close

How to find a job in Germany with the new Chancenkarte visa

How to find a job in Germany with the new Chancenkarte visa

On June 1, 2024, Germany will launch its new Chancenkarte visa system, allowing non-EU migrants without a job sponsor to move to the federal republic and look for work. Here’s what you need to know about the new scheme and how to find long-term work in Germany using the Chancenkarte.

What is the German Chancenkarte (Opportunity Card)?

Moving to Germany as a non-EU citizen is about to get easier. On June 1, the German government will introduce the second phase of its new skilled worker immigration law, which includes the points-based Chancenkarte (Opportunity Card).

The new Chancenkarte visa will allow people from non-EU countries to move to Germany for one year and carry out part-time work while they look for long-term employment or vocational training. Previously, most non-EU citizens had to have a concrete, full-time job offer in Germany before they could move to the country.

What are the basic requirements for getting a Chancenkarte?

While Germany faces a record-high worker shortage in almost every industry, the Chancenkarte only benefits “skilled” foreign workers. This is because you must possess the following basic skills and qualifications to be eligible:

  • German language skills at A1 or English language skills at B2 
  • Completed university degree or two years of officially recognised vocational training
  • Proof that you are financially secure (further details below)
  • Acquisition of at least six Chancenkarte points

How are Chancenkarte points awarded?

If you meet all of the above-mentioned requirements, it could be worth applying for a Chancenkarte. However, since the system is points-based, you also need to collect a total of six points, based on your more personalised experience and qualifications, to be eligible. These points are distributed as follows:

Four points: 

  • Applicants receive four points if they have a partially recognised foreign professional qualification which they can have recognised in Germany.
  • Alternatively, four points for an already recognised qualification which allows them to practice regulated professions in Germany, e.g. teaching, nursing or engineering.

Three points:

  • Applicants will receive three points if they have at two years of professional training followed by at least five years of professional experience (in the past seven years).
  • Applicants can also receive three points if they can demonstrate German language skills at a B2 level.

Two points: 

  • Applicants will receive two points if they have two years of vocational training followed by at least two years of professional experience in the last five years.
  • Two points are also awarded to those under the age of 35 at the time of submitting the application.
  • Another two are awarded if they can demonstrate German skills at a B1 level.

One point:

  • One point is awarded to applicants between the ages of 35 and 40.
  • One point is awarded for a previous stay in Germany which was six months or longer, for which proof must be provided. Long tourist visits to Germany do not count.
  • Applicants will receive one point for fluency in English (C1 level) and / or German skills at A2 level.
  • Applicants with qualifications in an industry where the worker shortage in Germany is particularly acute (e.g. childcare, elderly care and nursing) will also get one point.
  • Those who submit applications in tandem with a spouse will get one point.

Points for each category e.g. language skills or work experience do not endlessly accumulate. For example, if you have B2 level German skills you will receive three points, but not additional points for the lower language levels that you have also completed to get to B2.

How much money do I have to have to apply for a Chancenkarte?

As listed among the basic requirements, Chancenkarte applicants must prove their financial stability. This can be done by submitting a full-time or part-time work contract from your current country of residence. For example, a childcare professional living in Argentina could submit their Argentinian work contract as proof of livelihood.

However, you will also have to prove that you can financially support yourself once you arrive in Germany. It is possible to use a savings bank statement to prove this.

While assessments will be made on a case-by-case basis, as of January 2023, the amount that new arrivals will need to have in a blocked bank account to prove livelihood is 12.324 euros per person.

Part-time work offers via the Chancenkarte job board

If you cannot provide proof of savings in a blocked bank account, you can consider getting a part-time job in Germany before applying for a Chancenkarte.

This is possible via the new Chancenkarte online job board, where prospective applicants can find jobs which meet the work restrictions of a Chancenkarte holder.

These jobs can be anything from working in a bakery to administrative office work. Based on the 2024 German minimum wage, these maximum 20-hour-per-week jobs could earn you a minimum of 992,80 euros per month before tax.

However, after paying rent, health insurance, food and utility bills, 992,80 euros before tax per month is not enough to live in Germany, so if you plan to show proof of a minimum wage job offer as part of your application you will still need some savings to get by for the year. That said, not all jobs on the platform will be minimum-wage jobs.

Prospective applicants can sign up to the Chancenkarte job board newsletter for more information.

How to apply for a German Opportunity Card

If you meet all of the basic requirements and receive at least six points via the points system, you can apply for a Chancenkarte via the German embassy or consulate in your current country of residence.

If you are already residing in Germany on a different kind of valid residence permit or visa, you can apply for a Chancenkarte via the Foreigners’ Office (Ausländerbehörde). Applicants already residing in Germany are required to meet the same basic and points-based requirements as those applying from outside the federal republic.

After you have submitted your Chancenkarte application you can expect to receive a response after several weeks or months.

Finding long-term work in Germany with the Chancenkarte

If you have had your Chancenkarte application approved and found part-time work, you can now think about finding longer-term work in Germany.

Alongside 20 hours of work per week, you can carry out an unlimited number of two-week-long trial jobs during your year-long stay in Germany. The German government hopes that this is how people will be able to find longer-term positions and remain in the country.

If you reach the end of your Chancenkarte year and you have still not found a long-term position, it is also possible to extend the visa by another one or two years. If you do find longer-term employment, you will be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit.

Thumb image credit: Gorgev / Shutterstock.com

Olivia Logan

Author

Olivia Logan

JOIN THE CONVERSATION (0)

COMMENTS

Leave a comment