Opportunity Card in Germany

What is “Chancenkarte” or Opportunity Card in Germany?

The Opportunity Card (Chancenkarte) is a new visa that enables citizens from outside Germany to come to Germany and search for employment without a job contract. Qualified professionals can enter Germany based on a 6-point system based on professional experience, language skills, and qualifications.

Opportunity Card in Germany

Why is the Opportunity Card in Germany a good option for Indian students?

An Opportunity Card has the following benefits:

Fast Entry into Germany: Application for the Opportunity Card does not require a permanent job contract in Germany. Your existing qualifications, language skills or past work experience are sufficient to apply.

Chance of Permanent Residence: The Opportunity Card entitles you to a residence permit for one year with the primary objective of finding a job.

Good Income: The Opportunity Card allows you to work part-time for 20 hours a week, with a minimum wage or above (currently 12.00 euros gross per hour). This enables you to earn above 1000 euros per month.

Guaranteed Work Permit: An Opportunity Cardholder can come to Germany to look for a job if he is not a recognized skilled worker. Once he finds a job, he can apply for a Work Permit in Germany.

opportunity card in germany

Possibility for Full-time Work: An Opportunity Cardholder can apply for a two-week trial work (unlimited number of times) or work part-time up to 20 hours a week. Once he finds a job, he qualifies for a part-time or a full-time job.

Extension of Stay: Candidates holding the Opportunity Card are allowed to stay in Germany for one year. It is possible to extend your stay with the Opportunity Card by up to two additional years (if the person has an employment contract or a binding job offer for a qualified job in Germany and the German authorities have approved it).

Accompanying Spouse: The spouse can accompany if eligible.

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What is the Process for Applying for an Opportunity Card or “Chancenkarte”?

The process of applying for an Opportunity Card is divided into the following steps:

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Assessment of your Profile for Eligibility.

Selecting your desired Field of Profession & Federal State.

Language Training & Examination.

Applying for Jobs.

Attending Job Interviews.

Visa Application & Interview.

Certificate of Recognition through Recognition Partnership after receiving Job Confirmation (from Germany).

What are the Prerequisites for applying for an Opportunity Card or “Chancenkarte”?

There are certain prerequisites that you must fulfill to apply for an Opportunity Card:

At least two years of vocational training or a university degree is required.

Sufficient knowledge of German (A1) or English (B2) required.

You must also have sufficient financial means. Proof of this can be in the form of an employment contract for a part-time job (up to 20 hours per week).

Based on a 6-point system.

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How are points on the 6-Point System awarded?

For the application you require the following documents:

Four points are awarded for partial recognition of a foreign professional qualification or for permission to practice a regulated profession.

Three points are awarded for five years of professional experience (in the last seven years) in the learned profession as well as a preceding two years of professional training according to the rules of the country of origin. Alternatively, you receive three points for good German language skills at level B2.

Two points are awarded for two years of professional experience preceded by vocational training (in the last five years). If you are not older than 35, you also get two points. German language skills at level B1 are also awarded two points.

One point is awarded to applicants who are not over 40 years old and for a previous stay in Germany (at least six months). Previous stays as a tourist do not count.

One point is also awarded for very good knowledge of English (C1), and reasonable knowledge of German (A2) if you had your vocational training/university degree in an area of official labor shortage in Germany, or if you apply for the Opportunity Card together with your spouse. 

What is the Visa Application Process for Opportunity Card or “Chancenkarte”?

The visa application process for an Opportunity Card for Germany involves the following steps:

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Gather the Required Documents.

Fill out the Application Form.

Submit the Application.

Wait for Processing.

Receive the Opportunity Card

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WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR AN OPPORTUNITY CARD?

For the application you require the following documents:

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Valid Passport issued within the last 10 years with at least 2 empty pages and with at least 6 months of validity on arrival to Germany.

Application & Declaration Forms (in accordance with Section 54 of the Residence Act) duly signed (2 copies).

2 Current, Identical Biometric Passport Photos.

Proof of Accommodation in Germany – must include complete actual address.

Proof of Vocational or Academic Training (for example University Degree, Diploma) and (if applicable) Prior Work Experience.

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Proof of Acknowledgment of your Qualification for Germany.

Option 1:

Academic Degree: Anabin database printouts listing both your degree and the awarding institution OR “Statement of Comparability” by Anabin.

Vocational Training: Proof of recognition of your training.

Option 2:

Proof of

Completed vocational training of at least 2 years duration that is recognized by the state in which you obtained it.

OR

A completed university degree that is recognized by the state in which you obtained it.

With confirmation from the German Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) obtained through the website https://zab.kmk.org/en/dab AND

Proof of knowledge of German on level A1 from Goethe Institute or ÖSD O.

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Notification of partial recognition of vocational qualification.

Proof of German skills on levels A2, B1, B2, C1 from Goethe Institute or ÖSD.

Proof of English skills on level C1, certificate with ALTE Q-mark.

Proof of work experience in connection with the qualification.

Proof of at least 6 months of continuous legal stay in Germany in the last 5 years.

Duly signed motivational letter/statement of purpose that must contain the following information:

What type of work or job do you intend to do in Germany.

If and since when are you learning German.

If you have already applied for jobs (at which company) or have already been invited to job interviews.

Why do you intend to move to Germany and not another EU country Please attach proof of job applications or invitations to job interviews.

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Proof of personal status in India birth certificate of applicant, Aadhar card (with English translation) if applicable.

Curriculum Vitae.

If 45 years or older or turning 45 while in Germany: duly signed declaration in regard to provisions for retirement.

Proof of health insurance for the duration of your stay.

Proof of Sufficient Financial Means to cover the costs for the time of your stay by one of the following documents:

Proof of a “Sperrkonto” (blocked account) in Germany with sufficient funds currently amounting to at least 1,027 EUR/month plus sufficient funds for the return flight.

OR

“Verpflichtungserklärung” (formal obligation letter) by a Sponsor living in Germany.

OR

Statements of a current bank account etc.

How do you get your Certificates Recognized?

Recognition or partial recognition gives you better opportunities for a job in Germany and increases your score, which will be important for your application. You must produce a vocational training certificate, a passport, a CV, and other documents, either in German or English.

Foreign skilled workers from non-EU countries can enter Germany with a recognition partnership to work here. This does not require prior recognition of your professional qualifications. They can be officially recognized through a written contract between the employer and the applicant after entering the country.

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Do you have any questions?

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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When can I apply for the Opportunity Card?

You can apply for the Opportunity Card from 01 June 2024.

What are Regulated and Unregulated Professions?

Regulated Professionals or skilled workers are those with professional training and those with academic degrees (plumber, electrician, carpenter, etc.). Regulated Professionals mean that Germans and non-Germans are only allowed to work in these professions if they have obtained a very specific qualification. This applies, for example, to nurses, doctors, teachers and lawyers. It also applies to certain master craftsmen and craftswomen, if they work as self-employed entrepreneurs. 

What does it mean that my vocational training must be state-recognized?

For a recognition partnership or to receive the Opportunity Card, you must prove that your vocational qualification is recognized by the state. Certificates can either be based on vocational training (of at least two years) or a university degree.

As an Opportunity Card holder, can I also work in other EU countries?

No, the Opportunity Card is limited to Germany and does not automatically entitle you to work in other EU countries. If you also want to work in other EU countries, you must apply for a separate work permit and residence permit there.

Can you study in Germany with the Opportunity Card?

The Opportunity Card allows you to work in Germany but not to take up studies. If you want to study in Germany, you must apply and be accepted for a degree program.

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