My girlfriend is a scientist, an Indian national and working in Austria. She applied for a US J1 visa for a short term internship at a Biopharma company.

At her visa interview, after questioning her a bit about her work and her wish to return to her home country, she was informed that her application will be escalated to Washington and the processing time will be approximately 3 weeks. Additional documents (CV and Motivation letter for returning to her residence country) were also requested. These documents were previously provided.

So why was it sent to Washington? Who will be looking at it? And what are broader reasons for this happening on a general basis? I guess this happens routinely to highly skilled workers?

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  • You suggest she is returning to the US. When was she here, and under what visa? There is a (waivable) two year home residency requirement for which she may need the waiver, which could be a reason for escalation, but we'd need to know the answer to my first question... first. – CGCampbell Nov 28 '17 at 13:29
  • @CGCampbell Sorry that was a typo, she is visiting the US for the first time. I meant her wish to return to her home country (Austria) – FoldedChromatin Nov 28 '17 at 13:44
  • 2
    Escalated to Washington is not necessarily the same a sent to Washington. Could just be the Embassy staff is not qualified to evaluate the specific nature of her internship. – Johns-305 Nov 28 '17 at 15:11

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