Working in Germany with the Opportunity Card 2024

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The German Opportunity Card (Chansenkarte) is a new program to attract skilled workers from outside the European Union. This program will allow them to come to Germany for 12 months to look for work. Therefore, applicants do not need a job offer or permanent employment contract in advance. You can apply for the Opportunity Card through the German diplomatic mission in your country/embassy starting June 1, 2024. The German Opportunity Card program will be available for applications starting June 1, 2024.

The Opportunity Card is similar to the German job search visa but has more flexibility and longer validity. Applicants from all countries outside the European Union can apply for the Opportunity Card.

You must meet these basic requirements

To obtain the Opportunity Card, you only have to prove that you have completed (at least) two years of vocational training or a university degree and that you have basic knowledge of German (A1) or English (B2).

You will be required to finance your own living expenses in Germany. If you meet these basic requirements, you can use a points system to check the qualifications you need. You must achieve at least six points to be allowed to work in Germany.

1)Vocational training or university degree

Vocational Education: You must have completed at least two years of vocational training and be recognized by the state in your country.
University Degree: If you have a university degree, you can also apply.

2) Language Skills

To apply, proficiency in either English or German is required. Your German language skills should be at least at level A1 (basic, beginner level), or level B2 (advanced) in English. You can learn German or English through various online learning applications and websites such as Babbel, IELTS, TOEFL, Preply, and Goethe.

3) Proof of Funds for Living Expenses

To live in Germany, you must cover the costs of food, accommodation, and other expenses. There are two options available:

  • Option 1: Proof of Savings – You can open a blocked account in Germany with a deposit equaling €11,208. You can learn more about the procedures required to open a blocked account in Germany.
  • Option 2: Job Offer from Germany – You can secure a job in Germany, where the Opportunity Card allows you to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week. Proof of an employment contract must be provided before applying for the Opportunity Card. The minimum wage in Germany is €12.00 per hour (as of May 2023).

4) Work Experience

A minimum of two years of relevant professional experience is required. Proof of professional experience can usually be provided through a letter from your current or former employer.

5) Previous Stay in Germany

If you have stayed in Germany for more than six months in the past five years, this could increase your chances of obtaining the Opportunity Card. Note that tourist stays do not count.

6) Spouse’s Qualifications

If your spouse is also interested in obtaining the Opportunity Card, both of you can earn additional points together. The relationship can be proven with a marriage certificate, and your spouse must also meet the basic requirements for the Opportunity Card.

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Benefits of the German Opportunity Card

  • You do not need to have an employment contract before traveling!
  • Express entry to Germany.
  • Official work permit.
  • Possibility of working full time.
  • An opportunity to subsequently obtain permanent residency.
  • Part-time work is allowed and can earn up to €1,000 per month.

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