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The new Integration Act

July 7, 2016

The Integration Act promotes rapid integration into the labour market.

Two cheerfull neighbours of different origin in a staircase. Next to it is a lettering which says "Neighborhood works better together".

The Integration Act (Integrationsgesetz) promotes rapid integration into the labour market. To this end, we are offering you a range of opportunities:

  • Local opportunities from an early stage: A labour market programme has been established to let you gain initial experience of the German labour market even before the asylum procedure is completed. With 100,000 casual job opportunities available through refugee integration measures, you can engage in meaningful activities serving the public good in and around reception centres.
  • Easier access to employment: The labour market priority test is being suspended for three years for asylum applicants and those with "tolerated person" status, enabling them to also engage in temporary agency work. This removes the need to carry out a time-consuming check as to whether an EU citizen could be considered for the job in question before the position is filled. To avoid any potential negative impact in regions where the labour market is tight, the Länder (federal states) are to decide in which employment agency districts this arrangement applies.
  • More targeted support for vocational training: Training-related assistance, assisted training and pre-vocational training programmes will now be available sooner, depending on the target group. The vocational training grant and training stipend will be available to certain groups for the first time.
  • More legal certainty during vocational training: If you begin a course of school-based or in-company vocational training, you will retain your tolerated-person status for the entire period of your vocational training, regardless of your age. Those who drop out of training will receive a six-month extension of their tolerated-person status to give them a chance to find a new vocational training place. People who complete vocational training will be entitled to residence in Germany for a further two years (the "3+2 rule") if they find a job which reflects their new qualification. Even in cases where people do not find employment immediately, we want to ensure that our country does not lose out on the potential of those who have been trained here. That is why people who have completed vocational training will receive tolerated-person status for six months so they can look for a job.

In addition, the Integration Act improves the services available to help people learn German and creates clear rules for permanent residence in Germany.

This graphic shows the support provided for integration and the obligations of those seeking to integrate, as set out in the new Integration Act. Under the motto "Together we are strong", the two aspects of "integration support" and "integration obligations" are interlinked.

"Integration support" encompasses 100,000 refugee integration measures, more support for vocational training, the temporary suspension of the labour market priority test (depending on the regional labour market), expanded integration courses which communicate values, and secure residence status during and after vocational training.

"Integration obligations" include the obligation to cooperate with integration measures, and the temporary requirement to take up residence in an assigned location, which is intended to prevent social segregation.

Learn­ing Ger­man

Learning the language is essential to find your bearings as fast as possible in Germany. Here you can find out where refugees can get help to learn German.