Majority of workers applying don’t expect they will be allowed to stay in Australia but ‘see it as a way to get to stay a bit longer,’ union says

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There has been a huge spike in Pacific Islanders applying for protection visas because they offer better working conditions than the government program designed to help workers from nine islands and Timor-Leste come to Australia, advocates say.

Home affairs department figures show 171 seasonal workers from the Pacific applied for protection visas in 2019-20, with the number increasing to 1,002 in 2021-22 and 1,698 in 2022-23.

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