The Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF) aims at providing language, professional and social integration of asylum beneficiaries and migrants on the basis of their respective rights and obligations in Austria. At the same time, ÖIF provides factual and background information to the majority population on this subject, since successful integration can only be achieved through common efforts.
The Integration Centres of ÖIF
The integration centres of ÖIF in Vienna, Upper Austria, Tyrol, Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, Lower Austria, Vorarlberg and Burgenland provide services all over Austria.
Individual Support Services
To facilitate the integration process, ÖIF offers starting aid for integration in the form of financial support in the areas language, education and employment. This includes financing German language classes (literacy, various levels), supporting professional training and further education (e.g. fork lift driving licence), recognition of qualifications or sponsoring school activities (tutoring, etc.).
Dissemination of Knowledge
The host society is an important target group for the Austrian Integration Fund, since integration can only be achieved if migrants and the majority population contribute their proper share.
Publications: Statistical Yearbook "Migration & Integration", " Migration & Integration: Women, Migration & Integration: Juveniles, Migration & Integration: Federal Provinces, ÖIF – Dossiers, country information and monographs, information brochure for students from abroad: "Studying and Working in Austria".
Further education: Seminar "Intercultural Conflict Management" and university course for Migration Management
In addition, by providing scholarships for diploma and master dissertations on the topics integration and migration, ÖIF provides support for the scholarly debate regarding these key social issues. ÖIF has been involved at the European Forum Alpbach since 2013, and provides grants to migrants for participating in this international event.
On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Home Affairs, the ÖIF is jointly responsible for the implementation of the Integration Agreement. The ÖIF certifies and evaluates course providers and reimburses part of the course fees, when A2 level examinations have been passed. The ÖIF has developed the ÖIF Test as final exam for A2 level German integration courses.
ÖIF provides information both to migrants, to the host society, and to disseminators such as journalists, teachers and decision makers. In 2013, the first issue of the journal "TOGETHER:AUSTRIA " was published with a circulation of 30.000 copies. Moreover, with its church newspapers (e.g. for foreign-language Catholics, for the Coptic or Orthodox denominations) ÖIF is most effectively targeting migrants to inform them about individual offerings.
At www.sprachportal.at ÖIF offers comprehensive services concerning German language skills. Online exercises provide good training opportunities supplementing conventional German language classes. The language hotline of ÖIF provides personal information about German language classes and support schemes offered by ÖIF.
The website www.berufsanerkennung.at presents quick and simple guidance to the right contact point for migrants, who would like to have their professional education recognised in Austria, and offers comprehensive information on the subject employment and further education.
Since 2012 ÖIF has managed the initiative TOGETHER:AUSTRIA which is asking successful migrants – so-called Integration Ambassadors – to pay visits to schools, clubs and associations. Under the motto "Your Chance!" young people from a migrant background are to be motivated to recognise education as an opportunity, and to make use of the many career options Austria has to offer them.
ÖIF supports the Federal Ministry of Home Affairs in managing the European Refugee Fund (ERF) and the European Integration Fund (EIF).
At its sites in Austria, ÖIF offers information and counselling, organises integration projects and supports the National Action Plan for Integration.