Welcome, Guest | My Profile | Tracker Home |
USA Student Visa(F1,F2,J1,J2, M1, M2) Experience     All experiences
Experience Home

silentmechanism     08/31/2019 03:36 AM

Hi, I'm posting mostly to ask about similar experiences to mine that you all might have had, and options you might have considered.

I've been a doctoral student in Computer Science since Fall 2014. Within CS, my research area is Formal Verification (not on the Technology Alert List as far as I know) and during my studies I've done three summer internships (CPT) at Intel, Apple, and Oracle, all related to my field. I returned to India in Dec 2018 for some family stuff and to renew my F1 visa which was expiring in May 2019. I was eligible for the interview waiver (i.e. drop box), but then I got three 221(g) letters. The first was through the post on 09 Jan, asking me to appear for an interview at the Mumbai Consulate. During the interview, on 11 Jan, they asked me about my progress towards my degree, my research area, and a car accident which had occurred in 2015. At the end of the interview (Mumbai) on 11 Jan, they gave me a second letter asking me to submit some documents related to the car accident. I submitted these documents along with my passport at the drop box on 25 Jan, and received the third letter through the post along with my passport in the middle of Feb. Since then, I've been writing to the Consulate often, asking if there are any documents I can provide to speed up the process, and passing on letters of recommendation from professors and staff at UT. Each time, I get the same kind of formulaic response, and when I send any documents they tell me that no documents are required. By the way, the same formulaic response was sent by Consulate staff to a US Senator from the state where I study after I requested the Senator's office to query on my behalf. To be clear, I haven't been approved, and I haven't been denied, I'm just in administrative processing.

I'm trying hard to keep my university's Computer Science department happy by taking care of TA duties remotely and writing research papers of which one has been accepted at a conference. Still, 8 months is an incredibly long time and I'm concerned the department may terminate my student status given that this is my third semester (Spring, Summer, Fall) being away from campus. Have you all ever faced such a long wait and got the visa at the end? How have you managed if your visa is denied after several years in the program? Is there any way to contact anyone in charge of this dysfunctional process? So far I have received zero replies to 3-4 registered post letters I have sent to the Consul General in Mumbai and to the US Ambassador to India in New Delhi.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

 Reply  Subscribe

BLADI     08/31/2019 23:43 PM

Administrative Processing is a black hole; no one gives a straight answer, not the Consulate, not a Lawyer. You could contact a U.S Immigration Lawyer to file a 'writ of mandamus', but take NOTE - Federal law prevents a visa from being issued until all security checks have been passed (the PATRIOT Act).

Filing a writ of mandamus forces adjudication to be made on the pending application.HOWEVER If the security checks have not been passed (and if AP is still ongoing, they haven't) then a denial is very likely.

Sorry about your ordeal.


silentmechanism     09/01/2019 03:40 AM

Thanks. I'm looking into mandamus, and I'm considering getting an immigration lawyer to do it for me.

One thing is, I looked for mandamus-related experiences on this forum and found mostly immigrant cases (as opposed to F-1 which is a nonimmigrant visa.) Is this an option for students like me?


BLADI     09/02/2019 22:44 PM

There is this concept called doctrine of consular nonreviewability - where the courts lack authority to review consular decisions. however, when you make enough noise as a local and noise comes from an Attorney, they pay attention, besides it’s a NON-IMMIGRANT visa not an IMMIGRANT visa, so a decision can be made easily.

This is where the juggernault Attorney's come into play - The Margaret Wongs...


Mogu     09/03/2019 13:52 PM

Academic feedback, not immgration-related.

Not sure what stage you were in within your doctoral program. When students are ABD and have completed all needed credits, they typically go on some sort of 1 credit "continuing enrollment", which keeps them a student formally and is still considered fulltime (takes probably a process to do it with your international student office).

Your department would likely allow you to take those when your situation is completely documented. This is like a leave of absence. Your dept will likely be understanding given immigration issues facing students these days.

However, you will lose your TA/RA position - there's no saving that and that's likely good. Save it for when you're actually there (since often there are rules regarding how many years of funding you receive). You may even proactively consider declining funding while you're stuck in India contingent on receiving it when you're back.


Mogu     09/03/2019 14:14 PM

Our dept had a student stuck. We made accommodations till he could come back.


silentmechanism     09/07/2019 08:36 AM

Thanks. For the moment I'm able to hold on to my TA position, but I should look into continuing enrollment.


Disclaimer: Please note that the views presented above are from individual visitors to our website and we do not endorse them in any way and you should interpret them at entirely your own risk as we are not liable or responsible in any manner for you using any of the information presented above. Your individual experiences may vary and you should not take any decision solely based on the views posted here by the visitors to our website.

Atlas America Insurance Visitors Insurance Safe Travels for Visitors to the USA Insurance