This glossary explains frequently used terms relating to the language/integration nexus and guides you through the apparent complexities of the relevant concepts and terminology.

Aufenthaltsgesetz (Residence Act)

For the purpose of the integration courses, the term “new arrival” (Neuzuwanderer) applies to all immigrants who are no longer of compulsory school age, including ethnic German resettlers and quota refugees, who are permanently resident in Germany and received their first residence permit after 1 January 2005. “Earlier arrivals” (Altzuwanderer) are immigrants who arrived in Germany before 31 December 2004 and have been therefore living in Germany for some time.

The distinction is relevant in that new arrivals who are permanently resident in Germany (as well as ethnic German resettlers) are legally entitled to attend an integration course. This entitlement expires after two years. Earlier arrivals, as well as EU citizens, may attend an integration course if places on a course are available.

Related links


Funny stories about horses and soccer-players – read out on Arabic and downloadable as a podcast to be listened to anywhere!


Where to? 21 questions on migration and refuge


Learning German for Refugees

Arriving App

The guide for your first weeks in Germany

My way to Germany

Videos and practises for German learners