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?