Immigration Services

Points Calculator for the German Opportunity Card (Chancenkarte)

The launch of the Opportunity Card has opened up a new and easier path for immigrating to Germany. With my free points calculator, you can check whether you will meet the requirements and reach the required 6 points!

Chancenkarte

What is the Opportunity Card?

On June 1st, 2024, Germany has introduced a new points-based immigration program to attract more international talent. This new path is introduced in addition to existing immigration routes.

If you are an international professional looking to migrate to Germany but are having trouble finding a job from abroad, the points-based Opportunity Card could be the solution for you. 

It allows you to come to Germany and search for a job, for up to one year. You will need to cover your living expenses during your stay in Germany, but you will be able to work part-time in any job until you get a full-time job in your field of expertise.

The Chancenkarte provides two pathways to looking for a job in Germany:

Under the skilled professionals pathway, you must have a foreign professional/vocational or academic qualification that is fully recognized in Germany. Your degree course or professional/vocational training program must have taken a minimum of two years to complete. In this case, you don’t have to accumulate any points, nor present any language certificates. 

The points-based pathway provides a separate option for individuals holding an academic or professional/vocational qualification that is not (yet) fully recognized. Your degree course or professional/vocational training program must have taken a minimum of two years to complete at an accredited institution in the issuing country. You will also have to prove that you speak German at least on level A1 OR English on level B2. Additionally, you will have to accumulate at least six points in eight different categories. 

Where to apply?

You can apply at the German embassy in your home country, at the German embassy in another country where you hold legal residence, or at an immigration office in Germany, if you hold a citizenship that enables you to apply for long-term residence permits within Germany. Residents of some eligible countries can also apply online through the Consular Services Portal. 

With my free points calculator, you can check if you will meet the requirements and earn enough points to get the Chancenkarte.

Chancenkarte

Criteria for the Opportunity Card

Qualifications

Up to 6 points for a university degree or vocational training + 1 point for shortage occupations.

Experience

Up to 3 points if you have work experience that matches your formal qualifications.

Age

2 points if you are 34 or younger or 1 point if you are between 35 and 39 years old.

Language skills

Up to 4 points for your German and English language skills.

Previous stays in Germany

1 point if you have previously lived in Germany for at least 6 months.

Spouses

1 point if your spouse also meets the requirements for an opportunity card.

Chancenkarte, Opportunity Card, Karta Šansi

Germany's immigration reform in 2023 & 2004

In the summer of 2023, the German Parliament approved a reform of the Skilled Immigration Act, which has been in place since 2020, to make it easier for skilled professionals from non-EU countries to immigrate to Germany. 

In the future, labor immigration will be based on three pillars: 

The qualification-based pillar remains the central element of labor immigration to Germany.

As before, it includes:

  • The EU Blue Card for foreign university graduates with recognized degrees
  • The residence permit for foreign skilled workers with recognized qualifications (university degrees or vocational qualifications /Berufsausbildung)

The most important changes that came into force on November 18th, 2003, are:

  • Skilled immigrants with recognized qualifications are now be able to take up any qualified employment. The job will no longer have to match their formal qualification.
  • The salary thresholds for the EU Blue Card are lowered from 58.320 EUR to 45.300 EUR gross per year, making it much easier to get a job in Germany. 
  • The list of bottleneck professions is extended and the salary threshold for these professions as well for recent graduates is even lower: 41.042 EUR gross per year. 
  • The period for obtaining a settlement permit is shortened from five to three years.
  • Blue Card holders will find it easier to change employers and bring their families to Germany, including their parents.
  • Experienced IT specialists without formal qualifications in IT are now also eligible for the Blue Card.

The experience-base pillar is intended to enable skilled workers to immigrate, even if their professional qualifications have not previously been recognized in Germany. These changes came into force on March 1st, 2024.

To qualify for experience-based immigration applicants will have to meet these conditions:

  • The applicant has a professional qualification of at least two years that is officially recognized in their country and two years of professional experience.
  • The employment contract must be in a non-regulated profession.
  • The salary must reach a certain threshold or be linked to a collective agreement.

👉 If their gross annual salary is at least 40.770 EUR (in 2024) or is linked to a collective agreement, internationals can continue working without a recognized degree.

👉 If their salary is lower than the threshold and not linked to a collective agreement, they can start working in Germany, but must obtain full recognition of their qualifications within a specific timeframe (Recognition partnership with the employer / Anerkennungspartnerschaft). 

The potential-based pillar is intended for immigrants who don’t yet have a job offer in Germany. It is in force since June 1st, 2024.

  • The core of this pillar is the introduction of a points-based system. Selection criteria include qualifications, language skills, professional experience, reference to Germany, and age.
  • Applicants must provide proof that they can cover their living expenses during their entire stay in Germany.
  • Successful applicants will receive an Opportunity Card (Chancenkarte) for job searching and will be allowed to work up to 20 hours a week while searching for a qualified full-time job.
  • The Opportunity Card will be issued for up to one year and can be extended for up to two years under certain conditions.

If you would like to explore your immigration options and chances to land a job in Germany in more detail, you are welcome to book a 1-Hour Consultation with me. 

How to prepare and apply for the Opportunity Card?

The information provided by German embassies on applying for the Opportunity Card can be difficult to understand. Additionally, the procedures and required documents vary greatly between countries.

I have been following the development of the Opportunity Card since its announcement in 2022, and based on the latest official information, I can provide you with reliable guidance on the application process and requirements.

If you just have a few questions about the Opportunity Card please send me a priority message and receive my answers by email within two days.

If you need more support understanding the requirements and application process for the Opportunity Card, or if you’d like me to asses your specific case, please feel free to book a consultation with me!

Opportunity Card Questions

20
Answers by Email
  • Answers to 3 specific questions about the Opportunity Card by email within 2 days
  • Reviews of documents
  • Access to comprehensive and regularly updated application guide
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30-Minute Consultation

75
1:1 Online Session
  • Detailed explanation of the requirements and the application procedure for the Opportunity Card and recognition of qualifications
  • Review of documents
  • Instructions on how to complete the application form and prepare the required documents
  • Follow-up email with relevant ressources
  • Comprehensive and regularly updated application guide
  • Curated list of 700 companies hiring in English
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