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Migration and Integration

Policies on integration are a key field of political decision-making in Germany and also an important social task.

Migration und Integration
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At a glance

At home in Germany

Germany is a popular destination for immigrants. Migrants make an important contribution to its social and economic development.  

Zuwanderung gestalten
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Structuring Immigration

Germany has become a popular destination for immigrants. There are 21.2 million people with a migratory background living here.

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Erfolgreiche Integration
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Successful integration

With carefully focussed measures, the German Federal Government is helping refugees and immigrants to integrate into society and the labour market.

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Schutz für Flüchtlinge in Deutschland und der EU
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Protection for refugees in Germany and the EU

Germany has long advocated a European solution based on solidarity to the refugee issue.

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1955
1955
1955
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1955
Strong economic growth leads to a shortage of labour in Germany in the mid-1950s. Recruitment agreements with Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia, and Yugoslavia follow.
1964
1964
1964
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1964
The millionth migrant worker, called “Gastarbeiter”, is welcomed to Germany. Recruitment is halted in 1973 with the oil crisis. Now around four million foreigners are living in Germany.
1990
1990
1990
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1990
Immigration increases rapidly in 1990 with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the wars in former Yugoslavia. Moreover, 400,000 people of German origin arrive in Germany from Central and Eastern Europe.
1997
1997
1997
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1997
Alongside migrant workers, since the mid-1980s ever more asylum seekers have been coming to Germany. From 1997 the Dublin Convention determines responsibilities of the EU states regarding asylum procedures.
2005
2005
2005
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2005
The “Microcensus” offers the very first opportunity to survey the migratory background of the population. According to the census, in 2015 every fifth person in Germany has a migratory background.
2014
2014
2014
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2014
More than 200,000 people apply for asylum in Germany in 2014. For the first time, almost half a million more people move to Germany than leave it in the same period.
2015
2015
2015
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2015
The civil wars in Syria and Iraq lead to increased flows of refugees towards Europe. During the course of the so-called “refugee crisis”, around 890,000 people apply for asylum in Germany. That number falls again in subsequent years.
2020
2020
2020
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2020
A new Skilled Labour Immigration Act comes into force. Now, skilled workers with a foreign qualification in any profession can get a visa or a residency permit.

Population according to migration status 2018 (in million)

Source: Destatis

Net immigration according to region of origin 2018

Source: BAMF
Besserer Zugang zum Arbeitsmarkt

Better access to the job market

In Germany, the number of people of working age is falling. The Federal Government is therefore encouraging immigration by skilled workers from abroad.
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