Desperate for millennial talent, Germany launches ‘Opportunity Card’ giving migrants a year to look for a job

Germany is facing significant challenges, including an aging population and an economy in stagnation. To address these issues, Germany is launching an "Opportunity Card" aimed at attracting young, skilled foreign workers, including those from non-EU countries and the UK.

The Opportunity Card, or "Chancenkarte," is a visa program that operates on a points system. Applicants can earn points for qualifications like being a teacher, nurse, or engineer, as well as for speaking English or German. Those who have worked in the "learned professions" for at least five years also have a good chance of being eligible.

The visa has an age bias, with applicants under 35 earning two of the required six points. Once in Germany, these workers can work up to 20 hours per week while they try to secure longer-term employment through another visa. However, the earnings cap of €1,000 ($1,080) per month for this part-time work may make the visa less appealing for some young professionals.

Germany's policymakers hope the Opportunity Card will address two key challenges: the immediate need to revive the stagnant economy, and the longer-term issue of an aging population. With a projected shortage of 16 million workers by 2060, the country is seeking to attract young, skilled talent from abroad.

To apply for the Opportunity Card, candidates must fill out an application form, provide identification and employment documents, and demonstrate their interest in working for German companies on a part-time basis, though they do not need a full-time employment contract. 

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