Since June 2017, the Integration Act sets the central framework for the successful integration of persons who settle in Austria on a long-term basis: Clear rules are needed for social cohesion and social peace.
With the amendment of the Integration Act in June 2019, the integration obligations were brought into line with the Fundamental Law on Social Assistance in the sense of a coordinated nationwide system. The new laws should encourage immigrants to learn German faster and better and thus enable them to participate in Austrian society. Ultimately, integration is achieved if an individual has a sufficient command of German to participate in working life, take part in training and further education and interact with public authorities, is able to earn one's living, and acknowledges and respects the Austrian and European systems of laws and values underlying the rule of law.
However, the Integration Act is not only aimed at immigrants, but also contributes to quality assurance in the area of German courses and examinations: German courses provided for by law must fulfil uniform criteria throughout Austria. In addition, the Integration Act and an Integration Agreement Regulation lay down the framework conditions for nationwide uniform integration examinations. This guarantees the highest safety and quality standards for these integration tests, which are also a prerequisite for receiving social assistance and for proof of language skills in the residence procedure.
Furthermore, the Integration Act increases transparency by the implementation of an integration monitoring system.
Together with the Integration Act, the national parliament passed the Anti-Face-Covering Act, which prohibits the full-face veil in public places, as well as the prohibition of the distribution of writings by problematic groups.