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Top 5 Facts of Germany's New Work Visa

Published on : January 20, 2023


Over 1.70 million job positions lie vacant in the German labour market. High demand for skilled workers across sectors and industries. The shortage of skilled workers has gone up to an all-time high. 

Recently, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that modernizing the Germany visa process could mean “turning it upside down”. She was speaking at a press conference at the Federal Office for Foreign Affairs (BfAA) on January 17, 2023. 

Together with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Foreign Minister talked about improving the efficiency and digitization of the German immigration system. 

A reform of the legislation related to German immigration will make it easier for non-EU third country nationals to work overseas in Germany. The country plans on attracting skilled foreign workers from outside the European Union. 

How will Germany attract non-EU skilled workers? 

Germany seeks to deal with the shortage of skilled workers with a new Chancenkarte, literally the “opportunity card”, that was first announced in September 2022. While still in the development phase, the Bill was approved at the end of November 2022. 

The new points-based German immigration system will make it easier for non-EU foreigners to come to the country for employment. 

A job offer in Germany will not be required. The Chancenkarte of Germany is aimed at skilled foreign workers that do not have a work contract in Germany. 

What is the Opportunity Card of Germany?

Towards the end of 2023, Germany will launch a new-points based immigration system to attract more international talent to the country. The new Germany immigration pathway will be in addition to the existing immigration options available. 

The Germany points-based opportunity card - Chancenkarte - is for skilled foreign workers that want to migrate to Germany but are unable to find a job in Germany from abroad. Such international professionals can come to Germany and look for a job for up to 1 year. No requirement of getting a job contract. 

Chancenkarte differs from the Germany Job Seeker in 2 main aspects. While the Chancenkarte allows stay of up to 1 year, Germany JSV is only for 6 months. Moreover, a job seeker visa for Germany only lets you look for a job. You can’t work in Germany on a Job Seeker Visa. However, the Opportunity Card allows you to work part-time or even take up short positions on a trial basis. 

What is the new Germany points-based system?

The points-based system will take into account factors such as - 

  • Educational qualifications
  • Professional work experience
  • Language skills

There will be an annual quota - to be set each year - depending on which industries in Germany need workers. 

There are 4 criteria to be granted a Chancenkarte. Of these, 3 out of 4 must be met to apply. You must - 

  1. Have a degree or vocational training recognized by Germany
  2. Have 3 years’ professional experience 
  3. Be able to demonstrate proficiency in the Germany language OR previous residence in Germany
  4. Be less than 35 years of age 

How will it get easier for foreign workers to work in Germany?

As of now, most non-EU nationals must first secure a job offer in Germany before they can come to the country to work. While a Germany Job Seeker visa is available, the proposed Germany Opportunity Card will make it easier and faster for third country workers to find employment in Germany. 

Chancenkarte is expected to be open for applications by the end of 2023. 

In 2022, around 25,000 Germany visa applications for highly-skilled workers and their dependents were processed at the BfAA. The number is projected to go up to 100,000 per year by 2024 following an increase in staff.

For more details on how to work in Germany, get in touch today. 

Free consultation available. 

Is Chancenkarte Germany’s version of US Green Card?

Both US Green Card and Chancenkarte will have annual quotes. Nevertheless, the selection criteria for the German system will be different.

Moreover, you can enter the US directly with a Green Card, such as in the case of an alien relative. With an opportunity card, you will first have to come to Germany in search of a job. You will have to leave Germany if you don’t find a job within the allotted 1 year. 

Similar to the US Green Card, you can apply for a permanent stay in Germany and even German citizenship after a few years. 


Topics: Work, Germany




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