What is the Integration Agreement?
What is the Integration Agreement?
The 2011 Integration Agreement (IA) serves the linguistic integration of migrants who want to settle permanently in Austria. This currently applies to migrants (third country nationals, i.e. non-EU citizens) who came into the country after July 1, 2011. By signing the Integration Agreement, migrants commit to acquiring sufficient German language skills within two years. ÖIF's responsibilities in the Integration Agreement:
What is the ÖIF responsible for?
The ÖIF is responsible for processing the Integration Agreement. The most important tasks are:
- Certifying course providers
- Quality assurance (sitting in on classes)
- Providing test formats for the New ÖIF Test (level A2) and DTÖ – German Test for Austria (level A2-B1)
- Handling blue federal vouchers and
- Processing tests
The most important information at a glance
What language level must be achieved?
German skills at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages are required for module 1. There are special, sponsored language courses for migrants whose language skills are not sufficient. However, these language courses are not compulsory.
German skills at level B1 are required for module 2.
What courses can I choose from?
German Integration courses for migrants whose language skills are not yet at level A2 are offered throughout Austria. The goal of these courses is to improve German skills in a way that enables active participation in social, business, and cultural life in Austria.
Who is exempt from the Integration Agreement?
Third country nationals who are under age until at least the end of the required fulfillment period and third country nationals who are unable to fulfill the Integration Agreement due to poor health. An official medical opinion is necessary to confirm this.
What is the New ÖIF Test/DTÖ Test?
The New ÖIF-Test is a test at level A2. The written test takes 85 minutes and consists of the sub tests reading, listening, and writing. The oral test takes 10 minutes per candidate. The German Test for Austria (DTÖ) is a scaled test at level A2 or B1. The written test takes 100 minutes and consists of the sub tests reading, listening, and writing. The oral test can either be done alone or in pairs and takes 16 minutes.
What kind of support is available?
Migrants can receive financial support in the form of the blue ÖIF federal voucher. The responsible authorities – municipal authority or administrative district authority – issue the voucher to family members under certain circumstances. In this case, family members are spouses or under aged children of Austrians, Swiss, EEA citizens, and third country nationals.
The following financial and time restrictions apply for financial support through a voucher:
Participants who have successfully completed a certified German course at level A2 with an ÖIF test within 18 months after the voucher was issued receive compensation for a maximum of 300 class hours or 50% of the course costs, maximum €750.
How the support works: You attend a German integration course with 300 class units for which you paid €1,000. Your voucher was issued on July 1, 2011. On November 20, 2012, you passed your level A2 test. Because you successfully completed the course and test within 18 months, your voucher was still valid. Along with your certificate, you receive a refund of 50% of your course costs equal to €500 euros (50% of €1,000). Attention: If you pass the test on March 20, 2013, or later, your voucher will have expired and you receive NO refund of course costs!
No compulsory German course
Migrants are not obliged to attend a 300 hour language course. You also have the option of attending no course at all or one with fewer class units. For this purpose the certified course institutes offer different modules at a variety of levels.