35 years is also a bit harsh criteria in my opinion.

Do you have further questions?

Join our community of job seekers and experts from Germany. You can ask your doubts and get expert advice on topics related to getting a job in Germany and several other related topics.

Opportunity card v/s Employment visa

Let’s see how an opportunity card differs from an employment visa for Germany.

Opportunity cardEmployment visa
This is a type of visa that is yet to be implemented.The employment visa is an already existing type of visa.
An opportunity card is similar to a JobSeeker visa that you apply for when you do not have a job offer from Germany.The employment visa is applied when you already have a job offer/contract from Germany.
You must satisfy the eligibility criteria to apply for the opportunity card.To apply for the employment visa, you just need to have a job offer from Germany and a valid degree certificate recognized by Germany.
There is a limit to how many opportunity cards will be allotted each year.There is theoretically no limit on the number of employment visas that can be allotted each year.
Knowledge of the German language will improve your chances of getting this visa.German language proficiency is not required to get an employment visa.

On a high level, an Employment visa is applied when you already have a job offer from Germany, and the opportunity card visa is applied when you want to go to Germany and search for a job.

Opportunity card v/s Blue card

Blue card is an already existing visa type that is given to highly qualified professionals who earn a minimum salary in Europe. Below are the major differences b/w an opportunity card and a blue card:

Opportunity cardBlue card
This visa type will apply when you wish to travel to Germany and search for a job there.A Blue card is a type of visa/residence permit that you get only after you secure a job in Germany / Europe.
Opportunity card is valid only within Germany.A Blue card is valid throughout Europe.
The opportunity card is applied when you are still in your home country. E.g: IndiaAn actual blue card is applied once you are in Germany on your Employment visa.
There is no requirement for a minimum salary to apply for this visa.Blue card comes with a minimum salary requirement.
Prior stay in Germany or the knowledge of the German language will help in getting this visa.Prior stay in Germany or knowledge of the German language is usually not required for the Blue card application.

Opportunity card v/s Jobseeker visa

Both opportunity card and the jobseeker visa gives you the ability to travel to Germany without a job offer. Below are some of the major differences between the two types of visa:

Opportunity cardJobseeker visa
This is yet to be implemented.Jobseeker visa is an existing type of visa.
German language proficiency is needed to apply for this visa.German language proficiency is not required for this visa.
There is no clarity around the duration of the opportunity card visa.A jobseeker visa gives you a 6 months time to search for a job in Germany.
An opportunity card can be granted to degree holders and professionals with a minimum 3 years of experience.A jobseeker visa is usually granted to highly skilled professionals with a work experience of 5 years or more.
There is an age limit of 35 years to apply for the opportunity card.There is theoretically no age restriction to apply for a jobseeker visa.
You don’t have to show positive responses from employers before applying for this visa.You need to show positive responses from employers in Germany while applying for a JSV.
There is no clarity around the bank balance requirement to apply for this visa.You need to maintain an average balance of at least USD 7500 in your bank account.
There will be a limit of how many opportunity cards are allotted each year.There is no official information about how many jobseeker visa can be allotted each year.
The opportunity card might allow the card holders to work and earn a side income until they get a full time job contract.The jobseeker visa doesn’t allow the visa holder to work part-time.

Conclusion

I personally feel that the opportunity card is a great initiative by the German government.

We definitely need more clarity around the eligibility criteria and how to apply for this visa to comment further on this whole topic.

Once we have the clarity and the process in place, we will have a better idea about the benefits of this new type of visa.

In general, it is a good news for all those who are willing to migrate to Germany and work in the largest economy of Europe.

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The more options we have, the better are the chances of getting accepted for one or the other type of visa.

So, let’s wait and watch how this bill goes through the various stages of approval and when it becomes available to millions of talented jobseekers out there.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.


6 thoughts on “Opportunity card for Germany – Everything you should know”

  1. Dear Anoop , I really appreciate your efforts your giving lot of information to whome are planning to Germany( i am the one ) . Good information Anoop .

    Reply
  2. I’m from India but I’m living in Malta
    I’m interested in Opportunity card in Germany how to apply in this card

    Reply
    • Hi Mit

      The Opportunity card is yet to be implemented by the German government. Expect the new visa type to be available by end of next year (2023).

      Thanks!

      Reply

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