Visa for Job Search, Opportunity Card

Das Bild zeigt Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer mit verschiedenen Berufen.

Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer mit verschiedenen Berufen, © colourbox.de

14.07.2024 - Article

Vous trouverez la fiche d'information en français ici.

Das deutsche Merkblatt zur Beantragung einer Chancenkarte finden Sie hier.

Basic information

To apply for a national visa, the following documents have to be provided by the applicant. Documents that are not presented either in German or English have to be submitted together with a translation into German or English by a certified translator.

Please note:

  • Laminated documents are not accepted.
  • You are required to submit one copy of every provided original document. Copies that are damaged or stapled are not accepted.
  • Incomplete applications may be denied.

General information on the Opportunity Card

The Opportunity Card (available from 1 June 2024) is a new feature in the German Residence Act allowing eligible people to come to Germany to look for a job. As well as looking for a job, successful applicants can also take part in additional training for the recognition of foreign professional qualifications in Germany.
There are two ways to obtain the opportunity card:

  1. Third-country nationals who can prove full equivalence of their foreign qualification and are thus considered to be skilled workers can receive an opportunity card without meeting any other special requirements if they provide evidence that they can support themselves.
  2. All other applicants have to provide proof that they have completed a degree from a foreign university, an at least two-year vocational qualification (both of which need to be officially recognised by the country in which they were completed) or a vocational qualification issued by one of the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad. In addition, applicants need to have either basic German (level A1) or intermediate English skills (level B2). If these requirements are met, varying numbers of points can be collected for criteria such as recognition of the qualification in Germany, language skills, professional experience, age and connection to Germany, as well as an eligible civil partner or spouse who is accompanying you. You need at least 6 points to be granted the opportunity card.

The opportunity card is issued for a maximum of one year provided you can support yourself for this period. During your time looking for a job in Germany, you can complete work trials or engage in secondary employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week.

General documents needed:

  1. One completely filled and signed application form. Please use the VIDEX long term application form in order to speed up the application process and to reduce your waiting time.
  2. One recent biometrical passport photograph with a bright background (3.5 cm x 4.5 cm). The photo has to show the facial features from the chin to the hairline as well as the left and right half of the face: sample chart for passport photos
  3. A valid passport or other valid travel document as well as one copy of the first and all stamped pages. Please note that the passport/travel document has to be valid for at least three months after the end of the intended journey
  4. Ethiopian ID-Card (original and one copy)
  5. Civil birth certificate (original and one copy)
  6. Cover letter (original and one copy):
    This should outline what fields and jobs you are interested in in Germany, where you want to apply and where you want to live in Germany (including details of accommodation and how you will support yourself). And, if applicable, what additional training you plan to complete to have your foreign professional qualification recognised.
  7. Curriculum vitae in tabular form indicating professional experience to date (original and one copy)
  8. Proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself during your job search in Germany.
    The amount of 1,027 per month is required. For the standard 12-months stay with an Opportunity Card a total of €12,324 is required.
    Following are four possibilities of proof:
    ⬜ Bank statements (original and one copy):
    Blocked account (original and one copy):
    Please open the blocked account in good time before you apply for a visa. When applying for a visa, only the official confirmation of the opening of the account issued by the bank, including information on the amount paid in and the amount available per month, will be accepted. Confirmation sperrkontowhich does not cite these amounts is not sufficient, nor is proof of lodgement or transfer of funds without confirmation from the bank.

    ⬜ Secondary employment (original and one copy):
    If you have a concrete opportunity for secondary employment in Germany, please submit the e
    mployer’s declaration ('Erklärung zum Beschäftigungsverhältnis') - to be completed by your employer (download form here).
    ⬜ Formal obligation letter (“Verpflichtungserklärung” - original and one copy):
    Pursuant to Sections 66 and 68 Residence Act to the German foreigners authority in which a third person undertakes to cover all costs.
  9. Ethiopian school leaving certificate, proof of previous academic studies / vocational training (original and one copy)
  10. Proof of work experience (original and one copy)
  11. If applicable civil marriage certificate and civil birth certificate of children (original and one copy)
  12. Private health insurance (so-called incoming health insurance) valid in the entire Schengen area for the entire period of validity of the opportunity card, minimum coverage of 30,000 euro (proof to be provided at the latest when collecting the visa!)
  13. Visa fees of €75 (payable in ETB at the Embassy’s exchange rate at the time of the application)

Additional documents needed by skilled workers

Have you completed German vocational training or a degree from a German university? Or foreign vocational training or a degree from a foreign university which are recognised in Germany? Then you are considered a skilled worker pursuant to Section 18 III Residence Act and you do not need to collect points to get the opportunity card. Please provide proof of your qualification as a skilled worker in the form of:

  • Certificate of vocational training in Germany (original document + copy)


  • Certificate of degree from a university in Germany (original document + copy)


  • Recognition of the equivalence of the foreign vocational qualification from the respective agency responsible for recognition (original document + copy)


  • Recognition of equivalence of the foreign university degree (printout from the anabin database for your university degree)

OR (if the qualification is not assessed as “entspricht” (comparable) or “gleichwertig” (equivalent) and/or the institution is not classified as “H+”)

OR (in the case of regulated professions in which permission is required to exercise the profession, for example, doctors, engineers; complete list is available from the Federal Employment Agency or the European Commission

  • Permission to exercise a profession issued by the authority responsible for recognising qualifications, or assurance of permission to exercise a profession (for example, for medical professions: decision of the licensing authority in the federal territory, i.e. assurance of permission to exercise a profession or issuing of medical licence (original document + copy)

You can find out more about recognition of foreign qualifications here: www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de.

Additional documents needed if you are not a skilled worker

If you are not a 'skilled worker' (see above for definition), you have to meet and prove the following requirements:

  • Foreign vocational training qualification (original document + copy)


  • Certificate (original document + copy) issued by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) regarding your foreign vocational training qualification (state-recognised qualification, duration at least two years)


  • Notice of partial recognition / Deficit notice for your vocational qualification (original document + copy)


  • Foreign university degree certificate (original document + copy)


Proof of state recognition of university qualification – either in the form of

  • Recognition of (conditional) comparability of the foreign university degree (printout from the anabin database for your university degree and your university)

OR (if the degree is not assessed as “entspricht” (comparable) or “gleichwertig” (equivalent) in the anabin database and/or the institution is not classified as “H+”)


  • Vocational qualification issued by one of the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad with the relevant confirmation from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) (original document + copy)

Language skills:


You can also collect points for the Opportunity Card by proving the following (details on the number of points awarded are available on our website and at Make it in Germany) :

  • Proof of your professional experience in the last 5 or 7 years insofar as this is connected to your vocational qualification: employment references, confirmation of employment from your employer, etc. (original documents + copy)
  • If you have been legally resident in Germany for an uninterrupted period of at least 6 months in the last 5 years (short stays under the Schengen Agreement do not count!), please prove this by providing suitable documents, for example:
    valid rental contracts
    terms of employment, service contracts, etc.
    passports with visas and entry stamps
  • Does your spouse/registered partner also want to apply for an opportunity card – or have they already done so – to then enter Germany together with you? If yes, one of you can collect 1 additional point for the opportunity card. Please enclose proof of the opportunity card application submitted by your spouse/partner.

During the appointment, digital finger prints of all fingers will be taken.

Please find the Embassy's address here.

For questions beyond the detailed information provided on the website, please contact the visa section via the contact form.

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