FAQ


Courses

Generally speaking, the internal courses at ÖIF are primarily directed at people entitled to asylum and subsidiary protection, as well as at asylum applicants with a strong likelihood of having their claim recognised. Other or more specific conditions for participation may apply to the various courses offered by ÖIF.

You can obtain detailed information on the conditions for attending a specific course at the ÖIF integration centres.

       1.   German courses

At its Vienna locations, ÖIF offers German courses for the language levels B1 to B2.

       2.    Professional language courses

At its Vienna and Graz locations, ÖIF (in cooperation with the national association BAG 2019) offers the “migrants carecourse, a subject-specific German course that provides comprehensive information on training in the field of nursing and care.

       3.    Volunteer learning groups

At all of its sites in Austria, ÖIF offers the so-called “Treffpunkt Deutschlearning groups (German meet-ups), which mainly serve to go over the material learned in regular German courses or to prepare for a regular German course. Instruction covers all language levels from A1 to B2. For people who are just starting to learn the language, alphabet training is also sometimes offered. This course is taught by qualified helpers working on a volunteer basis. You can obtain information on the current course offering of ÖIF at the  ÖIF integration centres.

Certified institutes offer integration and preparation courses for tests, ÖIF offers integration courses and tests for level B1.

The German courses for levels B1 and B2 currently offered by ÖIF also include a brief preparation for the corresponding test.

You can obtain information on the costs of courses at the ÖIF integration centres. Please inquire about any funding assistance during the interview where your language level is determined.

The ÖSTERREICH INSTITUT offers German courses at the following locations:

Belgrad:          https://www.beograd-oesterreichinstitut.rs
Bratislava:     https://www.bratislava.oesterreichinstitut.sk

Brünn:              https://www.brno.oesterreichinstitut.cz
Budapest:      https://www.budapest.oesterreichinstitut.hu

Krakau:           http://www.krakow.oei.org.pl

Moskau:         https//:www.oesterreichinstitut.ru
Rom:                 https://www.roma.oesterreichinstitut.it

Sarajevo:        http://www.oei.ba
Warschau:     http://www.warszawa.oei.org.pl
Wrocław:       http://www.wroclaw.oei.org.pl

At all of these locations, the ÖSTERREICH INSTITUT also offers ÖSD examinations for all language levels.


Since the ÖSTERREICH INSTITUT is only responsible for these courses outside Austria’s borders, it does not offer any courses in Austria.

ÖIF Tests

If you want to take the test at a certified institute, please ask them directly about the price. 

ÖIF tests can be repeated as often as necessary. Repeating only parts of a test (e.g. only writing or only speaking or only values) is not possible. You may immediately take a new test; you do not have to wait a minimum time between two tests. However, please note that your institute may request a fee every time you repeat the test. If you take the test directly at ÖIF, you have to pay an examination fee.

A model test for every ÖIF test form helps in preparing for the test.

The test consists of a written part (70 minutes) and an oral part (20 minutes, group test); it measures the ability to handle communication situations, especially simple situations with concrete needs (e.g. presenting oneself, eating and drinking, shopping, house issues).


To the model and exercise tests for the A1 – Fit für Österreich test.

The DTÖ tests your knowledge of German in the skillsets listening, reading, writing and speaking. The complete test consists of a written part of 100 minutes and an oral part of around 16 minutes that can be taken alone or in pairs.


The test candidates do not have to achieve B1 in all the skillsets (listening/reading, writing and speaking) to obtain a B1 certificate. In other words, the candidates receive a B1 certificate if they achieve a B1 level in the “speaking” module as well as in one of the other modules (either listening/reading or writing).


To obtain a certificate for the A2 level, A2 proficiency must also be achieved at least in the “speaking” module and in one of the other two modules (listening/reading or writing).

To the DTÖ model test

The ÖIF Test 2011 is an A2 level examination. It consists of the modules listening, reading, writing and speaking. The written test takes around 80 minutes, the oral test about 10 minutes per participant.

