Integration programme becomes mandatory in the German-speaking Community
As of 1 January 2018, certain third-country nationals have the obligation to follow an integration programme in the German-speaking Community.
The Decree of 11 December 2017 of the German-speaking Community regarding integration and living together in diversity, which came into force on 1 January 2018, made the integration programme mandatory for foreign nationals who (i) are above 18 years of age; (ii) register at a municipality of the German-speaking Community from January 2018; (iii) have a residence permit valid for at least three months.
There are however numerous exceptions (e.g. the programme is not mandatory for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, students, migrants with a work permit type B; migrant who are retired; migrants who have lived in Belgium for longer than 3 years, etc.). This integration programme is open on a voluntary basis to all migrants.
The integration programme is composed of the following elements:
- Welcome module
- Language course
- Integration course
- Counselling meetings regarding socio-professional orientation.
Participation in the integration programme is free of charge.
Furthermore, as foreseen in the above-mentioned decree, a centre was accredited by the government of the German-speaking Community as the reference centre for the integration programme: the “Info-Integration” centre. It accompanies participants in the integration programme from start to finish. The first step in getting involved in the integration programme is a conversation with an Info-Integration employee. On the basis of this conversation, an individual integration plan is defined, indicating the individual stages of the course for each participant.
The Decree of 11 December 2017 can be found here.