Integration of foreigners; information

You can find out about the integration of foreigners who are staying with us legally and permanently, as well as asylum seekers with good prospects of staying.


For the integration of foreigners living legally and permanently in Bavaria as well as asylum seekers with good prospects of remaining in the state, society, working life and culture, reliable framework conditions are just as necessary as one's own willingness to accept existing integration offers and to want and support integration oneself. Integration is not a one-way street but a mutual give and take. However, genuine integration is only possible if the number of people to be integrated is limited and the acceptance of the population is maintained through socially acceptable control of the influx of foreigners.

The integration of foreigners living here legally and permanently as well as asylum seekers with good prospects of remaining (see various residence titles under "Related Topics") is a declared goal of the Bavarian State Government.

No integration without language! Only those who speak German can find their way in daily life, acquire a school-leaving certificate and actively participate in the labour market. Language is the first step into the middle of our lives. Such important language skills are taught in the integration course.

The general integration course includes a language course and an orientation course. The language course with 600 hours aims to impart sufficient knowledge of the German language. The orientation course of 100 hours serves to provide orientation in the legal system, culture and history of Germany and focuses on teaching values, in particular equality between women and men. In order to make the courses more flexible for the respective target group, special integration courses can be set up if required (e.g. in the case of increased care requirements), which then comprise up to 900 teaching hours in the language course and 100 hours in the orientation course.

Those entitled to participate in the integration course must pay a contribution to the costs to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Those who receive benefits according to SGB II (Basic Security for Job Seekers) or assistance for subsistence according to SGB XII can be exempted from this upon application.

Under Section 44 of the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz - AufenthG), adult foreigners who are permanently resident in Germany and who do not already have sufficient knowledge of the German language are generally entitled to attend an integration course if they have been granted a residence permit for the first time for the purpose of gainful employment, for the purpose of family reunification, for certain humanitarian reasons or as a long-term resident (EU). Corresponding confirmation of eligibility for participation is issued by the foreigners authorities.

Other foreigners and their family members may be admitted to courses by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees within the framework of available course places (cf. § 44 Para. 4 AufentG). This also applies to foreigners who are in possession of a residence permit and who are expected to reside lawfully and permanently (i.e. not asylum seekers from safe countries of origin, see § 44 Para. 4 Sentence 3 AufenthG!) as well as to foreigners who are in possession of a discretionary toleration according to § 60a Para. 2 Sentence 3 AufenthG or a residence permit according to § 25 Para. 5 AufenthG. German nationals who are in need of integration (e.g. because they grew up abroad) can also be admitted to the integration course.

The Foreign Nationals Employment Promotion Act will expand access for asylum seekers and tolerated persons to federally funded language promotion measures from 1 August 2019. In particular, asylum seekers who are not from safe countries of origin will be able to access integration courses after three months of permitted residence if they entered before 1 August 2019 and if they are close to the labour market. Participation is also possible if the criterion of proximity to the labour market is not met for reasons of child-rearing.

In addition to the aspect of PROMOTING integration, the aspect of REQUIRING integration is also enshrined in the Residence Act. § Section 44a of the Residence Act regulates the conditions under which foreigners can be obliged to attend an integration course, among other things if they lack a basic knowledge of German. If such an obligation is not fulfilled, sanctions are provided for, such as the imposition of a fine. Pursuant to Section 8 (3) sentence 6 of the Residence Act, the extension of the residence permit is generally to be limited to a maximum of one year in each case until the integration course has been successfully completed (corresponds to B1 level CEFR). Whether or not the foreigner violates his or her obligation to properly attend the integration course is also to be taken into account when deciding on the extension of the residence permit (cf. section 8 (3) Residence Act). According to the legislator's intention, there is a connection between residence status and integration progress.

In addition to improved opportunities to participate in social life, successful completion of the integration course can also make naturalisation easier for the foreigners concerned. The Nationality Act (Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz, StAG) stipulates that in such cases an entitlement to naturalisation with regard to the duration of residence already exists after seven instead of eight years of lawful habitual residence in Germany (section 10 (3) sentence 1 StAG), provided that the other prerequisites for naturalisation are also met.

Status: 07.12.2021

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration

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