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The German Opportunity Card (Chancenkarte)

The German Opportunity Card (Chancenkarte)







Self Funding



Dec 31, 2024

More details :

The Opportunity Card (Chancenkarte), specified under Section 20a of the German Residence Act (AufenthG), facilitates the entry of skilled workers from non-EU/EEA countries and Switzerland into the German labor market. Below is a comprehensive guide covering the eligibility criteria, application process, benefits, and detailed opportunities provided by the Opportunity Card.

Eligibility :
Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible for the Opportunity Card, applicants must meet one of the following two options:

Option 1: Full Recognition of Qualifications

  • Fully Recognized Qualifications: You must have a foreign professional or academic qualification fully recognized in Germany, or have obtained a university degree or professional qualification in Germany.

  • Residence Permit for Jobseekers: If you have obtained your qualification in Germany, you can apply for a residence permit for jobseekers under Section 20 of the Residence Act, allowing for an 18-month job search period and unrestricted part-time work during this time.

Option 2: Points-Based System (Minimum of Six Points):  Applicants must score at least six points based on the following criteria: 

  • Equivalence of Qualification: 4 points for partial recognition or the need for compensatory measures in regulated professions. To support your visa application, you will need a positive result for this qualification, which you can apply for online at the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)​​.

  • Qualification in a Shortage Occupation: 1 point for qualifications in occupations listed as in short supply.

  • Professional Experience: 2 points for at least two years of experience in the last five years; 3 points for at least five years in the last seven years.
    Language Skills: 1 point for German A2, 2 points for German B1, 3 points for German B2 or higher, plus 1 additional point for English C1 or native proficiency.

  • Age: 2 points for those 35 years or younger, 1 point for ages 36-40.

  • Previous Stays in Germany: 1 point for legal residence in Germany for at least six months in the last five years.

  • Skilled Worker Potential of Spouses/Partners: 1 point if your spouse or partner meets the requirements for the Opportunity Card.

Required documents :
  • Recognition documents for qualifications.

  • Certificates of professional experience.

  • Language proficiency certificates.

  • Proof of age (e.g., passport).

  • Financial proof: You need to demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support your job search in Germany. This can be shown through a blocked bank account containing a minimum of €1,027 per month (annually €12,324)  or a declaration of commitment.

How to apply :

From Abroad

  • Apply at the German diplomatic mission in your home country.

  • Use the world map on the official site to find contact details.

From Within Germany

  • If already residing in Germany with a valid residence title, apply through the local foreigners' authority (Ausländerbehörde).

The Scholarship Benefits:

Job Search

  • Issued for up to one year for job search or self-employment.

  • Part-time jobs allowed up to 20 hours per week.

  • Job trials up to two weeks per employer aimed at securing qualified employment, apprenticeships, or participation in qualification programs.


  • Option to become self-employed during the job search period.

Transition to Other Residence Permits

  • Apply for residence permits for qualified employment, vocational training, recognition of professional qualifications, or self-employment upon securing a specific job or apprenticeship.


  • Extend the Opportunity Card for up to two additional years if the job meets the requirements for qualified employment but does not qualify for other residence titles.

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