To the ÖIF-TEST neu model test.

The B2-ÖIF Test consists of a written part lasting 2 hours and 25 minutes and an oral test lasting about 15 minutes and that can be taken with two or three candidates simultaneously. The written part consists of the modules reading comprehension, speech blocks, listening comprehension and written expression.

To the B2 ÖIF Test model test.

The A1 Integration Test tests your language skills as well as your values and orientation knowledge. The written part lasts 110 minutes. The oral examination is conducted as a group examination with at most 4 candidates and lasts around 20 minutes per group. 

You can find sample questions for values and orientation knowledge here. 

The A2 Integration Test tests your language skills as well as your values and orientation knowledge. The written language examination lasts 120 minutes and consists of the sub-tests reading, listening and writing as well as values and orientation knowledge. It is followed by a 10-minute oral test for each candidate. You have to sit for all parts of the test to receive a result.

You can find sample questions for values and orientation knowledge here.

The B1 Integration Test is needed to fulfil Module 2 of the Integration Agreement (Integrationsvereinbarung) and tests your language skills as well as your values and orientation knowledge. The written examination lasts 140 minutes (excluding a 15-minute break) and consists of the sub-tests listening, reading and writing, including values and orientation knowledge. It is followed by the oral examination, which can be taken alone or in pairs and lasts around 16 minutes. 

You can find sample questions for values and orientation knowledge here.

ÖIF tests can be taken at ÖIF certified institutes. Please ask the institute what test forms they offer.

1. A1 – Fit für Österreich

  • Tests at the A1 level
  • Recognised language certificate for A1 level (especially for “Deutsch vor Zuzug” (“German before moving”) according to § 21a Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz – Settlement and Residence Act)

2. A1 Integration Test

  • Tests at the A1 level including values and orientation knowledge
  • Serves to fulfil the obligations in the Integration Declaration signed by certain people entitled to asylum and subsidiary protection.

3. ÖIF-Test (2011)

  • Tests at the A2 level
  • Recognised language certificate for Module 1 (A2) of the Integration Agreement (IV) 2011: persons who have signed the Integration Agreement 2011 (IV 2011) before 01/10/2017 can certify that they have fulfilled the requirements of Module 1 of IV 2011 with an ÖIF-Test 2011 (A2) certificate. For more information, please inquire at the responsible authority (Magistrat or Bezirkshauptmannschaft).

4. Deutsch-Test für Österreich (DTÖ)

  • Tests at the A2 level and B1 level simultaneously
  • Recognised language certificate for Module 1 (A2) of the Integration Agreement (IV) 2011: persons who have signed the Integration Agreement 2011 (IV 2011) before 01/10/2017 can certify that they have fulfilled the requirements of Module 1 of IV 2011 with an ÖIF-Test 2011 (A2) certificate. For more information, please inquire at the responsible authority (Magistrat or Bezirkshauptmannschaft).

5. A2 Integration Test

  • Tests at the A2 level incl. values and orientation knowledge
  • Recognised language certificate for Module 1 (A2) of the Integration Agreement (IV) 2017: persons who have signed the Integration Agreement after 01/10/2017 can fulfil the requirements of Module 1 of IV 2017 by taking this examination. Taking just an A2 language test is not enough to fulfil the requirements of Module 1 of IV 2017.  For more information, please inquire at the responsible authority (Magistrat or Bezirkshauptmannschaft).

6. B1 Integration Test

  • Tests at the B1 level incl. values and orientation knowledge
  • Recognised language certificate for Module 2 of the Integration Agreement (IV) 2017: persons who want to apply for the residence permit “Daueraufenthalt EU” (“Permanent residence EU”) after 01/10/2017 must have fulfilled the requirements of Module 2 of IV 2017.
  • To obtain Austrian citizenship: the B1 Integration Test can also be used to apply for Austrian citizenship after 10 years of legal residence in Austria. For more information, please inquire at the responsible authority (Magistrat or Bezirkshauptmannschaft).

