Kursteilnehmende machen eine Wortübung auf dem Tisch. Zu sehen sind Wortkarten und Lehrbücher. © Goethe-Institut
For migrants with a visa


New to Germany and want to learn the language? Attending the integration course will help you with that. If you speak no German or only a little, attendance is mandatory, in other words you have to take the integration course.

The Ausländeramt (immigration office) gives you a certificate of eligibility and a list of course providers, in other words language schools. Then you can find a language school in your area and register there.

You can also find the addresses of all integration course providers under the heading Important addresses. There you can search for course providers near your place in Germany. Then you will see the results with information such as address or telephone number on a map.

Der Ablauf eines Integrationskurses ist auf einem Whiteboard schematisch dargestellt. © Goethe-Institut

Language level assessment, lessons and final examination

Once you have registered with the course provider you take a language level assessment. This enables them to find out which course is best for you. The cost to you is 1.20 € per lesson. If you don’t have much money, you will not have to pay and/or your travel expenses will be reimbursed. The integration course consists of a language course and an orientation course. 

The language course consists of 600 lessons. Here you learn the language with aspects of everyday life, such as shopping, housing, children, media, leisure, school and work, or appointments with the doctor.   

At the end you take your final examination (“German language test for immigrants”; DTZ). After the examination you are awarded an “Integration course certificate”. You can then speak, read and write German to level A2 or B1 standard. Many employers want to see this certificate. Sometimes you also need it for an authority, such as the immigration office. If you want to apply for naturalisationn in other words if you want to become a German citizen, the “Integration course certificate” is also helpful to have.

What if you don’t pass the final examination? Then you can repeat the 300 lessons. And you can retake the examination as well. 

Ein Kursteilnehmer ist im Klassenzimmer zu sehen. © Goethe-Institut

Special courses

There is a special integration course for young people up to the age of 27, the youth integration course. It helps you if you want to do vocational training. Information is available from the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge.

In some towns, specialised courses are also offered, such as courses aimed at women only, literacy courses or courses with childcare. Ask at your language school.  

For asylum seekers

Integration: Learning German

As soon as you have been granted asylum, you will be allowed to take part in an integration course. Prior to this, no entitlement to such a course exists. But there are exceptions:

Asylum seekers with good prospects of remaining in the country may apply for an integration course. The prospects of remaining in the country are deemed good for asylum seekers who hold a temporary resident permit, have been granted a temporary stay of deportation or those who hold a residence permit. Important information regarding these different conditions is available on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

Do you want to start learning German sooner? In this case, refugees have several options. Children must attend school in Germany. This also applies to children and young adults who have submitted an asylum application, as long as they have not yet attended school for nine years. At school, they will be introduced to the German language and culture (see “School System”).

But adults, too, may start learning German while waiting for the decision on their asylum application. Many refugee centres have voluntary teachers who offer German lessons free of charge.

Integrationskurse für Asylbewerber

Frequently asked questions

How long is the integration course?

How long is the youth integration course?

Where can I do an integration course?

I do not want to do the integration course. Do I have to do it?

Do I have to do the orientation course?

Muss ich die Abschlussprüfung machen?

I cannot attend the course, for example because I am unwell or my child is sick. What do I do?

Can I change course provider?

What do I need for the course?

Can I take a break?

Why aren’t all asylum seekers entitled to an integration course?

Further questions? Write us via the contact form. We will forward your questions anonymously to the advisors of the youth migration services.

Contact form