Arrival, Integration Courses and Language Support
In order to make it easier for you to find your way around Germany and to meet the need for counselling, the Federal Government has decided to open up the following courses and services to persons seeking protection from Ukraine who have a residence permit in accordance with Section 24 of the German Residence Act (AufenthG):
- Migration counselling for adult immigrants (MBE)
- Youth Migration Services (JMD) migration counselling for young people up to 27 years of age ()
- Initial orientation courses for asylum seekers (EOK)
- Programme “Migrant women simply strong in everyday life” (MiA courses)
- Integration courses
You can also take part in a vocational language course.
The Migration Counselling Service (MBE) is an individual counselling service that you can contact with your personal questions about settling in Germany, e.g. about finding a place to live, a job or a doctor. You can also use the app “” for this purpose. The addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of all MBE counselling centres can be found at .
Initial Orientation Courses (EOK) are a low-threshold offer to provide an overview of life in Germany and simple German language skills on topics such as health, work or education.
MiA courses are aimed specifically at women and help them to get started and move on in Germany. The participants receive relevant information for everyday life, e.g. how the school and education system in Germany works or what opportunities there are for training and further education.
Integration courses are much more comprehensive and always consist of a language course and an orientation course. In the language course, you learn the basics of the German language in order to be able to write letters or emails, for example, or to apply for a job. The orientation course covers topics such as the German legal system and the history and culture of Germany. There you will learn about your rights and obligations and you will be taught the values that are particularly important in Germany, e.g. freedom of religion, tolerance and equality. In addition to general integration courses, there are also special courses, e.g. for women or young people, as well as intensive courses. At the end of the integration course there is both a language test and a final test on life in Germany, as well as a certificate if you pass the tests.
Vocational language courses (BSK) build on the integration courses and prepare participants for the world of work in Germany. In addition to basic courses, there are also courses with different target language levels.
Participation in the courses and counselling services is generally free of charge and possible upon presentation of the residence permit issued in accordance with Section 24 of the German Residence Act (AufenthG). In principle, all courses funded by the BAMF are available to refugees from Ukraine, and registration for the integration courses is done by application to the BAMF. Your Job Centre will help you apply for and find a vocational language course. For the and courses as well as migration counselling, you can register directly with the course providers. The makes it easy to find the right course in your area.
Every integration course consists of a language course and an orientation course:
In the language course you will learn the vocabulary for all important areas of daily life and the world of work. This includes, for example, topics such as shopping, public transport, contacts with authorities, finding a flat, spending leisure time with friends and neighbours, as well as situations in everyday life. You will learn how to write letters in German, fill in forms, make phone calls or apply for a job. The topics vary depending on which type of course you attend. If you attend a parent integration course, for example, topics are covered that are of particular interest to parents, such as school attendance and childcare options in Germany.
In the orientation course you will get to know Germany and learn the most important things about its laws and politics, culture and recent history.
Before you can participate in an integration course, you must take a placement test. The placement test is used to determine your individual requirements and which of the following courses best suits your personal situation:
General integration course: This course consists of 600 lessons of language course and 100 lessons of orientation course.
Special integration courses: These courses consist of 900 lessons of language course and 100 lessons of orientation course. They are available for:
- Young adults who are no longer obliged to attend school (youth integration course)
- Immigrants with literacy needs (literacy course)
- People who have not learned the Latin alphabet (second language course)
- People with increased linguistic needs (remedial courses)
- People with disabilities (e.g. hearing impaired, visually impaired)
Intensive courses: These courses are suitable if language learning is easy for you and you want to and and are able to reach the course goal particularly quickly. An intensive course consists of 400 lessons in the language course and 30 lessons in the orientation course.
Integration courses are run by accredited educational institutions. You can attend them as full-time or part-time courses.
As a refugee from Ukraine, you need a residence permit or a fictitious certificate from the foreign citizens’ authority.
Please enclose a copy of the relevant proof. If you are applying online, please upload the proof.
For refugees from Ukraine, participation is generally free of charge.
However, participation in the integration course is no longer free of charge if you
- no longer receive benefits under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act,
- or no longer receive benefits under the Basic Security for Job Seekers.
Yes, if you are attending an integration course and incur costs for travelling to the course, you can apply for a subsidy for travel costs. The requirement is that your walking distance to the course location is at least 3.0 kilometres.
At the end of the language course, you will take the examination “German Test for Immigrants (Deutsch-Test für Zuwanderer)” (DTZ). The orientation course is completed with the final test “Living in Germany (Leben in Deutschland)”. If you successfully complete the language test with a B1 result and the “Living in Germany” test, you will receive the “Integration Course Certificate (Zertifikat Integrationskurs)”.
