A SECOND group of asylum seekers has been transferred to Manus Island under the government's settlement deal with Papua New Guinea.

The transfer of 39 Iranian men arrived on the island on Friday morning - a day after a group of 40 were transferred to the island.

Almost 1300 asylum-seekers have arrived in Australian waters since the government announced its deal with PNG.

If found to be refugees those people will be settled in PNG and not Australia.

"This latest transfer to Manus Island sends the clearest possible message that coming to Australia by boat is not the way to gain Australian residency," an Immigration Department spokesman said.

"The transfer should leave no doubt that Australia intends to stick by its commitment that, as of July 19, no matter where an asylum-seeker arrives in Australia by boat, they won't be settled in Australia."

The government says there is no cap on the number of people who can be transferred to PNG and transfers will continue on a regular basis.

Women, children and unaccompanied minors will be transferred when appropriate arrangements are made.


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