Which level of German knowledge do I have to reach in order to meet the immigration requirements?

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The needed level of German knowledge will mostly depend on your plans for the future: if you want to stay in Austria for a longer period/permanently or if you plan to move to another country after a shorter assignment. There is a lot of information on the internet and it is hard to determine if one of these regulations applies to you or not.

If you are staying in Austria only for a short time on a secondment – e.g. max. 1-2 years – of course nobody will force you to take German classes. It will be up to you if you choose to learn the local language in Austria.

For locally employed foreign citizens from non- EU-countries or non-EU citizens on long-term secondments, the situation is different:

  • For certain residence permits it can even be a necessity to prove German knowledge level A1 with the first application already.
  • Everyone – also spouses and children starting from the age of 14 – has to follow the rules of the integration agreement.This agreement regulates that after 2 years of residence in Austria a proof of German level A2 has to be provided to the immigration authority (Module 1). There are several exceptions to this rule – e.g. if you have a university degree or if your children learn German in school – so please consult your immigration counselor or the immigration authority to check if this rule applies to you.
  • Part 2 of the integration agreement (German level B1) has to be fulfilled by all non-EU citizens on a local contact and their family members if they want to apply for a permanent residence permit in Austria. This is not a must – you don’t have to get the permanent residence permit.
  • Finally, German level B2 is a requirement for the Austrian citizenship application, in case you already want to apply after 6 years of residence in Austria. For applications after 10 years of residence (normal process), only level B1 is needed.


In some cases, the Austrian government will offer support through vouchers that can be used for German courses.

For more detailed information on the topic:



Should you still need help with finding the right solution for you, please contact our office. We are always happy to help!


Dieser Beitrag wurde geschrieben von Christina Tschida