Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Here's an article in Turkish on a new law Austria has enacted requiring immigrants who have family in the country (i.e. family members that other immigrants bring over after settling in themselves) to have a certain level of German before being able to immigrate.
Family members immigrating to Austria must have a basic level of German
Austria has approved a package 40 pages in length aimed at immigrants called the Nationaler Aktionsplan für Integration (National Action Plan for Integration), in which family members of immigrants who want to immigrate to Austria must know German.
The most important item in the action plan is the requirement to know German. In the plan, immigrants that want to move to Austria to join their family members already there must pass a German language test, without which they will not be able to immigrate to the country.
This family reunification system is already in place in Germany, which served as an example to Austria in drafting the plan. Last year Germany began a law where those immigrating to the country needed to know German.
Green member of parliament Alev Korun said that the requirement for family members immigrating to the country to know German did not apply to EU citizens, and that it was done in order to prevent immigration from areas such as Turkey and the former Yugoslavia in particular. Korun criticized the new law for having many gaps and being inequal to immigrants.
So what level of skill is being aimed for with this new law? According to Austria's site it's A2 level German, which is a basic and practical proficiency in the language.
Here's the type of German one can expect to encounter at that level. This is the reading portion of a sample test.
The German in the test is not Was ist das? Das ist ein Leid-level basic, but still quite easy, with sentences like: Die Menschen wussten schon immer, dass Lachen gut tut - People have always known that laughing is good for you (i.e. laughing does good).
For information on the test used in Germany, see here.