The number of people seeking asylum in the Republic of Ireland has dropped from almost 12,000 in 2002 to just under 1,000 last year.

The Department of Justice figures, which were published today, also show more than 2,200 people were deported or removed from the country in 2013.

There were 946 applications for asylum in 2013, which was down over 90% from a peak of 11,600 in 2002.

In 2011, there were 956 applications for asylum.

The provisional figures show there were over 4,300 people being accommodated in direct provision centres around the country.

There were 166,000 new applications for visas, residence, citizenship and protection.

Indian nationals made up the largest proportion of visa applications, followed by Russian nationals.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said work on drafting the new Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill is at an advanced stage.

He said legislation is expected to be enacted this year.