§ Mr. Heath
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the level of backlog of immigration972W applications from (a) work permit holders, (b) people with UK ancestry, (c) EEA nationals and their spouses, (d) fiancés and fiancées, (e) spouses and (f) asylum seekers has been for each of the last five years; and what levels of backlog he predicts for the next two years. 
§ Angela Eagle
I regret that information on predicted backlogs for the next two years and on individual types of general and settlement cases undecided is not available.
The number of asylum applications awaiting an initial decision on 31 December in each of the last five years is shown in the table. There were 43,000 asylum applications awaiting an initial decision on 30 September 2001, the latest date for which information is available.
Applications for asylum awaiting initial decision, 1996–20,principal applicants only1 Year Asylum applications outstanding at end of year2 1996 57,405 1997 51,795 1998 64,770 1999 119,700 20003 89,100 1Figures rounded to nearest five, except for 1999 and 2000 which are rounded to nearest 100. 2Figures for 1998 and earlier years are not directly comparable with figures for later years. 3Provisional
Information on the number of asylum cases awaiting an initial decision is published quarterly on the Home Office website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/ immigrationl.htm. Information on the number of asylum applications awaiting an initial decision at the end of 2001 will be published on 28 February 2002.