The German government’s opportunity card will come into effect on June 1.

Key Points:

  • The new temporary residence permit for skilled workers is an important part of the skilled immigration act and allows foreign nationals to obtain employment without having an employment contract before entering Germany.
  • The new status will be granted via a points system; at least six points must be acquired to qualify. Authorities will consider language skills, level of education, age and other qualifications. In addition, an applicant’s means of support must be guaranteed for the duration of stay.
  • Individuals will be allowed to work an average of 20 hours per week and engage in trial employment of up to two weeks with potential employers that is qualified or aimed at professional training.
  • The opportunity card can be extended for up to two years.

Additional Information: Sufficient financial means must be proven in order to qualify for the opportunity card. Individuals must demonstrate the ability to secure their livelihood without having to rely on public funds. The level of financial means varies from case to case; however the assumed annual standard requirement is 12,324 euros per person (about US$13,380). Using the points system, prospective applicants match the required selection criteria with their own requirements. Basic requirements are German language skills at level A1 or English language skills at level B2 as well as (at least) two years of vocational training or a university degree. No points are awarded for the basic requirements, and points are awarded for criteria such as additional professional experience, age and a connection to Germany.

BAL Analysis: The measure is designed to attract more highly skilled workers and allow them to use professional training to immigrate to Germany. The opportunity card offers candidates the possibility of permanent residence, while allowing for an immediate work permit.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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