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This European country is launching a new job seekers work permit

The ‘opportunity card’ allows people to job hunt in the country for up to a year – here’s what we know about applying

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

The list of digital nomad visas keeps on growing, but those visas are only valid for people keeping their job in their home country. What about people seeking new opportunities?

Well, if that applies to you, you might want to turn your eyes to Germany. The country is about to launch a Chancenkarte – or an ‘opportunity card’ – to encourage more young, skilled workers to come and fill shortages in its workforce. 

Germany needs around 400,000 new skilled employees per year to fill gaps in various industries – engineering, IT and healthcare in particular – and there are hopes this opportunity card, which launches on June 1 and functions like a temporary visa, will attract more non-EU workers. 

Cardholders will be able to take on part-time jobs and work up to 20 hours per week, or undertake up to two weeks of trial work experiences. If they want to transition to a full-time job, they can apply for longer-term residency. Sounds decent, right?

There are some requirements, of course. Applicants must be competent in speaking either English or German, must have at least two years vocational training or a university degree relevant to their desired role and must prove they have the funds or salary to cover their stay – just over €12,000 (£10,212, €13,003). 

Each person must also accrue at least seven ‘points’. These points are based on different criteria – for example, you’d get one point for being under the age of 40 or for being trained in a career where there’s a shortage of staff, and you’d get two for being under the age of 35 and holding a B1 certificate in German.

Five years of professional experience in your field within the last seven years would earn you three points, and holding a professional qualification recognised in Germany or having permission to practise a regulated role like an engineer, teacher or nurse would earn you four. 

So, if you’re considering relocating, are not an EU citizen and fancy a life in Germany, this might be for you. Apply for the opportunity card at your home country’s German Consulate or alternatively at the local Foreigners’ Registration Office in Germany. 

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