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What to know about the 'Opportunity Card,' a residence permit to go to Germany to look for a job

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jun 08, 2024 3:38 pm

If you're looking for a sign to start a career in another country, here's your chance as Germany just introduced a new residence permit to go to the country to look for a job.

On its Facebook page, the German Embassy in Manila announced the launch of "Chancenkarte" or the "Opportunity Card," which is a visa that allows you to look for work in Germany for up to twelve months.

This is narrowed down into either "skilled workers recognized in Germany or educated job seekers who fulfill a points system."

As detailed on their website, recognized skilled workers need proof of full recognition of their foreign qualification in Germany.

Job seekers with a university degree or a training qualification of at least two years need German language skills at A1 or English language skills at B2 level if they are only partially recognized in Germany or not yet recognized.

Proof of their partial recognition or confirmation of their foreign qualification is also required, as well as achieving six points in the points system below:

  • Partial recognition of the qualification in Germany: 4 points
  • Advanced language skills:
    • German language skills B2: 3 points, or
    • German language skills B1: 2 points, or
    • German language skills A2: 1 point, or
    • English language skills C1: 1 point.
  • Professional experience in the desired field
    • of five years in the last seven years: 3 points, or
    • of three years in the last five years: 2 points
  • Professional qualification in a shortage occupation, e.g. as a natural scientist, mathematician, engineer, doctor, ICT specialist, a complete list of occupations can be found here: 1 point
  • Age:
    • Under 35 years of age: 2 points,
    • Between 35 and 40 years of age: 1 point
  • Previous stay in Germany in the last five years of six months uninterrupted: 1 point
  • Spouse applies for the opportunity card together and has achieved at least 6 points themselves: 1 point

With the Opportunity Card, you're also qualified to take on part-time employment of up to 20 hours per calendar week and trial employment for a maximum of two working weeks each.

Once you have found an employer and a full-time job in Germany, you can directly apply for your residence permit and work permit at the locally competent foreigner’s authority in the country. 

How do you apply for the card?

If you're keen on getting your hands on the Opportunity Card, you must first fill out, sign, and print out the application form.

You must also prepare a valid passport, two biometrical passport photos (one of which must be glued to the application forms), a visa fee of 75 euros (P4,766) that is payable in Philippine currency, your diploma, a curriculum vitae in tabular form, a motivation letter, proof of finance, planned accommodation in Germany, and health insurance coverage.

Depending on the kind of worker you are, other requirements are as follows:

  • For recognized skilled workers: Proof of the equivalence of your degree with a German degree, e.g. the KMK ZAB recognition letter with confirmation of the equivalence of the university degree or the two Anabin extracts for university (H+) and degree (equivalent to the German university degree) or the recognition notice from the IHK FOSA for vocational training degrees or the notice from the relevant state authority for regulated professions
  • For applicants with partial recognition of their foreign degree: corresponding notice with partial recognition of the equivalence of the degree by
    • the KMK ZAB (for academic professions in Germany), or
    • the FOSA (for vocational professions in Germany), or
    • the relevant state authority (for all regulated professions in Germany)
  • For applicants without German recognition of their degree: confirmation from the competent German body (KMK ZAB) that the qualification requirements are met
  • For applicants with partial recognition or without recognition of their degree: German language certificate A1 or higher from an ALTE-certified language school (Goethe Institute, ÖSD, telc, TestDaF, ECL) or English language certificate B2 or higher from an ALTE-certified language school (alternatively TOEFL with over 87 points). The certificate should not be older than one year.
  • For applicants with partial recognition or without recognition of their degree: proof of professional experience (employment references), if available
  • For applicants with partial recognition or without recognition of their degree: proof of previous stay in Germany (employment contracts, rental contracts, old passports with visas, proof of studies, etc.), if available.

Once you have all the necessary documents at hand, your application must be submitted personally at the German Embassy. You can register for an appointment here.