The number of foreign residents who have received a new skilled worker visa totaled 1,621 as of Dec. 31, the immigration agency said Friday, falling far short of the program's target for the first year.

While the figure was up more than sevenfold from the end of September, it was far behind the maximum of 47,550 that the government was hoping would obtain the Specified Skilled Worker visa by the end of March.

Vietnamese accounted for 910 of the visa holders, followed by Indonesians at 189 and Filipinos at 111, according to the Immigration Services Agency, which releases the figure every three months.