Opportunity Card: Residence Permit for Employment Seekers in Germany

11 January, 2024

Germany is facing a critical shortage of skilled workers, driven by demographic changes and the retirement of the baby boomer generation. This scarcity, affecting nearly all occupational groups, poses a challenge to economic recovery, with 72.7% of surveyed companies reporting skilled worker shortages in Past years . To address this issue and enhance Germany’s attractiveness to foreign talent, the government passed the German Act on the Further Development of the Skilled Workers Immigration Act on June 23, 2023, introducing a new residence title known as the “Opportunity Card.


What is the “Opportunity Card”?

According to the legal definition, the “Opportunity Card” is a residence permit designed for individuals seeking gainful employment qualifications or undergoing measures for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications.

The introduction of the Opportunity Card aims to significantly streamline the immigration process for employment purposes. It operates on a points-based system, promoted by the German Federal Government as transparent and free from unnecessary bureaucracy. The Opportunity Card allows individuals to enter Germany for job hunting, providing the flexibility of trial work and secondary employment during the search. Once a permanent position is secured, the holder can obtain a corresponding residence permit.

Acquiring the Opportunity Card: Requirements to Fulfill

The Opportunity Card can be granted to foreign skilled workers or, alternatively, to applicants accumulating at least 6 points based on the points system.

  1.  Livelihood Security: Ensuring secure means of subsistence is a mandatory requirement. This involves demonstrating financial capability without relying on public funds. The decision is based on a forecast of available funds for the intended validity period, typically up to one year for the Opportunity Card.
  2. Classification as a Skilled Worker:  Skilled workers, defined as those with qualifications equivalent to domestic professional training or a comparable university degree, are eligible for the Opportunity Card without the need for points.
  3. Points System: Non-skilled workers can accrue points through criteria such as language skills and work experience. A minimum of 6 points is required to apply for the Opportunity Card. Points are awarded for factors like recognized professional qualifications, language proficiency, professional experience, and age.

Skilled Workers Immigration Act: Further Innovations

In addition to the Opportunity Card, the Skilled Workers Immigration Act introduces further measures to ease labor migration. These include a lower salary threshold for the EU Blue Card, reduced professional experience duration, and the removal of German language skills as a requirement. The classification as a skilled worker and the recognition procedure will be simplified, and adjustments will be made to family reunification and the Western Balkans regulation.

Jaberi Lawyers: Your Comprehensive Support in German Immigration Law

For any queries or challenges related to immigration to Germany or naturalization, our experts in German immigration law at Jaberi Lawyers are ready to assist you. Our legal professionals, proficient in various languages, will guide you through the available legal options. Whether you are an individual or a potential job candidate, our German lawyers will handle all your applications, ensuring a swift and complication-free process. Contact us now at +49(0)49 413 499 87 or email us at contact@jaberilawyers.com to collaborate with our legal experts.