Germany’s New Point-Based Visa: Simplifying Skilled Labor Immigration

In recent months, Germany has implemented significant changes to make it easier for skilled labor to live and work in the country. The government has announced reforms aimed at making Germany more appealing to foreign workers. One key change is allowing workers with pending EU Blue Card applications to work in Germany for up to three years.

The Opportunity Card: A New Point-Based Visa

Germany has introduced a point-based “Opportunity Card” for skilled workers, simplifying their immigration process. Starting June 1, individuals with equivalent foreign qualifications can search for jobs in Germany for up to one year. Applicants need to demonstrate financial self-sufficiency and meet certain prerequisites.

Eligibility for the Opportunity Card

To be eligible for the Opportunity Card, applicants must:

  • Demonstrate sufficient financial means.
  • Have at least two years of vocational training or a university degree from their country of origin.
  • Possess language skills in German (A1 level) or English (B2 level).

Employment Opportunities for Card Holders

Opportunity Card holders can work up to 20 hours per week while searching for full-time employment. The card’s validity can be extended for an additional two years if the holder secures a suitable employment contract.

Additional Reforms for Skilled Workers

Beyond the Opportunity Card, Germany has announced further reforms to support skilled workers. The revised Skilled Immigration Act introduces more flexibility for those matching their foreign training with German qualifications.

Flexible Provisions for Training and Employment

Effective March 1, the revised Skilled Immigration Act allows part-time work (up to 20 hours per week) while completing training to obtain German-equivalent qualifications. Skilled workers can start working immediately, even while their qualifications are being recognized, for a stay of up to three years.

Facilitating Family Reunification

The Skilled Immigration Act also eases requirements for family reunification. Skilled workers can now bring their spouses, minor children, and parents or parents-in-law to Germany, expediting the reunification process.

Germany’s new point-based visa and accompanying reforms are designed to attract skilled labor, making it easier for foreign workers and their families to live and work in Germany.

Categorized under German visa