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Immigration statistics covering quarter three of 2009 have been released by the Home Office this week, covering asylum applications, total removals for those illegally in the United Kingdom and migration from Eastern Europe from July to September of this year.

Asylum applications have dropped to 5,055 for the third quarter of 2009 – a 24 per cent reduction compared to the same quarter in 2008.

Decisions on asylum cases have also risen 38 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2008 with the grant rate for asylum falling to 12 per cent. In December 2008 the UK Border Agency met it’s target of concluding 60 per cent of new asylum cases within six months.

Applications from Eastern Europeans to work in the United Kingdom under the worker registration scheme have ‘stabilised’ at 29,085, compared to 41,265 during the same period last year and 28,060 in quarter two 2009.

The Office for National Statistics figures published earlier today also show that net-migration fell to 163,000 in 2008, from 233,000 in 2007, the lowest level since the eight accession countries joined the European Union in 2004.

The Office for National Statistics figures also show that of those coming to the United Kingdom in 2008, 14 per cent, 85,000, were British citizens returning to live in Britain. This was more than any other individual nationality.

Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said:

‘Net-migration is falling, showing that migrants come to the UK for short periods of time, work, contribute to the economy and then return home.

‘Our new flexible points-based system gives us greater control over those coming to work or study from outside Europe, ensuring that only those that Britain need can come.

‘Our border has never been stronger, as illustrated by the fall in asylum applications and the record numbers we are stopping at Calais.

‘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.’

Related articles: 

Migrants to be fingerprinted at UK border

UKBA announce changes give British workers more job opportunities

Home Office announce new rules for migrants 

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s speech on immigration

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