Integration policy is a core policy area in Germany and is considered a task for all of society. Integration is a service, but also requires migrants to commit to making efforts themselves as it can only succeed as a mutual process. According to the Residency Act, those foreigners who legally live long-term on German territory can lay claim to federal integration services. These services include language instruction, integration in training, work, and education, as well as social integration. The goal: to enable such persons to be part of and play a part in society. The central measure: an integration course consisting of language instruction and an orientation course.
More than 33 percent of 20 to 34-year-old foreign adults remain without vocational qualifications. A key goal of the Federal Government: to enhance their participation in education. The reform of the citizenship laws in 2014 introduced dual citizenship. For persons who were born and have grown up in Germany after 1990 and are the children of foreign parents, the “obligation” to opt for either the one or the other citizenship after completing their 23rd year has been abolished.
Financial securing during education or training
Migrants who are likely to stay longer in Germany should be quick to start a training course or begin a job. To this end, in 2019 the Federal Government introduced legislation to promote education and employment for foreigners. Anyone who has good prospects of remaining in the country can now start working more quickly. Provision of language courses and other integration offerings likewise improve the legislation.
The Federal Government has also changed the regulations on benefits for asylum-seekers. These amendments aim to prevent refugees from having to terminate a training or study course for financial reasons.
Special support for women
The Federal Government is also aiming to help women with a migrant background to better integrate into the job market. Among other things, job placement specialists have been given targeted training so they can better address the particular needs of women with a migrant background.
Volunteering also plays a particular role in integration – both with the numerous volunteers involved in providing courses and everyday assistance to refugees or migrants, and with the migrants themselves who work as volunteers. Volunteering is likewise encouraged within the framework of the amended Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act.