7. B2-ÖIF-Test:

  • Tests at the B2 level
  • To obtain Austrian citizenship after 6 years of legal residence.

ÖIF offers 7 test forms:

1. A1 – Fit für Österreich – model test, listening samples and additional information.

2. ÖIF-TEST neu A2 – model test, listening samples and additional information.

3. Deutsch-Test für Österreich (DTÖ) A2/B1 – model test, listening samples and additional information.

4. B2-ÖIF-Test – model test, listening samples and additional information.

5. A1 Integration Test – model test, questions catalogue and additional information.

6. A2 Integration Test – model test, questions catalogue and additional information.

7. B1 Integration Test – model test, questions catalogue and additional information.

The results for language tests (refers only to the test forms “A1 – Fit für Österreich”, “ÖIF-TEST neu”, “Deutsch-Test für Österreich (DTÖ)”, “B2-ÖIF-Test”) are delivered to the candidates exclusively by ÖIF within 2 weeks of the test. The processing time for integration tests (refers only to the test forms “A1 Integration Test”, “A2 Integration Test”, “B1 Integration Test”) is 15 working days. The results are then sent by mail to the participants. In urgent cases, the authority can send a written request to ÖIF (by e-mail to pruefungen@integrationsfonds.at). The request must contain the following information: name of the test candidate, date of the test, site of the test (institute). ÖIF can then confirm the results of the test to the authority or representative in writing before the certificate is issued. 

IA

No, you are not obligated to take an integration course covering 300 instruction units. You can also take no courses, or courses with fewer instruction units. The certified institutes offer various modules for different language levels. As a person bound by an IV (Integration Agreement), you are only obligated to fulfil Module 1 of the Integration Agreement. For this, you only need to submit a recognised certificate (certificate for an integration test of at least A2 level).

ÖIF issues duplicates of federal vouchers. We need a copy of a declaration of loss to the police and a confirmation of the authority (Magistrat or Bezirkshauptmannschaft) that the lost voucher was actually issued (e.g. a copy of the carbon copy of the voucher). Send these two confirmations by registered mail to

Österreichischer Integrationsfonds

Team Integrationsvereinbarung

Landstraßer Hauptstraße 26

1030 Vienna

 

A processing fee of € 15 is charged for the issuance of a duplicate voucher. After this fee is paid, the voucher duplicate will be mailed to the address you have provided. 

If you receive an extension to fulfil the Integration Agreement, the expiration date of the voucher will also be extended.


IMPORTANT: You must apply for an extension to fulfil the Integration Agreement while the voucher is still valid! The authority must also issue a positive decision before the voucher expires. Therefore please make sure that you apply for the extension on time, as the authority has up to six months to issue its decision. 

The authority – the Magistrat (city) or Bezirkshauptmannschaft (state) – may grant an extension to fulfil the Integration Agreement upon considering your personal situation; a “personal situation” is e.g.:

  • Problems with a pregnancy
  • Severe psychological or physical illness or
  • Insufficient course offering.
  • The extension can be granted for at most a year at a time. This also extends the expiry date of the voucher (see below).

For costs up to EUR 5 per course unit, 50 per cent of the costs are covered. For costs over EUR 5 per course unit, EUR 2.50 will be covered per course unit, up to a maximum of EUR 750 for 300 course units.

If you have visited at least 75% of a certified integration course and have passed it at the A2 level by taking an ÖIF test (A2 or B1 Integration Test) within 18 months after the voucher was issued, you will receive financial assistance for a maximum of 300 course units or 50 per cent of the course costs, but at most EUR 750. 

