BAMF integration course (Integrationskurs)

Integration courses (Integrationskurse) are specifically designed for migrants.

Here you can learn German for everyday use. You also learn important information about life in Germany. The integration course (Integrationskurs) consists of two parts: a language course and an orientation course (Orientierungskurs). Currently, the courses take place online.

Requirements and advice for an integration course (Integrationskurs)

You can take part in an integration course (Integrationskurs) if you have got a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) or a permission to remain while the asylum decision is pending with a good prospect of staying (Aufenthaltsgestattung mit guter Bleibeperspektive). You can sometimes also attend an integration course (Integrationskurs) if you have a temporary suspension of deportation (Duldung).

If you have any questions, you can ask the BAMF (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, federal office for migrants and refugees). The BAMF coordinates the integration courses (Integrationskurse). +49 9119430 (Monday to Friday, 9 am – 3 pm), contact form: https://www.bamf.de/EN/Service/Kontakt/kontakt-formular-node.html.

If you are not allowed to attend an integration course (Integrationskurs), you can under certain circumstances still take part in a German course. This can be the case if you have a permission to remain while your asylum decision is pending (Aufenthaltsgestattung) or a temporary suspension of deportation (Duldung) and do not come from a country that the German government labelled a “safe country of origin” (sicherer Herkunftsstaat). The countries of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ghana, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Senegal and Serbia are considered safe countries (sichere Herkunftsstaaten) of origin under German asylum law. The Flüchtlingszentrum can give you advice on such German courses: Adenauerallee 10, please make an appointment: info@fz-hh.de, +49 40 2840790 (Monday to Friday: 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm), https://www.fz-hh.de/de/kurzinfos/info-englisch.php.

Different types of integration courses (Integrationskurse; general and special courses)

The general course consists of 600 class hours and an additional orientation course (Orientierungskurs) that lasts 100 class hours (therefore, a total of 700 class hours). Normal full-time courses consist of 25 class hours per week, part-time courses are possible under certain conditions.

There are also courses with additional class hours if you need more time and especially short courses if you find it easy to learn a new language. There are special courses for women, adolescents, parents, illiterate people, and people who have not used the Latin alphabet yet.

Before the course starts, you take a free placement test. Regardless of the result, you can still decide on your own which integration course (Integrationskurs) you want to take.

How do I find an integration course (Integrationskurs)?

There are various providers of integration courses (Integrationskurse). You choose which course you want to take.

You can go to the Ausländerbehörde (foreign nationals authority) or a “Migrationsdienst” (migration service). The Migrationsdienst is the counselling centre for migrants. The social workers there speak various languages. They help you find a course and get financial support to pay for the course. You can find a list of all Migrationsdienst centres here: https://www.hamburg.de/migrationsberatung/.

You can call the staff at the Weiterbildungs-Telefon (further education telephone service) as well: +49 40 28084666 (Monday to Thursday: 10 am – 6 pm, Friday: 10 am – 5 pm).

You can find courses that are currently offered here: deutsch.kursportal.info/g193.

Certificate of eligibility (Berechtigungsschein)

You need a certificate of eligibility (Berechtigungsschein). Sometimes, you get this together with your residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis). Otherwise you have to apply at the BAMF to take part in an integration course (Integrationskurs). Providers of integration courses (Integrationskurse) are usually able to help you with this.

You can find the application form here: https://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/DE/Integration/Integrationskurse/Kursteilnehmer/AntraegeAlle/630-120_antrag-zulassung-integrationskurs-ausl_pdf.html.

The certificate of eligibility (Berechtigungsschein) expires after a year. In that case, you have to apply using this form if you want to take part in an integration course (Integrationskurs): BAMF 630-007_antrag-zulassung-integrationskurs-ausl_docx.html

Costs – possibilities of exemptions

Usually, the courses costs €2.20 per hour. It is possible to be exempted completely or in part from these costs. This is for example the case if you receive governmental support as an asylum seeker (Leistungen als Asylbewerber:in) or unemployment benefits II (Arbeitslosengeld II) from the Jobcenter (Jobcenter team.arbeit.hamburg, job centre) or if there are special personal or economical reasons why you should be exempted.

You have to complete this application form and send it to the Hamburg branch (Außenstelle) of the BAMF: BAMF 630-027_antrag-kostenbefreiung. The address is “Concordiahaus B, Sachsenstraße 12+14, 20097 Hamburg”.

Completion

You complete the integration course (Integrationskurs) with two tests: the test “Leben in Deutschland” (life in Germany) at the end of the orientation course (Orientierungskurs) and the “Deutsch-Test für Zuwanderer” (German test for immigrants) at the end of the language course. The tests are free of charge.

You pass the integration course (Integrationskurs) if you pass the test for the orientation course (Orientierungskurs) and reach the language level B1 in the language course.

