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General information

The Integration Agreement is intended to enable the integration of foreign nationals lawfully settled in Austria. Its purpose is to provide in-depth German language skills, in particular reading and writing skills, with an aim to enable third-country nationals to participate in the social, economic and cultural life in Austria.

The Integration Agreement is comprised of two sequential Modules. Only Module 1 is mandatory when certain residence titles have been granted.

Module 2 is not mandatory, but shall be required for obtaining a long-term residence title (“Long-term Resident – EC” and “Long-term Resident – Family Member”), as well as for obtaining citizenship.

Module 1

Module 1 is intended to provide German language skills for in-depth basic language use (i.e. language skills at A2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Third-country nationals are obliged to complete Module 1 when first granted one of the following residence titles:

  • "Red-White-Red Card”
  • "Red-White-Red Card plus"
  • "Settlement Permit"
  • "Settlement Permit – Gainful Employment Excepted"
  • "Settlement Permit – Dependant"
  • "Family Member"
Please note:
The grant of a Red-White-Red Card is considered as successful completion of Module 1.

Persons not required to complete the Integration Agreement are

  • holders of a Stay Permit
  • holders of a "EU Blue Card"
  • holders of a Registration Certificate, Long-term-Residence Certificate, Residence Card or Long-term Residence Card (family members of EEA- and Swiss nationals entitled to move and reside freely).

The obligation to fulfil Module 1 starts when a residence title was granted for the first time and shall be for the duration of two years.

The following groups of persons are exempt from completing Module 1 of the Integration Agreement:

  • Third-country nationals who are still underage at the time of compliance obligation. This covers underage minors (aged 14 years or less), who will still be minors two years after being granted the residence title.
  • Third-country nationals in bad health condition. (When claiming bad mental or physical health condition, a medical report by a public health officer has to be provided.)
  • Third-country nationals, who have declared in writing, that they will not stay in Austria for more than 12 months within a 24-month period. By such a declaration they also waive the right to file an application for an extension.

Upon application and in consideration of the personal circumstances of applicants, a 12-month grace period for completing Module 1 of the Integration Agreement may be granted.

Module 1 is deemed to be completed if the following conditions have been fulfilled:

  • Attendance of German Integration classes and evidence provided by the Austrian Integration Fund that such classes were completed successfully (classes are held at A2 level by an institute certified by the Austrian Integration Fund).
  • Obtaining a generally acknowledged certificate of adequate German language skills; in particular from one of the following institutions:

    • Austrian Language Diploma German
    • Goethe-Institut e.V.
    • Telc GmbH


    Evidence of adequate German language skills to complete Module 1 of the Integration Agreement may also be provided by certificates issued by the Austrian Integration Fund upon successfully passing an A2 level test according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

  • School-leaving qualification with general eligbility for admission to university pursuant to Section 64(1), University Act 2002, Federal Law Gazette I. No. 120, or completion of a medium-level vocational school,
  • Obtaining a residence title “Red-White-Red Card” (holders of a residence title “Red-White-Red Card” are deemed by law to have completed Module 1 of the Integration Agreement) or
  • Completion of Module 2.

For certain family members the Federal Government shall refund 50% of the costs of German integration classes up to a maximum amount of €750 if such classes were successfully completed within 18 months of the start of the compliance obligation.

Module 2

Module 2 is intended to provide German language skills for in-depth autonomous language use (i.e. German language skills at B1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Third-country nationals applying for a residence title “Long-term Resident – EU” must have completed Module 2 of the Integration Agreement when filing such application.

There is no general obligation to complete Module 2 for holders of certain residence titles and no sanctions in case of non-completion shall be imposed. Yet, a long-term residence title or citizenship can only be obtained if Module 2 has been completed.

The following groups of persons shall be exempt from the obligation to complete Module 2 of the Integration Agreement:

  • Third-country minors who are not yet subject to compulsory education when applying. Compulsory general education starts on 1 September of the year following the applicant’s 6th birthday.

  • Third-country nationals in a permanently bad physical or mental health condition; when claiming a permanently bad health condition, a medical report issued by a public health officer has to be provided.

Module 2 is deemed to be completed if the following conditions have been fulfilled:

  • Evidence of adequate German language skills provided by the Austrian Integration Fund,
  • A generally acknowledged evidence of adequate German language skills; in particular  from one of the following institutions:

    • Austrian Language Diploma German
    • Goethe-Institut e.V.
    • Telc GmbH.

      Evidence of adequate German language skills to complete Module 2 of the Integration Agreement can also be provided by certificates issued by the Austrian Integration Fund upon successfully passing a B1 level test according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
       

  • Being a minor and attending primary school (Volksschule) according to the requirements of compulsory education;
  • Being a minor attending secondary school (e.g. Hauptschule, AHS) and having successfully completed German classes;
  • Evidence of having attended a compulsory school in Austria for a minimum of five years and having successfully completed German classes or having successfully completed German classes on a 9th grade level;
  • Evidence of having successfully completed German classes at a school abroad, where German is taught at least at a 9th grade level of an Austrian compulsory school or
  • Passing a final apprenticeship examination according to the Vocational Training Act.
Please Note
If requirements of Module 2 are fulfilled, the same is true for Module 1. Regarding both modules, the authorities may decide ex officio that notwithstanding any evidence provided by the aplplicant, the third-country citizen has not fulfilled the integration agreement due to lack of required language skills.

Further information and useful links

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