About usSee other news stories
Asylum applications lowest since 1993
21 November 2006
The latest quarterly asylum statistics covering July to September 2006, show that applications are down 7% at 5,850 compared with 6,320 during the same period in 2005.
And asylum applications for the whole year to date are also the lowest since 1993.
This is the first time that the Home Office has removed more failed asylum seekers than the number who are making unfounded claims for the first three quarters of any year, with the tipping target exceeded by around 700.
Today's figures do also show a 26% reduction in the number of failed applicants who've been removed, down from 4,480 in the previous quarter to 3,295.
However, in the first two quarters of 2006 the number of removals did achieve a record high. Alongside removing failed asylum applicants the Home Office has also deported more than a 1,000 foreign national prisoners between April and October.
Home Office minister Liam Byrne said, 'Asylum applications for the year to date are at their lowest level since 1993 and we intend to build on this progress. We have seen in the year so far more failed asylum seekers being removed than predicted unfounded asylum claims, but there is more still do'.
Also published today are figures on the number of individuals from the EU accession states registering to work in the UK. They show that between July and September 2006 the number of individuals who applied to work under the scheme was 59,000 compared with 56,000 for the previous quarter. This reflected a fall in applications from the same quarter in 2005, when applications were at 61,000.
Mr Byrne said, 'The latest Worker Registration Scheme figures show that migrant workers from the accession states are benefiting the UK, by filling skills and labour gaps that cannot be met from the UK-born population. However we need to make progress on our immigration reforms and understand the transitional impacts from the last round of accession in 2004 before we take the next step.
''That is why we have decided to gradually open the UK's labour market to citizens of Bulgaria and Romania after the two countries join the European Union in January 2007.'