Chancenkarte visa scheme is “too complicated” to succeed, say researchers

Chancenkarte visa scheme is “too complicated” to succeed, say researchers

Immigration policy researchers in Germany have called the government’s new, points-based Chancenkarte visa scheme “too complicated” to entice overseas workers effectively.

Experts sceptical about new German visa scheme

Introduced as part of the second pillar of a new “skilled worker” immigration law, which hopes to entice non-EU workers to the German job market amid a record-high labour shortage, researchers at the German Institute for Job Markets and Career Research (IAB) and TU Dresden fear that the points-based visa scheme is too limited to be effective.

The coalition government launched the Chancenkarte (Opportunity Card) on June 1, allowing 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 before moving to the country.

However, speaking to Rheinische Post, IAB expert Herbert Brücker said he predicts the outcome of the Chancenkarte to be “negligible” because applicants have to jump through so many hoops to get a card in the first place, and that’s before they can even start looking for work. 

To be eligible, Chancenkarte applicants must also prove their financial stability; that they can be financially independent while working only 20 hours per week in Germany for the year their visa is valid. Critics have also pointed out how this requirement further limits the pool of people who can afford to take advantage of the new visa.

Instead, Brückner predicts that many job seekers will continue their search for work in Germany via remote video call interviews or while they are in the country on a tourist visa.

Does the Chancenkarte policy lack guts? 

Researchers at TU Dresden believe the Chancenkarte could be useful, but believe that the visa’s detailed points system, which requires prospective applicants to meet three requirements and gather a minimum of six points to be eligible for a card, is overly complicated and restrictive.

The visa will make it easier for "skilled workers" to have their qualifications recognised in Germany, but chair of TU Dresden’s Expert Council on Migration and Integration Hans Vorländer, thinks this limitation is naive to the extent of Germany’s worker shortage. “We don't just need skilled workers right now, we need labour in general,” Vorländer told Rheinische Post.

The German government needs “more courage to simplify” the system said Vorländer, “Current German immigration policy is so complicated that only very few understand it.”

Thumb image credit: Oleksii Synelnykov /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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