Germany Launches ‘Opportunity Card’ To Attract Skilled Workers

The German Government has launched its new point-based immigration pathway called Opportunity Card (OC), which would allow candidates from countries who are not part of the European Union (EU) to migrate into Germany without a job offer or family sponsorship.

Penpushing reports that German Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser, made this known on Saturday explaining that the new visa scheme was part of the country’s aim to remedy acute shortage of skilled labour in the country.

“We are ensuring that workers and skilled workers that our economy has urgently needed for years can come to our country’, German Interior Minister stated

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The card is also known as ‘Chancekarte’ in German language, while the portal where applicants were asked to apply showed Nigeria as one of the countries of residence of intending applicants, and the opportunity card is a residence permit that allows workers from third countries to enter Germany to seek employment.

Penpushing further reports that the opportunity card is issued for a period of up to one year but if one finds qualified employment during one’s stay, such a person can obtain a subsequent residence permit for the purpose of additional opportunity for a follow up or taking up gainful employment from the local foreigners’ authority in Germany.

The German Government emphasised that when applying, one will need proof that his or her professional qualification is recognised by the state either in Germany or in the country in which it was obtained.

‘Proof that you will be able to support yourself for the duration of your stay in Germany can be provided in the form of a blocked account or a declaration of commitment, for example. At least 1,027 euros per month (as of 2024) are generally required.’

“During your stay for the purpose of finding a job, you have the opportunity to work up to 20 hours a week in a part-time job. In addition, you can take up trial jobs for up to two weeks at a time to familiarise yourself with potential jobs,” it added.

Penpushing also reports the offer has it that following basic requirements must be fulfilled for the opportunity card on a points basis among others, adding that completion of a degree or at least two years of training that is recognised by the state in which it was obtained,

‘German language skills at least at level A1 or English language skills at least at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Sufficient financial means to cover your living expenses for the duration of your stay in Germany.”

Penpushing reports for Nigerian applicants, the German government advised they follow up on Germany’s diplomatic mission in Nigeria for a visa, explaining that the responsibility depends on the district which they reside

‘You can only apply for your visa at the German mission responsible for you. The responsibility depends on the district in which you reside. If the online application is not available at your competent German mission, please apply for your visa on-site. You will find further information on the website of your German mission,” it stated.

Penpushing further reports that the opportunities offer by the Germany government is the latest among foreign countries’ search for expertise around the world, just as reports showed a substantial increase in the number of Nigerian healthcare workers migrating to countries which include United Kingdom, Canada and United States of America.

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