Integration courses

Einbuergerung1
Image: © Klaus W. Eisenlohr

The 12 Berlin adult education centres offer integration courses for immigrants in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees on the basis of the Residence Act and the Integration Course Ordinance.

A general integration course consists of 700 teaching units, including 600 teaching units (TU) of language instruction and 100 TU of orientation.

The language course is divided into 6 modules and ends with a free final examination. The available course options are based on competency levels A1-B1. The target level is B1. The orientation course imparts knowledge about the legal system, the culture and the recent history of Germany and concludes with a test.

Special integration courses – for women, young people, parents and migrants with literacy needs or so-called ‘new alphabet learners’ – are offered with 1000 TU (900 TU and 100 TU orientation course).

TU stands for teaching unit of 45 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can take part in an integration course?

  • Individuals who have a certificate of eligibility for the integration course issued by the Foreigners’ Registration Office, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) or a job centre
  • Anyone interested in learning German, as long as there are free spaces available on the course

Who can apply for a certificate of eligibility for the integration course?

  • Foreigners who have already been living in Germany for a long time
  • New immigrants with permanent residence for work purposes, for the purpose of family reunification, for humanitarian reasons or a settlement permit
  • Citizens from European Union member states
  • Late repatriates and their family members
  • Germans of foreign origin without adequate knowledge of German

What are the benefits of the certificate of eligibility?

  • The final exam, “German test for immigrants”, is free of charge, even if you have to repeat it.
  • Upon successful completion of the integration course (B1 level in the final exam and having passed the orientation course test) within two years, the Federal Office will, upon request, reimburse 50% of the costs paid from the date of your funding.
  • Successful participation in the integration course entitles you to early naturalization.

What does “successful participation in an integration course” mean?

You have demonstrated language proficiency at B1 level in the final exam “German test for immigrants”, passed the orientation test and regularly participated in the course.

How much does it cost to participate?

An exemption from the costs is only possible on application to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) before the beginning of the course or module. The VHS cannot reduce or adopt the costs. Course fees are not refunded for missed hours.

Each module has 100 teaching units (1 TU at 45 minutes each). The fees depend on the date of registration for the integration course.

  • Remuneration per module of 100 TU

    EURO

  • Registration for the integration course from 1.7.2016

    195,00 €

  • Registration for the integration course between 1.1.2016 and 30.6.2016

    155,00 €

  • Registration for the integration course between 1.7.2012 and 31.12.2015

    120,00 €

  • Registration for the integration course before 1.7.2012

    100,00 €

  • With funding and cost exemption from the Federal Office

    0,00 €

  • Without funding

    205,00 €

Who is exempt from paying?

  • Individuals who receive Unemployment Benefit II based on SGB II
  • Individuals who receive social allowance based on SGB XII
  • Persons who receive housing allowance, federal training assistance (BAFÖG), child benefit supplement, asylum seeker benefits that are exempt from childcare fees or the license fee (GEZ) and want to file an application for hardship

How do you register?

The first step is to take part in a consultation. The consultation is mandatory for all integration courses and includes a placement test. Consultations are available at all Berlin adult education centres.

What documents do you need to bring to the consultation?

  • Passport (original) or ID
  • Current proof of benefits if you receive Unemployment Benefit II or social assistance

It is possible to register for the course after the consultation.

When can you apply to repeat 300 TU?

If you have exhausted your hourly quota and missed the target level B1 in the “German test for immigrants” despite regular participation in the course.

All information is subject to changes in the legal framework (as of 16.12.2016).