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Objectives Does the incidence and/or indication(s) for emergency cesarean section differ if the pregnant woman has an immigrant background (IB)? Does a lack of language proficiency (communication problems) and a low acculturation level result in a longer decision-to-delivery interval (D-D interval)? Are neonates born to women with IB by emergency cesarean section in a poorer condition post delivery? Patient cohorts and method Standardized interviews were carried out before or immediately after delivery in three Berlin obstetric hospitals. Questions were asked about the socio-demographic background and care aspects as well as about immigration and level of acculturation. Collected data were linked to information obtained from the expectant mother's antenatal records and to care data and perinatal data routinely recorded by the hospitals. Data was analyzed using regression models which adjusted for age, parity, and socioeconomic status. Results The total patient population consisted of 7100 women (rate of response: 89.6%); of these women, 111 required emergency cesarean section (50 women without IB, 61 immigrant women). Risk factors such as late first antenatal checkup, gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, fetal macrosomia, smoking, and weight gain were similar in both patient cohorts. The incidence of and indications for emergency cesarean section and the D-D interval were similar for both groups. Limited German language proficiency and low levels of acculturation among immigrant women did not prolong the D-D interval. There were no statistically relevant differences between immigrant and non-immigrant cohorts with regard to adverse neonatal conditions (5-minute Apgar score <= 7, umbilical cord arterial pH <7.00) or with regard to immediate transfer of the neonate to a pediatric clinic following emergency cesarean section. Conclusion The factor "immigrant background" did not affect the indication or obstetric outcome following emergency cesarean section.