Long-term immigration falls annual 9 % in year to Sept 2009
28th May 2010: The effects of the point based system can apparently be felt. Long-term immigration to Britain has fallen an annual nine percent in the year to September 2009, as per the Office for National Statistics.
Even though the new UK Government has committed itself for introducing a cap on non-European immigration, an analysis of the data reveals the inflows from eastern and central Europe is down by more than half.
In fact, long-term migrants coming from central and European countries that joined the European Union in 2004, including as Poland, Lithuania and the Czech Republic, fell 55 per cent to 45,000 in the year to September 2009.
Quoting provisional figures from the International Passenger Survey (IPS), the ONS said immigration fell to 503,000 last year, compared with 555,000 in the year to September 2008.
The statistics assume importance in light of the fact that immigration issue was a hot topic of political debate, with the Conservatives claiming Labour had allowed inflows get out of control during the expansion of the EU.
The figures are expected to be interpreted by Labour as evidence that its points-based system is starting to have an effect.
The statistics further reveal even though the number of British citizens leaving the country fell from 173,000 to 134,000, net immigration over the year stood at 142,000.
The statistics also show an increase in the number of UK passports that were granted. It is up 58 per cent from 129,375 in 2008 to 203,790 in 2009.