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Integration courses for asylum applicants & refugees with a tolerated stay permit
What is an integration course?
An integration course serves to learn the German language and some things about the country. All foreigners who received their first residence permit on or after 1 January 2005 and have a permanent residence permit are obliged to take an integration course. ("Permanent", in this case, means at least 1.5 years.)
There are several legal bases for conducting integration courses: § 43 ff Residence Act (AufenthG), the Integration Course Ordinance (IntV) and the Integration Course Test Ordinance (IntTestV).
Only a few exceptions exist for not having to take part in an integration course: For example, if you have a full-time employment contract, are undergoing vocational training or are prevented from attending for private reasons. As a rule, an integration course takes 700 teaching units (one teaching unit is 45 minutes long), but there are also special courses with up to 1000 units or intensive courses with 430 teaching units. Most of the teaching units are used for the language course.
Language course as part of the integration course
An integration course consists of two parts: the language course and the orientation course. The language course deals with important topics from everyday life, such as working, living, education and leisure. Afterwards you should be able to write letters and e-mails in German, fill in forms or apply for a job.
Orientation course as part of the integration course
As soon as you have successfully completed the language course, the orientation course follows with 100 teaching units (the intensive orientation course consists of 30 units). Here you learn something about Germany the country. Topics covered include history and law, but also values such as freedom of religion and equal rights for men and women.
Since 1 July 2016, an integration course costs €1.55 per lesson, which means that the regular course costs are €1,365. If you receive unemployment benefit or social assistance, you can apply for exemption from costs.
Who can participate?
1. Asylum applicants with a temporary residence permit or good long-term prospects. You should be from one of the following countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea or Somalia. You are not allowed to apply for asylum in any other European country. If the Dublin III Regulation requires you to file an application for asylum in another country, then you cannot apply in Germany.
2. If you have a temporary suspension of deportation in accordance with § 60a Abs. 2 Satz 3 Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG; German Residency Act)
3. If you have a residence permit in accordance with § 25 Abs. 5 Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG; German Residency Act)
How can I participate?
You have to fill in an application for admission to an integration course and send to the following address:
Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge
Find the application form in different languages below:
Application form integration course
You have to send the application to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) together with a copy of your Ausweis. You can participate in the integration course as soon as you have been approved. The Berechtigungsschein (‘certificate of eligibility’) includes a Kostenbefreiung (exemption from costs). This means that you do not have to file an application for Kostenbefreiung (exemption from costs).
The Berechtigungsschein (certificate of eligibility) is valid for three months. During this period you should register with a course provider (school). In some cases you might be obligated to take an integration course. For more information please visit: