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Bavaria is a cosmopolitan state. People from over 170 different nations live peacefully with one another in Bavaria. This is how it should stay. That is why integration in Bavaria is so important. In the long term, a peaceful society based on solidarity can only exist in our country if we approach each other with respect and esteem. We want a society of togetherness and not of adversity or mere coexistence. In this regard, Bavaria is committed to the ‘support and challenge’ principle. Yet what exactly does that mean? How can Bavarian citizens help to make integration a success? And what is the Free State of Bavaria doing to advance integration?

Bavaria is diverse

Bavaria is diverse! One in four people in the Free State already has a migrant background. Bavaria is a land of successful integration. You can see it, for example, in the fact that Bavaria has the highest employment rate and lowest risk of poverty among people from migrant backgrounds in Germany. Or in the fact that many young people from a migrant background in Bavaria get good qualifications by enrolling on vocational training courses, for instance. People from migrant backgrounds can and should contribute to our community in Bavaria and feel as if they belong here.

Successful integration is the prerequisite for keeping unemployment low, maintaining prosperity, and holding our society together.

All of this is also necessary to maintain the willingness of the native population to integrate. After all, integration is something that concerns us all.

For the integration of migrants to succeed, everyone must get involved. Pivotal to integration is contact with locals. People who are new to a foreign country learn many rules and the right manners quite simply by exchanging ideas with the people who live here and by orienting themselves to their social environment.


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Lesson situation: a young man and a young woman sitting at computers. A teacher is standing behind them explaining something.
By offering various courses, such as language courses, Bavaria is supporting asylum seekers and helping them to access the labour market.
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It is important for recognised asylum seekers and refugees to learn the German language. This will give them better training and work opportunities and help them to interact well socially.

What ‘support and challenge’ means

The principle of promoting and demanding applies to all people in Germany and Bavaria - whether natives or foreigners. Everyone has rights and obligations. Behind all this is the idea of combining giving and taking and the priority of personal responsibility over state support. The goal is to achieve the greatest possible prosperity and justice for all people.

"Support and demand" is therefore also the central principle of Bavarian integration policy. It means: providing support for migrants wherever necessary, and at the same time demanding their own initiative and responsibility in addition to recognition of our legal system and values.

We promote integration: Immigrants who are allowed to stay with us for some time or permanently are supported in arriving well in Bavaria and participating in society. All over Bavaria, a counseling structure is available to them. They get support in learning the German language, in finding a job or training position, and in finding a place to live once they have been recognized.

Bavaria demands integration: Anyone who wants to live in our country must integrate into our legal and social order. Because only those who know and recognize the basics of our social coexistence will really be able to arrive in our country and find a home.

We therefore demand that people who stay with us for a longer period of time or permanently,


  • must learn German. Newcomers can only integrate into society and be successful at school, in training and at work if they speak our language. And interaction in all areas of life will only be possible with a common language,


  • must respect our culture and especially know the statutory rules and values prescribed by our basic laws and the Bavarian constitution for the coexistence of all people in Germany and Bavaria,


  • must play their part in making a success of living together in our country, show initiative and take personal responsibility.

The Bavarian Integration Act

The Bavarian Integration Act (BayIntG) came into force on 1 January 2017. We introduced it to give both a framework and an aim to integration. The BayIntG embraces the ‘support and challenge’ principle and provides clear rules for getting on well with one another. People who come to Bavaria must accept all binding requirements of the laws that are applicable here and take them as the standard that now applies to them. Immigrants who are entitled to stay in Bavaria permanently should understand and learn to appreciate the German language and our culture and in return experience acceptance and tolerance.

The most important aspects of integration for migrants of all ages relate to understanding our values, learning the German language and seizing opportunities to learn and work.

The Bavarian Integration Act views integration as a duty of society as a whole. Everyone must play their part, including governmental and non-governmental institutions and stakeholders. The act highlights the important role of the local authorities in Bavaria, for example, and names the Bavarian Industry Association as a key partner.

A judge’s gavel lies on a book.
Everyone must abide by the law. Everyone has rights and obligations. This is important for peaceful coexistence.

Set of measures

The Free State of Bavaria has launched a set of measures to promote integration that is unprecedented in Germany. Bavaria invests actively in successful integration - among other things, in kindergartens, schools, courses on values and counselling centres providing offers with respect to orientation and refugee and integration counselling, as well as the full-time integration guides in structural and Bavaria-wide support measures. To ensure the successful integration of people with a migration background, the Free State of Bavaria also promotes low-threshold, innovative and locally effective, sustainable integration projects through the instrument of special measures. The aim is to provide immigrants with the best possible support for their integration.

Relaying values in Bavaria

For the cohesion of society and for peaceful coexistence in our country, it is important that immigrants familiarize with our system of values. Contacts and relationships in which our values are exemplified are crucial for this; in this respect, the communication of values is to be understood as a task for society as a whole.

Equally important - and the Bavarian Integration Act considers this a state task - are suitable offers to support the imparting of values. For this reason, the Free State of Bavaria supports a number of other projects relaying values in addition to the "Living in Bavaria" series of courses.

Homes for all

Sufficient housing and the avoidance of parallel societies are important for social peace in our society. The Bavarian state government is therefore taking a number of measures to ensure that housing is available for all parts of Bavaria's population. Bavaria's housing offensive represents a balanced and comprehensive package of measures those with a lower income from all walks of life, which is beneficial for natives in need as well as for immigrants with the right to stay. From 2016 to 2020, more than 22,000 rental apartments were subsidized. The housing offensive will increase the funds to be used for the Municipal Housing Subsidy Program until 2025 and improve the subsidy conditions. Under the State Immediate Action Program, the Free State has planned, built and occupied a total of 38 housing complexes for up to 2,800 recognized refugees and persons in our country who are in need. These are operated by the Free State of Bavaria itself. In addition, the stock of the three state housing companies BayernHeim GmbH, Stadibau GmbH and Siedlungswerk Nürnberg GmbH will increase to up to 29,000 apartments for low-income households in the medium term. Investments totaling several billion euros are planned.

Education and labour

Next to language acquisition, work is the most important key to successful integration. The integration of refugees into training and work, but also of people with a migration background who have already lived in Germany for some time, is therefore a core pillar of Bavarian integration policy. Having a job is a basic prerequisite for independence from state transfer payments, for building a self-determined life and for equal participation in society. In addition, work creates contact between people with and without a migration background.

In addition to the regular instruments of the Federal Employment Agency, which is primarily responsible for advising and supporting the placement of jobseekers, target group-specific support measures are also necessary for the integration of people with a migration background.

Job scouts and training guides for refugees are the central support measures of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior, Sports and Integration. They advise and support recognized refugees, asylum seekers and tolerated persons with good prospects of remaining in Germany, and, if necessary, people with a migration background and integration obstacles, using a holistic approach, and place them in training or work. They are also available to companies as contact persons.

In addition, various institutions offer many other educational opportunities in Bavaria. A person who cannot read or write well enough should attend a literacy course, for example. Young adults can continue their education in remedial classes at vocational colleges. People who need job-specific language skills can attend a vocational language course offered by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees if they meet the requirements. For immigrants who have completed vocational training, there are a number of advanced training courses that make them fit for the Bavarian labour market.

Tolerance and humanity

Showing kindness and compassion to people who find their home in Bavaria is an act of morality and humanity. Tolerance is a fundamental requirement for peaceful coexistence based on freedom and self-determination. Bavaria is both a humane and tolerant state that is aware of its traditions. We can be proud of this.

The success formula for the Bavarian way has and will always be a love of our homeland and a cosmopolitan outlook. We are tolerant – but we also expect immigrants who wish to live in Bavaria to identify with the basic rules of our free society and live according to these rules. People, however, who are not prepared to do this cannot expect any tolerance from us in return.

A woman and a young man from a migrant background are looking at a tablet. Both are laughing.
Many people in Germany and Bavaria offer their help voluntarily. This commitment is very important, which is why we say thank you!

Voluntary work is indispensable

People in Germany and Bavaria are helpful and show solidarity with their fellow human beings. This is demonstrated in impressive style by thousands of charitable associations and organisations, the close-knit network of welfare institutions run by church-based and private agencies and the countless charitable initiatives and projects set up by foundations and private individuals.

The commitment of voluntary helpers is an important and indispensable source of support for our society. The voluntary work is particularly characterised by the ability to provide fast help where fast help is needed. Compassion, humanity, community spirit and tolerance are the supporting pillars. We wish to thank all the volunteers for their fantastic work in Bavaria!

Countless charitable associations and initiatives in the area of asylum and refugee support have been set up or expanded since autumn 2015 and new programmes and mentoring schemes have been launched. Many Bavarian communities have formed support networks that help people to help themselves.

Thousands of people are involved in the support networks, quite a few of whom also come from a migrant background themselves. They accompany immigrants to appointments with doctors and the authorities, explain the little and big things of everyday life, help them to find homes, work placements, training places and jobs, or organise sports and leisure activities. The list goes on and on.

Volunteering works best when there are reliable structures in place. That is why the Free State of Bavaria supports volunteers in the municipalities with full-time integration guides. They are active at the municipal level as networkers as well as competent and reliable contact persons for the volunteers with respect to all questions related to the topics of integration and asylum.