Visa applications from foreign students seeking a work visa for 2018 have been denied.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) told The Associated Press that while it had “reviewed the application submitted by a student seeking a H-3B visa to temporarily temporarily work in the United States, the student was not granted an H3B and therefore cannot apply for a permanent residence visa.”
In a statement, USCIS said it had received “several requests” from foreign student applicants seeking a temporary work visa, but it could not provide any specific numbers.
It said that it had been “reviewing a small number” of H-2B applications.
In a blog post, USCAS said the agency had received a total of 4,200 applications for H-5B visas since the beginning of the year, and that more than 8,000 applications were pending.
The agency said it was working with the Department of Homeland Security to process those applications and had “not received any further information from DHS.”
H-1Bs have become a hot-button issue in the presidential election, and lawmakers in both parties have called for more scrutiny of the visa program, which allows foreign workers to work for U.s. companies and companies that pay foreign workers.
The program has been under review since President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.
During his first week in office, Trump signed an executive order to overhaul the visa process, saying it should be a merit-based process and requiring employers to provide an annual “green card” to employees.