Yes, your children can be supervised as far as possible in the vicinity of the integration course if you do not have a regular daycare place for your children.
The federal programme “Integration Course with Child: Building Blocks for the Future (Integrationskurs mit Kind: Bausteine für die Zukunft)” is available for this purpose. The programme supports the supervision of children who are not yet of school age and whose parents are attending an integration course. The supervision is free of charge for you.
The vocational language course builds on the integration course. You can attend it if you attended an integration course before or if you know German well (level B1).
In the vocational language course, you learn German for the world of work. These courses have 400 to 500 lessons of 45 minutes each.
There are basic courses with different objectives (for example, level B2, C1, C2). You learn general content from the world of work.
The courses often have about 15 participants. In rural areas, smaller groups are also possible.
The teacher regularly records the participants' learning progress in writing and evaluates it together with them at the end of the course. At the end of the course you will take a certificate exam.
There are also special courses:
- for people in the recognition process for academic health professions (e.g. doctor) and health professions
- with subject-specific content for the field of commercial technology or retail trade
- with entry level A1 and A2 for participants from the integration course who have not reached level B1
You have to fulfil the following requirements for participating in a vocation language course:
- Either you speak German at A1 or A2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages, have attended an integration course and have taken the German test for immigrants and failed.
- Or you speak German at B1, B2 or C1 level.
- Your language skills will be tested in a placement test. This is not necessary if you have a certificate of your German language skills that is no more than six months old.
- You have registered as a job-seeker, unemployed person or training-seeker with the Employment Agency or you are receiving basic benefits for job-seekers under the German Social Code Book II (SGB II).
- Or you are currently undergoing the recognition procedure for your vocational or training qualification.
You can also take a vocational language course if you are working or undergoing training.
Participation in the professional language course is generally free of charge. If you incur costs for travelling to the course, you can apply for a subsidy towards the travel costs under certain conditions.
You only have to pay a contribution to costs if you work and earn more than a certain amount.
Your employer can also pay this contribution.
If you successfully complete the examination, you can apply for a refund of 50 per cent of the cost contribution.
If you receive basic benefits for jobseekers (German Social Code, Book II, SGB II), your job centre will help you apply for a vocational language course and find the most suitable course for you. The counsellors also know which language schools offer courses.
If you have a job, are undergoing training or are in the recognition process and do not receive benefits under SGB II or SGB III, you must apply directly to the BAMF for entitlement to participate.
You can find a vocational language course near you here. Once you have found a course, the course provider can also help you with the application for entitlement to participate.
You will find the appropriate application form below:
In the you will find online German courses at different levels from A1 to B2. This allows you to learn on your own, when you want. There are online tutors. They correct tasks, give feedback, advise and motivate you. You do not have to know German yet to use the learning portal since the starting page is also available in Ukrainian. You can use it on your smartphone and it works via an app even if you do not have internet.
You can find more digital language courses for learning German with Ukrainian or Russian as the source language on theDeutsche Welle (DW) website. There you will find basic courses as well as slowly spoken messages in German.
How to apply for an integration course
Step 1: You must apply for permission to enrol in an integration course.
You can apply at the regional branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) responsible for the area where you are living.
Or you can contact an educational institution which offers integration courses. They will help you fill out and submit the application form. You can apply by post or online.
To apply online, click on the link below. You will be guided through each step in the application process.
To apply online, you will need an identity document in electronic form in order to authenticate your identity with bund ID:
- electronic residence permit
- EU identity card with online ID function
- German identity card with online ID function
If you don’t have any of these documents in electronic form, you can apply by filling out the form and sending it by post.
Applying by post
You can either fill out the form on the BAMF website, then print it out and sign it,
- you can download the form from the BAMF website, print it out first, then fill it in and sign it.
- Send the completed and signed form with copies of the necessary documents to the BAMF regional office responsible for the area where you are living.
Find a BAMF regional office in your area
- BAMF will examine your application and will contact you if any questions arise or if any documents are missing.
- BAMF will then send you a letter in the post with permission to enrol in an integration course. You should take this letter as soon as possible to an educational institution offering integration courses so that you can enrol.
Step 2: Contact an educational institution which offers integration courses.
- If your application for permission to enrol in an integration course was accepted, BAMF will send you a letter in the post with permission to enrol.
- Take this letter as soon as possible to an educational institution offering integration courses near you.
- Show the educational institution your permission to enrol. They will help you choose an appropriate course. They will also tell you when the next course starts.