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Good knowledge of German is a decisive precondition for non-native people in order to have chances for education and success on the employment market. Who masters the German language will quickly find work, will be able to better support their children and may better use their rights in Germany. The Immigration Act builds the basis for the fact that people immigrating to Germany will learn German as early and comprehensive as possible. This is achieved by means of integration classes.

What is an integration class?
The integration classes consist of a language class of 600 – 900 German lessons and 45 hours of information about politics and the society in Germany. At the end of the integration class, there is a language examination according to European standard (certificate German – level B1).
Who may take part in an integration class?
Foreigners who legally immigrate to Germany and do not have at least basic knowledge of German have to take part in an integration class (for EU citizens and late repatriates, the participation is voluntary).
 Moreover, you may voluntarily take part if you legally live in Germany and speak little or no German. For further information, please click here.

Who may be obliged to take part in a class?
If you receive the so-called Arbeitslosengeld II (unemployment benefit) and will have better chances to find a job with better knowledge of German or do not speak German and can therefore not help your children at school, the foreigners' registration office or job-com may oblige you to take part.

What are the advantages you may benefit from?
If you successfully pass the language examination, you may already get the German citizenship after a legal stay of 7 years without having to pass another language examination. For further information about the integration classes, please visit the homepage of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees under www.bamf.de/EN/Willkommen/DeutschLernen/Integrationskurse/integrationskurse-node.html.

What are the disadvantages if you do not take part in an integration class?
The residence permit may be granted for a shorter period of time. You will not get a residence permit and thus no unlimited right to stay in Germany if you do not master the language sufficiently. If you want to be naturalised, you have to be able to speak and read German to a sufficient extent.

What does an integration class cost?

One lesson costs Euro 2.94. The participants usually pay 1 Euro for each lesson and the remaining Euro 1.74 are taken over by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Thus, with a total number of lessons of 660 units, the participants have to bear costs amounting to Euro 792 as per integration class.
If you are unemployed or earn little money, you might even take part in the class free of charge. Under certain conditions, the participants are released from payment by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Please contact a counselling centre or the foreigners’ registration office for information on this.

Repatriates may principally take part in an integration class free of charge once.

VHS Jülich, Mrs. Schotte, Am Aachener Tor 16, in 52428 Jülich, Tel: 02461/63-229, e-mail: CSchotte@juelich.de, Internet: www.juelich.de/vhs
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