Thursday, July 25, 2024

New ‘Opportunity Card’ enables easy entry to Germany, quick jobs

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Citizens of countries outside the European Union (EU) can now gain entry to the region and engage in employment without a work contract using an ‘opportunity card’. The newly-launched card aims to attract workers to the European Union by making the procedures in this regard easier.

Applicants for the card should be skilled employees or earn at least six points in an evaluation scale. They also have to produce proof of possessing the necessary financial status to arrange accommodation in the European Union.

The opportunity card enables people from non-European Union nations to not only gain a smooth as well as legal entry to Germany but also opens an opportunity for permanent residence in the country. The work permit would be issued immediately to candidates when their application for the card is approved.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be skilled employees with at least two years of job-oriented training or a recognized degree from their home country.
  • Proficiency in German (A1 level) and English (B2 level) is required.
  • Financial stability must be demonstrated, which can also be achieved by engaging in a part-time job of up to 20 hours a week.

Points system
The Opportunity Card is issued based on a points system. The points are calculated by considering factors such proficiency in language; professional experience; age and connection with Germany. The basic requirements include language and financial stability, which could be achieved by engaging in a part-time occupation.

Applicants need a minimum of six points, calculated as follows:

Language proficiency:
B2-level German: 3 points
B1-level German: 2 points
A2-level German: 1 point
C1-level English: Additional points

Professional experience:
Five years’ professional experience within the past seven years: 3 points
Two years’ experience after vocational training: 2 points
Qualifications:
Teaching or engineering qualifications: 4 points

Age:
Below 35 years: 2 points
Below 40 years (with previous non-tourist visit to Germany): 1 point

Additional factors:
Qualifications in high-demand professions
Joint application with a life partner

Chief benefits of opportunity card

  • Simplified entry: Easy and legal entry to Germany with streamlined procedures.
  • 12-Month stay: Applicants can stay in Germany for up to 12 months while waiting for a permanent work permit.
  • Financial benefits: Cardholders can earn over 1,000 Euros a month.
  • Employment flexibility: Permission to work up to 20 hours a week and the ability to search for new jobs.
  • Time for job hunting: Sufficient time to secure a part-time or full-time job.

Advantages for employers

The number of applicants for the opportunity card from non-EU nations is very high. This makes a large pool of qualified professionals from foreign countries available for job providers in the EU. Moreover, the card simplifies the procedures related to the entry to Germany and obtaining employment. With the opportunity card, permission from the Federal Employment Agency is not required to enter the EU.

The process of appointment could be conducted on a fast-track mode with the opportunity card.

Yet another advantage of the opportunity card is the facility to sign a part-time employment contract (pre-entry contracts) before the applicants arrive in Germany.

How to apply
Applications for the opportunity card could be submitted to the respective German mission – either embassy or consulate. If the candidate has already arrived in Germany, the application has to be submitted to the regional registration office for foreigners. Applicants should ensure that they possess a valid residence permit or visa. Along with the application, documents such as educational qualifications, language proficiency and financial status such as an employment contract have to be attached.

As confirmation of residence in Germany for six months, applicants should present proof such as rent agreements, service charge statements and job contracts or wage payment records. However, stay for tourism purposes will not be considered.

Basic requirements
The following are the basic requirements for receiving an opportunity card: A1-level proficiency in German language and B2 in English. Additional language skills will help earn more points. Additional points will be awarded for higher language proficiency levels and professional qualifications in high-demand fields.

The Opportunity Card provides a streamlined pathway for skilled workers from outside the EU to enter Germany, seek employment, and potentially secure permanent residence, benefiting both the applicants and German employers.

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