The Home Office released UK immigration and asylum statistics for Q4 2009 yesterday.
The data shows asylum applications dropped to 4,765 for the quarter - a 30% reduction on the same quarter in 2008 and the lowest number since Q2 1992.
Decisions on asylum cases have risen 36% compared to the same quarter in 2008 with the grant rate for asylum falling to 12%.
Applications from Eastern Europeans to work in the UK under the worker registration scheme have stabilised at 28,495, compared to 30,600 during the same period last year and 52,765 in Q4 2007.
The Office for National Statistics data shows that 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.
The figures also show that of those coming to the UK 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:
"Asylum applications for the last three months of 2009 were the lowest since the early 1990s, 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 identity cards for foreign nationals, checking those who apply for visas against watch lists and fining those who employ illegal workers."
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