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Germany Introduces New Visa Program to Simplify Immigration for Skilled Workers

Germany Introduces New Visa Program. News. If you’ve ever dreamed of living in Germany, now might be the perfect time to pursue that goal. Germany recently introduced the Chancenkarte, or “Opportunity Card,” a new work visa designed to simplify immigration for non-EU nationals.

The Chancenkarte, open for applications since June 1, uses a points-based system to evaluate applicants based on criteria like academic qualifications, language skills, and professional experience.
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“[The Opportunity Card] will make it easier and quicker for people with experience and potential to find a suitable job and get started,” said Nancy Faeser, Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior and Community, in a statement to the BBC.

Those granted the Opportunity Card can live in Germany for up to a year while looking for work, without needing an employer to sponsor them beforehand. The card also allows for part-time work during the job search. This initiative aims to address Germany’s growing labor shortage by increasing the number of professionals in fields like medicine, education, manufacturing, and engineering. Unlike a digital nomad visa, the Opportunity Card provides non-EU citizens a streamlined path to immigrate and seek employment in Germany. However, it has faced criticism from conservatives who argue it could allow rejected asylum seekers to find work in Germany.

To qualify for the visa, applicants need a professional qualification or academic degree recognized in Germany, or a combination of criteria such as professional experience, age, and language skills, totaling six or more points. They must also prove they can cover living expenses during their job search, at least €1,027 per month.

Since EU citizens can already live and work in Germany, the new visa targets non-EU and non-Swiss citizens. Extra points are available for those with German language skills or who have studied in Germany.
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Alex Masurovsky, a former Master’s student at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain, now living in New York, is excited about the new visa. “For me, [Germany] had just enough of those European sensibilities, like sitting down for coffee and staying out late, to enjoy without it feeling pretentious,” he said. “It also has a great appreciation for music, mostly electronic, but small and sincere pockets of jazz, blues, and punk rock, too. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

While Germany’s culture and nightlife are appealing, the primary goal of the new visa is to address labor shortages, a major factor in the country’s financial challenges. “We are making sure that we can attract the skilled workers our economy has urgently needed for years,” Faeser stated. “This is vital for our country’s future.”

For more information, visit the Make It In Germany website, which offers a “self-check” tool to help potential applicants determine their eligibility. Official visa applications must be made in person at your local German Diplomatic Mission.