If you do not reach the language level B1 you can under certain circumstances repeat 300 class hours or attend a job-related German course (berufsbezogener Deutschkurs).

Further information on the test: BAMF Abschlussprüfung and www.hamburg.de/integrationskurse.

Job-related German courses (§ 45a Aufenthaltsgesetz, berufsbezogene Deutschkurse):

In the vocational world, you oftentimes need additional knowledge of the German language that goes beyond everyday communication. To gain this, you can attend a job-related German course (berufsbezogener Deutschkurs).

Requirements for participation:

You can participate if you attended an integration course (Integrationskurs) or have proof that you are at the German language level B1, B2 or C1.

If you have a temporary suspension of deportation (Duldung) or a permission to remain while the asylum decision is pending (Aufenthaltsgestattung), you might be allowed participate as well. In that case, ask about this at an advice centre, your Jobcenter or the BAMF. Additionally, it is necessary for you to be in need of a course for professional reasons. Such reasons are for example a current job, searching for a job or an apprenticeship (Ausbildung) or the recognition of a degree.

Course types:

There are basic courses on different difficulty levels: B2, C1 and (in the future) C2. You have to proof your language level (for example through a passed integration course (Integrationskurs)). You must have a language level of B1 or higher.

There are special courses for various occupational fields and for people that attended an integration course (Integrationskurs) but did not pass the language test.

Enrolment:

Contact the Jobcenter if you want to enrol in a course. If you are already working, doing an apprenticeship (Ausbildung) or having a degree recognised, you can contact the BAMF: deufoe.hamburg@bamf.bund.de. There, you get a certificate of eligibility (Berechtigungsschein) for the course. You can turn to your employer as well, who will receive additional information from the BAMF.

Costs:

Usually, the courses are free of charge. If you earn more than €20,000 on your own or if you and your spouse together earn more than €40,000 per year, you might have to pay €2.07 per class hour.

Advice:

Passage Hamburg informs about job-related German courses (berufsbezogene Deutschkurse) and also offers courses themselves. elena.usinski@passage-hamburg.de, +49 40 24874815 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 am – 1 pm), http://www.wege-in-den-beruf.de/deufoev.html.

The Netzwerk FLUCHTort helps refugees with an uncertain residence status (for example a permission to remain while the asylum procedure is pending (Aufenthaltsgestattung) or a temporary suspension of deportation (Duldung)) to prepare for an apprenticeship (Ausbildung) or a job. There are various training and coaching offers. You can find more information here: https://www.fluchtort-hamburg.de/fluchtort-hamburg-50/traeger-und-teilprojekte.

Online German courses, level A1-B1

Free German courses are available on the Deutsche Welle website (dw.com) in many languages. The website is available in different languages. Select “DW.COM in 30 languages” on the top of the site to choose your language.

In order to find a course, open the website www.dw.com → click on “Learn German” → click on “German courses”. There a various courses that you can choose. You can take a placement test if you are not sure which course is the right one for you.

Alternatively, you can attend free courses offered by the Goethe Institut: https://www.goethe.de/de/spr/flu.html

Learn German on your own:

In addition to attending courses, there is the option to practice the German language on your own. There are apps for your mobile phone that can help: for example “fun easy learn Deutsch”, “halloDeutsch” and “Einstieg Deutsch”.

There also is material that can help you learn German:

There books and digital material from the publishing houses Klett (for example https://www.klett-sprachen.de/kostenlose-materialien/c-1161) and Hueber (for example https://www.hueber.de/schritte-plus-neu/lernen/uebungen).

Everywhere in Germany, you can find libraries where you can read and borrow books. In Hamburg, they are called Bücherhallen. You can find information on locations, offers and costs here: https://we-inform.de/portal/en/recreation/.

There are podcasts that can help you learn German:

It is helpful to listen to native speakers in order to learn a language. You can utilise podcasts for this as well:

Discussion groups

Currently, the following discussion groups take place online:

Dialog in Deutsch (conversation in German) 

There are weekly conversation Groups in German for immigrants in all Bücherhallen and in the central library.

Price: free of charge
Schedule:   https://www.buecherhallen.de/ehrenamt-dialog-in-deutsch-termine.html
Registration: send an e-mail to DialoginDeutsch@buecherhallen.de.

Further information: https://www.buecherhallen.de/ehrenamt-dialog-in-deutsch.html.

Sprachbrücke-Hamburg e.V. (language bridge Hamburg society)

Sprachbrücke-Hamburg e.V. offers weekly discussion groups at various locations. Participants talk in German about topics changing on a monthly basis. It is also possible to participate in group excursions.

Price: free of charge

Further information, registration and schedule: https://www.sprachbruecke-hamburg.de/online-angebote/.

Additional options

Last updated: 12.01.2022

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