IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Austria has introduced an integration exam for non-EU/EEA nationals who are required to complete an integration agreement.
What does the change mean? The integration exam has been added to Module 1 and Module 2 of the integration agreement requirements, and tests for basic knowledge of Austria’s legal and social system at a certain German language level.
- Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
- Visas/permits affected: Red-White-Red cards, Settlement permits, family permits, long-term resident permits and naturalization applications.
- Who is affected: Non-EU/EEA nationals who are required to complete Module 1 or 2 of the Integration Agreement.
- Business impact: The integration exam adds to the list of requirements for successful completion of the integration agreement.
Background: Most non-EU/EEA nationals who apply for a residence permit and intend to stay in Austria for more than 24 months must sign an integration agreement to ensure that they have basic German language skills, enabling them to integrate into social, economic and cultural life in Austria. Module 1 is compulsory for those who are granted Red-White-Red cards and RWR cards plus, several categories of settlement permits and family member permits. Module 2 is generally required for long-term resident applicants and citizenship applicants. There are exemptions for each module.
BAL Analysis: Non-EU/EEA nationals should factor in this additional step, which requires evidence by the Austrian Integration Fund that they have successfully completed an integration exam (Integration Exam Certificate at least at A2 level for Module 1 and at B1 level for Module 2, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), or equivalent evidence as issued by institutions that have been certified by the Integration Fund. Fines may be imposed if an applicant has not fulfilled Module 1 of the integration agreement.