Papua New Guinea says it will begin processing Australia's asylum-seekers held on Manus Island after February.
The foreign minister, Rimbink Pato, says PNG still has to put in place a policy and legislative framework before any of the people in the camps can be processed.
The Manus camp, which now houses about 1,100 asylum seekers, was re-opened last year when Australia revived its policy of sending its asylum seekers abroad.
In July, Canberra announced that none of those who are identified as refugees will be refused entry into Australia.
Mr Pato played down reports of poor conditions at the Manus centre, saying concerns among locals about the whereabouts of promised funding for the facility are being addressed.