Immigration to Germany has significantly increased during the last years. At the moment, Germany is considered to be the second most migrated to country (IOM 2018, p.18). According to OECD (2018) total permanent immigration inflow in Germany equals to 574 467.1 people giving way only to the USA. As World Migration Report of 2018 has stated, Germany had 12 mln foreign-born people making it the country with the largest foreign-born population in Europe. Dominant groups with the immigrants of more than 1 mln were from Poland, Turkey, Russia and Kazakhstan (p. 69).
High rates of immigration is not a new phenomenon for Germany taking into account that Germany welcomed large numbers of “guest workers” during the post-war period followed by the influx of ethnic Germans and humanitarian migrants at the end of 20th century (Liebig 2007, p.4). Those guest workers were recruited in order to meet the high demands in labour force of the fast growing German economy. The workers came to Germany from Turkey and Southern Europe on the basis of hiring agreements and were supposed to return back to their countries of origin at the end of their contracts. However, recruitment of foreign workers was suspended with the first Oil Crisis in 1973. While the inflow of new immigrants decreased, people who already had been working in Germany did not leave the country (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, 2005, p.13). As reported by Federal Statistical Office, 1, 492, 580 Turks were registered in Germany at the end of 2016 that constitutes 15,7 percent of all foreign population living in Germany (2016, p.39). Although, ethnic Germans started migrating to Germany in since 1950s, the largest surge occurred after the fall of the Berlin wall. Moreover, more than 540, 000 displaced people provided asylum from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo were provided with asylum in the 1990s (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees 2005, p.14-15).
After these large waves the immigration rates stayed relatively low until 2007-2008. From these years on the immigration inflows have been increasing. Most of those immigrants were coming from Southern Europe to Germany due to the difficult labour market situation in their countries of origin caused by the financial crisis (Beyer 2016, p.6).