Quarterly statistics covering immigration and asylum were published by the Home Office this week showing a fall in asylum applications.
These statistics include asylum applications, total removals for those illegally in the UK and migration from Eastern Europe for the period October to December of 2009.
Figures show that applications for asylum have dropped in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 4,765 – a 30 percent reduction compared to the same quarter in 2008 and the lowest level since quarter two 1992.
Decisions on asylum cases have also risen 36 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2008 with the grant rate for asylum falling to 13 per cent.
Applications from Eastern Europeans to work in the UK under the worker registration scheme fell to 28,495 in Q4 2009, compared to 30,600 in Q4 2008 and 52,765 in Q4 2007.
The total number of removals and voluntary departures from the UK has decreased slightly from 67,980 in 2008 to 64,750 in 2009 – reflecting the fall in asylum intake.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published earlier today also show that immigration from the A8 accession countries has fallen and that long term immigration to the UK remains stable at 518,000 in the year to June 2009 compared to 531,000 in the year to June 2008.
Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said:
‘Asylum applications for the last three months of 2009 were the lowest since the early 1990’s. Net migration is down, and the new UK Border Agency is increasingly successful.
‘Our border has never been stronger, as shown by the fall in the number of asylum applications.
‘Our new flexible points based system also gives us greater control over those coming to work or study from outside Europe, ensuring that only those that Britain need can come.
‘We are making the UK a more hostile place for illegal immigrants by issuing foreign nationals with ID cards, checking those who apply for visas against watch lists and fining those who employ illegal workers.’