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What is the Chancenkarte (Opportunity Card)?

Updated: Jun 1

The Chancenkarte, or Opportunity Card, is a visa initiative introduced by the German government to attract skilled professionals globally. This program provides international talent with:

- A residence permit in Germany for up to one year.

- A work visa allowing legal employment while searching for a job.

- The chance to establish a career in Germany by securing a job within that year.

Chancenkarte for Skilled Workers

To qualify as a "skilled worker" under Section 18, Paragraph 3 of the Residence Act, you must:

- Demonstrate that your foreign qualifications or university degrees are recognised in Germany.

Chancenkarte for Non-Skilled Workers

For non-skilled workers, the requirements include:

- Basic German (A1 CEFR) or English (B2 CEFR) language proficiency.

- Earning at least six points in the points system.

- Meeting one of the following criteria:

- Possessing a foreign university degree.

- Holding a professional qualification obtained after at least two years of training, recognized in your home country.

- Having a professional qualification issued by a German Chamber of Commerce Abroad.

How Does the Points System for the Opportunity Card Work?

The points system applies if you cannot prove a German educational qualification or full recognition of your foreign qualification. For the opportunity card visa application, you must present a formal qualification and the necessary language

skills. Points are awarded based on several criteria:

- Equivalence of the Qualification: If you've applied for recognition of your foreign qualification and partial equivalence has been determined, you receive four points. This also applies if compensatory measures are required for professional practice in a regulated profession.

- Qualification in a Shortage Profession: If your qualification is in a shortage profession, you receive one point. A list of shortage occupations is available for reference.

- Professional Experience: Points are awarded for professional experience related to your qualification. Two points for at least two years of experience in the last five years, and three points for at least five years in the last seven years.

- Language Skills: Knowledge of German beyond A1 level earns points. A2 level German earns one point, B1 level earns two points, and B2 or higher earns three points. Additionally, English skills at least at C1 level or being a native speaker earns an extra point.

- Age: Points are awarded based on age. Two points if you are 35 years old or younger, and one point if you are between 35 and 40 years old.

- Previous Stay in Germany: If you've legally lived in Germany for at least six months within the last five years, you receive one point. This includes stays for study, language courses, or employment but excludes purely tourist visits. Proof can be provided via old passports, visas, and entry stamps.

- Spouse/Partner Potential: If your spouse or partner also qualifies for the opportunity card and you plan to immigrate together, you receive one point. Your partner can also complete the self-check for the chance card.

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