Integration – Language courses
For this purpose, integration courses are available for foreign nationals.
The courses comprise
- a basic and advanced language course providing adequate knowledge of the German language, and
- an orientation course providing basic knowledge on the legal system, culture and history of Germany.
Newcomers (foreigners, late repatriates) who are residents in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany on a permanent basis benefit from a basic package of measures aimed to promote integration. Foreigners and late repatriates who do not have sufficient knowledge of the German language or who receive basic security benefit for job-seekers pursuant to Book II of the German Social Code (SGB II), or who are in special need of integration are obliged to attend integration courses. Newcomers who have adequate knowledge of the German language are only entitled to attend the orientation course, and to take the final examination.
The successful participation in an integration course is often a precondition for obtaining an extension of stay or for being granted permanent residence. Also, participation in an integration course may bring advantages as to circumstances of relevance to the foreigner’s situation under residence law. For example, foreigners have the right to become naturalised after seven instead of eight years of residence if they had successfully attended integration courses.
Who is entitled to attend an integration course?
A certificate of eligibility for an integration course will be issued to you at the Foreigners’ Authority. You will obtain the certificate of eligibility immediately after the issuance of your first residence permit. You are only entitled to attend an integration course if you are in the possession of a residence permit
- for the purpose of employment or self-employment (Sections 18 and 21 of the Residence Act, AufenthG),
- for the purpose of family reunification (Sections 28, 29, 30, 32 and 36 of the Residence Act, AufenthG),
- granted on humanitarian grounds (Section 25, subsection 1 and 2 of the Residence Act, AufenthG),
- for persons who possess the status of long-term residents in other Member States of the European Union (Section 38a of the Residence Act, AufenthG)
- granted when special political interests apply pursuant to Section 23, subsection 2 of the Residence Act (AufenthG)
If you are a foreign national with long-term residency in Germany, you are citizen of the European Union or you are German national but you do not have sufficient knowledge of the German language, you can submit an application to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees for authorisation to attend an integration course.
Who is obliged to attend an integration course?
You are obliged to attend an integration course if
- you are unable to communicate at least at a basic or at an adequate level in German language or
- you receive benefits under Book II of the German Social Code (SGB II), and your participation in an integration course is stipulated in your integration agreement (Eingliederungsvereinbarung) in accordance with Book II of the German Social Code or
- you are in special need of integration, and you are requested by the Foreigners’ Authority to attend an integration course.
Please find further information here Federal Office for Migration and Refugees