Proof of German Language Skills

Women holding a tablet, which shows the words leran german and the german flag

Proof of German Language Skills

Applicants for certain visas and residence permits may have to demonstrate that they understand and speak basic to intermediate German.

Proof of German Language Skills - Hamburg Welcome Portal

Some visas and resident permits require that applicants can demonstrate a certain level of German. The assessment of language proficiency is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Typically, your proficiency must be reflected in a language certificate based on a standardised language test in accordance with the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE). If you have successfully completed an integration course, your language skills are certified with the integration course certificate.

Basic knowledge of German (A1)

If you have to prove basic knowledge of German when applying for a visa or residence permit, this corresponds to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and means:

  • You can understand and use basic sentences in everyday life.
  • You can introduce yourself and others, e.g. where you live, what you do and can answer such questions.
  • You can communicate with others in a simple way when they speak slowly and clearly and are willing to help.

Certificates of the following institutes are valid:

High quality exams offered by ALTE members can also be used as proof. In certain cases, the prerequisite of a language certificate may be waived if it becomes clear that you have at least the required basic language skills in a personal interview.

Sufficient knowledge of German (B1)

If you have to prove sufficient knowledge of German when applying for a visa or residence permit, this corresponds to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and means:

  • You can understand the essential content when clear, standard language is being used, and when dealing with familiar things from everyday life, e.g. work or leisure. This also means that you can read and understand a simple, everyday text and reflect the key points.
  • You can speak easily and coherently about familiar topics and personal interests.
  • You can talk about experiences and events, tell about your dreams and goals, and give a brief explanation to your plans and intentions.

Certificates of the following institutes are valid:

The following entrance examinations for higher education are also valid:

Proof of German Language Skills