Just when it seemed like things overseas were starting to let up, Mission India comes back with some new surprises for visa candidates. Our office has recently received inquiries from H1b visa applicants overseas that attended a visa interview and there education was called into question.
In one case, the applicant had an MBA and a Bachelor’s in Commerce, but also had a post-graduate diploma in Computer Applications and various IT certifications and was employed as a Systems Analyst. The applicant reported that the visa officer became suspicious about how someone with a non-IT education could work in a Systems Analyst role. The officer stated that the client letter was fine and the employer was fine, but they were not convinced that the person was qualified for the position. The applicant also mentioned that USCIS issued an RFE over this issue and eventually approved the case. The officer was not convinced and issued a 221g.
In another case, the applicant had an MBA and various accounting certifications and he also worked for a large bank in India, servicing client’s accounting needs. When he attended the interview, the officer stated that the position was for an accountant and that he did not have the background for the position. Again, the USCIS had issued an RFE on this subject and eventually approved the case. He too, was issued a 221g.
What I fear is that the State Department has decided that the USCIS does not understand the regulations and that it is there duty to ensure that cases are properly adjudicated. The State Department says that they do not re-adjudicate cases, but rather they are presented with evidence at the time of the interview that the USCIS was not aware of and that is why they have sent the case back for revocation. In these two instances, they have not sent the cases back for revocation or at least they have not notified the people that they have (but that is never an indication that they have sent it back since they often fail to mention that to applicants), but they are re-adjudicating these cases and it is not based on information that was presented to them at the interview that the USCIS was not aware of.
So how do you handle this if you are an applicant with a degree that is not in a relevant field? Good question. The easiest answer is not to travel, but for some, that is not an option. Since the consulates in India seem to be on a mission to stimulate the Indian economy by denying visas and keeping the talent in India, I would suggest looking at Canada or Mexico if possible. There are certain restrictions regarding visa applications in those places, but if you meet the criteria, I would suggest investigating these options. If you do not qualify, the best thing to do is prepare for the visa interview, work with your attorney on what to bring and keep your fingers crossed that you will get through.