A total of 51,610 Turks migrated to Germany in 2019, an increase of 8.8 percent compared to 2018 numbers, the Turkish edition of Deutsche Welle (DW) said on Wednesday, citing a report by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
Turkey, with the largest immigrant group in Germany, ranked fifth last year among countries with the highest migration rate to the country with 3.3 percent, after Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and Italy.
According to the data, Turks ranked third among asylum seekers after Syrians and Iraqis with a total of 10,784 asylum applications lodged by Turkish citizens in 2019, an increase of 6.1 percent compared to the 2018 figure.
Turkey ranked sixth among counties that receive immigrants from Germany after Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Italy and Hungary, with 2.5 percent of the total.
The data also show that 990 Turks obtained an EU Blue Card, which enables them to live and work in the European Union as well as providing an avenue to permanent residency. The number of Turks who obtained the card increased from 439 to 990 between 2016 and 2019.
Turkey ranked second among countries with the largest number of highly qualified workers who had an EU Blue Card in Germany with 7.5 percent, after India, the citizens of which constituted 30.1 percent of the workforce in the country in 2019.
Last year, the number of foreign nationals in Germany, a country with a population of over 83 million, increased by 3.1 percent over 2018 to 12.5 percent in 2019, with Turkish nationals being the largest group in the country with a population of 1.47 million.
However, the proportion of Turks among more than 10 million foreign nationals in Germany has continued to drop over the last few years. The number of Turks in Germany decreased by 4,020 in 2019 compared to 2018, constituting only 13.1 of foreign nationals in the country last year.
According to the report, 77.9 percent of Turks living in Germany have been residing in the country for at least 20 years. The data also showed that 16,235 Turks acquired German citizenship in 2019, a decrease of 2.8 percent compared to 2018 statistics.
In a similar development, Enis Behar Menda, founder of the London-based business consultancy company Plusture, on Thursday told the Sözcü daily that the number of Turks who applied for a UK worker visa through the Ankara agreement in a week had exceeded 1,000 in the last several weeks.
The European Community Association Agreement (ECAA), also known as the Ankara agreement, permits Turkish nationals to establish themselves as a worker or in a business in the UK, also allowing them to acquire residency rights in the country.