The Afghans, who would not be considered refugees according to the Justice Department, would only stay in the Philippines briefly while waiting for the US to approve their special immigration visas.

The government is “open to the idea” of the Philippines serving as a “processing area” for Afghan nationals displaced by their homeland’s conflict before they are resettled in the United States, a Department of Justice (DOJ) official said on Tuesday.

One year after a Senate inquiry was launched to tackle Washington’s request, Justice Undersecretary Raul Vasquez told reporters that talks with the US Embassy regarding the details of a possible agreement were still ongoing.

“Initially, we discussed [hosting] a few hundred [Afghan nationals] and if it works out, then we’ll accommodate more,” he said.