Migrants can obtain financial assistance in the form of the blue ÖIF federal voucher (Bundesgutschein) to attend integration courses (Module 1) at a certified institute. The settlement authorities – the Magistrat or Bezirkshauptmannschaft – issue the voucher under certain conditions to so-called dependents. Dependents are spouses or minor, unmarried children of Austrian, Swiss, and EEA citizens and citizens of third states with long-term residence permits (e.g. permanent residence EU, permanent residence permit, entitlement to asylum…).

  • Minors under the age of 14: children and adolescents who are still under the age of 14 two years after the residence permit was issued.
  •  Persons who cannot be reasonably expected to fulfil it due to their physical or psychological health; they must present an official medical report, obtained at their own expense, to the authority.
  • Persons who declare in writing that their stay will not exceed a duration of 24 months within three years. This declaration contains an irrevocable waiver of another extension application following the first extension application.

For Module 1 (temporary residence permits), German language skills at the A2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages are required, as is a knowledge of the fundamental values of Austria’s legal and social order. There are special, funded integration courses for migrants whose language skills are insufficient. However, these integration courses are not obligatory.

For Module 2 (Permanent residence EU or Austrian citizenship), German language skills at the B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages are required, as is a deep knowledge of the fundamental values of Austria’s legal and social order. 

Citizens of third states who have obtained one of the following residence permits after 01/10/2017 must fulfil Module 1 of the Integration Agreement within two years of receiving their residence permit:

- red-white-red card (with a red-white-red card, Module 1 is already fulfilled by law)

- red-white-red card plus

- permanent residence permit

- permanent residence permit – excluding gainful employment

- permanent residence permit – dependents

- residence permit for dependents

- permanent residence permit – artists

- permanent residence permit – special cases of employees

 

All the ways to fulfil Module 1 of the Integration Agreement can be found in § 9 para. 4 Integrationsgesetz (Integration Act).

Framework of Reference

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment addresses the assessment of learning progress in a foreign language. It explains what needs to be taught in order to be able to successfully communicate in a language

There are three level groups divided into six levels.

 
  • A: Basic user
    • A1: Beginner
    • A2: Elementary
  • B: Independent user
    • B1: Intermediate
    • B2: Upper intermediate
  • C: Proficient user
    • C1: Advanced
    • C2: Proficient
     
 

CEFR stands for Common European Framework of Reference.

The “Common European framework of reference for languages: learning, teaching and assessment[1]” was drafted in 2001 for the Council of Europe.

The Goethe-Institut InterNationes, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture (BMBWK), the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) and the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Education (EDK) are some of the publishers. 

The Common European Framework of Reference increases the transparency of courses, syllabi, guidelines and qualifications and so makes a significant contribution to international cooperation in the area of modern languages. To fulfil all these tasks, the Common European Framework of Reference must be: comprehensive, transparent and coherent.

The Common European Framework of Reference was created as an instrument to render the various European language certificates comparable. At the same time, it provides a measure for evaluating the acquisition of language skills. 

The Common European Framework of Reference is therefore also the foundation for the development of target language syllabi, tests, textbooks and curriculum guidelines across the whole of Europe. 

At the A1 level, learners can understand and use familiar, common expressions and very simple sentences. They have learnt to present themselves and others, to ask other people simple questions regarding themselves and to answer questions. 

At the A2 level, learners can understand sentences and commonly used expressions with which they are familiar and that are immediately relevant to them. This means that the learners can communicate about familiar topics (family, shopping, work) in simple, everyday situations and can describe themselves and their immediate surroundings using elementary language.

At the B1 level, learners can already understand the main points of regularly encountered, familiar matters (e.g. school, work, family, leisure etc.). The learners can master everyday travel situations at this language level. They can produce connected text about familiar and personal areas of interest, describe them, and also briefly justify and explain their opinions.

At the B2 level, learners can already understand the main contents of complex texts on abstract issues. The learners are comfortable in their own field of specialisation and can explain their views and present the advantages and disadvantages of various options. They can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes conversation with native speakers easily possible.