14 Sep 2006

Burmese asylum seekers expected on Nauru this Sunday morning

8:00 pm on 14 September 2006

Arrangements are being made for Australia to transfer eight Burmese asylum seekers from Christmas Island to Nauru at the weekend.

The eight men were picked up on the Ashmore reef off the Western Australia coast at the beginning of August and are to have their claims for asylum assessed on Nauru.

Nauru last month announced it would charge Australia a visa fee of 1500 dollars in a bid to encourage Canberra to process asylum claims more quickly than in the past.

The Nauru minister for foreign affairs, David Adeang, says the eight Burmese are expected to arrive on Nauru on Sunday.

"We are advised that they will be arriving on Nauru on Sunday morning. The visa fee will be paid, I think once they or very soon after they arrive on Nauru. We have indicated to the Australian government what those fees are and we have not been advised of any objections to those fees."

David Adeang

An Australian immigration official says Australia has already paid the fee.