Integration courses for immigrants


Integration courses aim at

  • New immigrants, including EU citizens and other migrants who have been living in Germany for a long time (also with a German passport)
  • Asylum seekers with good prospects of remaining in Germany
  • Tolerated persons
  • Holders of a residence permit
  • Who can participate?

    The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) decides who receives funding for one-time participation in an integration course.
    The Immigration Act distinguishes between

    • Entitlement to attend (§44, new immigrants with a settlement permit or permanent residence for gainful employment, for the purpose of family reunification or for humanitarian reasons; ethnic German repatriates and family members)
    • the obligation to participate (§44a, including new immigrants without simple language skills).

    We will clarify with you whether an application can be made and help you fill out the forms.

  • What levels are there?
    • An integration course consists of language courses at levels A1 to B1 and the orientation course on life in Germany.
    • For people who do not have a (sufficient) command of the Latin alphabet, there are the slower second-script courses, which start with repetition of the alphabet.
  • How long does an integration course last?

    As a rule, the General Integration Course consists of:

    • 6 modules
      • with 100 units each for language teaching (levels A1, A2 and B1)
      • Completion by passing the German Test for Immigrants (DTZ)
    • 1 module of 100 units for the orientation course
      • Basic knowledge of the legal system, history and culture of Germany
      • Completion by passing the test “Living in Germany” (LID)
    • Participants in courses for second language learners usually reach level B1 after 900 units.
    • Participants who do not pass the DTZ examination after a general integration or second language learner course despite proper participation (at least 80 per cent) can apply for a further 300 hours of subsidised German lessons to prepare for repeating the DTZ.
  • What does participation in an integration course cost?
    • For participants who have been approved by the BAMF (BAMF full-payers), the legislator has provided for an own contribution of currently 2.20 € per lesson (100 units = 220 €).
    • Persons without BAMF approval (self-payers) pay an increased fee of currently 235 € per module (as of December 2021).
      The course fees are already reduced. A further reduction is not possible.
    • People who receive social benefits according to SGB II, III or XII or are financially needy for other reasons can apply for cost exemption.
    • BAMF full-payers can apply to the BAMF for reimbursement of up to 50 per cent of the costs if they successfully complete the entire integration course within two years of the initial issue of the entitlement to participate.
    • A travel allowance can be granted upon application.
  • When do the courses take place?
    The general integration courses can be attended as full-time or part-time courses .
    • Full-time courses
      20 teaching hours (UE) per week, i.e. 4 UE each in the morning or afternoon from Monday to Friday.
    • Part-time courses
      12 lessons (UE) per week, i.e. 4 UE on each of three weekdays in the evening.
    • The Second Language Courses and the B1 Repeater Courses are only held as full-time courses with 20 teaching hours (UE) per week.

    Please note that the courses also take place during school holidays.

  • What is special?
    • After successful completion of the modules and examinations, the “Integration Course Certificate” is issued by the BAMF.
    • Successful completion of the integration course entitles the holder to early naturalisation.
  • Is there an examination and do I have to pay for the course material?
    • After completion of the six or nine language modules, the B1 examination “Deutschtest für Zuwanderer” (DTZ) is taken.
    • The orientation course ends with the final test “Living in Germany” (LID). The LiD test is also recognised as a substitute for the naturalisation test.
    • Participation in the exams is compulsory and free of charge for participants with BAMF funding.
    • Participants pay for the textbook; they will receive information about it on the first day of class.
  • How can I register?

    Participation in a course requires prior counselling and a placement test.
    Please call our telephone counselling service and make an appointment for a personal interview about the German courses on offer.

  • What do I need to bring with me to the counselling session?
    • your valid passport
    • If you apply for exemption from costs, current proof of receipt of benefits (unemployment benefit II/social welfare), valid for at least three more months.
    • If already available: the “Berechtigungsschein” (entitlement certificate) (from the BAMF, the Foreigners‘ Authority, the Job Centre or from an institution providing benefits under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act.

    People who do not attend a German course as an integration course (BAMF funding) do not need any of the above-mentioned documents.

  • Why is counselling important?

    For learning success, it is important that participants attend a course that corresponds to their previous knowledge and individual learning speed.
    This is assessed in a personal interview and in a written placement test. Questions about possible examinations, learning objectives, teaching and learning methods are discussed and other needs are taken into account.