The U.S. Consulates in India have begun to routinely deny H-1B visas to H-1B applicants who are employed (or have offers of employment) from consulting companies in the United States. The consulates in India are aggressively reviewing these H-1B visa applications to ensure that the H-1B employment will be controlled by the H-1B employer, and not by the end user company. If the H-1B applicant is unable to provide information and documentation which satisfies the consular official about the control issue during the nonimmigrant visa interview, some consular officials will issue a 221(g) letter requesting additional information and documentation from the H-1B employer. If such a letter is issued and the H-1B employer provides the documentation requested by the consular official, some consular officials will then forward the documentation to the DOS' Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) to verify the accuracy of the information and documentation. This verification by the FPU may take weeks to complete. The consular official will not complete the processing of the application until it receives a report back from the FPU. However, some consulates after the nonimmigrant visa interview are not requesting additional information and confirmation from the H-1B employer in a 221(g) letter. Instead, the consulates are summarily denying the applications and are returning the petition to the USCIS with a recommendation that the petition be revoked. It may take more than 6-9 months for the petition to be forwarded to the USCIS and ultimately reviewed by the USCIS before the USCIS sends a Notice of Intent to Revoke to the H-1B employer. When the H-1B employer receives a Notice of Intent to Revoke, the employer may then respond to the USCIS' request (assuming that the assignment still exists). Due to the uncertainty about H-1B visa issuance in India for H-1B employees working for consulting companies, many Indian nationals have decided not to travel internationally at this time if they need to apply for an H-1B visa through a consulate in India.
Additional information about H-1B visa issuance at the consular posts in India will be contained in our firm's future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.