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Hamburg Welcome Portal Integration courses for German citizens

Here you can find out more about whether and how you can take part in an integration course, the fees and the possibilities of an exemption from costs.

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Integration Courses for Germans - Hamburg Welcome Portal

In order to participate in an integration course, you must be eligible.

Persons with German citizenship have no legal right to participate. However, you can still be admitted to participate by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees if you do not yet speak sufficient German, are in particular need of integration and there are free course places available.

Application procedure

Fill out the application for admission to an integration course. Once you have received your certificate of eligibility ("Berechtigungsschein") from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, you can choose an integration course provider.

Here you can register and the course provider will help you with the completion and submission of the additional application forms to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.  It is possible, for example, under certain conditions to apply for a cost exemption and a travel allowance.

Cost of the integration course

If you are eligible to participate in an integration course, your participation will be subsidized and half of the fee of €4.40 per teaching unit (UE) will be covered by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, i.e. you will pay a cost contribution of €2.20 per UE. A general integration course with 700 units will therefore cost €1,540, for example.

Exemption from costs:

If you are a recipient of unemployment benefit II or social assistance, you will be exempt from the cost contribution. Please submit a current benefit decision “Leistungsbescheid” to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees with your application for cost exemption. For further information, please contact the job center or social welfare office responsible for you. Ethnic German resettlers are allowed to take part in the integration course once free of charge.

Upon application, participants who find it particularly difficult to pay the cost contribution can also be exempted. To prove this, you can present a certificate of eligibility for housing or a certificate of urgency, for example. You can also submit current certificates of receipt of housing allowance (“Wohngeld”), BAföG, child supplement (“Kinderzuschlag”), asylum seeker benefits (“Asylbewerberleistungen”) or an exemption from daycare fees, GEZ fees or a local social ticket (“Sozialticket”).

For this purpose, it is necessary to submit the application for cost exemption in good time before the start of the course. A cost exemption cannot be considered retroactively, but only from the course section following the date of the application, unless it is your first individual course section.

Reimbursement of costs

If you have not received a cost exemption, you can apply for a refund of half of the cost contribution you have paid. The conditions for this are that you have successfully passed the final tests of the integration course within two years from the date of issue of your authorization to participate. This regulation does not apply to course participants who attend the course externally without authorization.

Reimbursement of travel expenses

If you are taking part in an integration course and are exempt from the cost contribution, you can apply for a subsidy for travel costs, provided the walking distance to the course location is at least 3.0 km.  The subsidy is granted in the form of a lump sum per course day.

You can find more information as well as all forms and applications on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees or you can contact the language schools offering these courses directly. You can search for course locations and courses near your place of residence via the BAMF-NAvI.

Information is also available from the Service Center of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, which you can reach by e-mail at service@bamf.bund.de or by phone at +49 911 943-0.

Would you like advice on your options for attending an integration course in Hamburg? If so, please contact our Welcome Desk: