my friend is stuck in India

My friend PD’s Dad passed away last week.  She went back to India for a grievance visit.  Now, she can’t get back home to her family here in Richmond.  I can only imagine the horrible thoughts that are going through her head.

The Taj Mahal, India

PD is here on an H-1B visa.  It’s a work visa, and hers hasn’t expired.  She went to the embassy to get her visa stamp, so she can return, and they denied it.  She was given a green 221g form, requesting more documentation.

I am not sure which documentation they need in her case, but these are they types of documentation they can require:

  • Letter from the end client.  (I guess this is for anyone working for a consulting firm?)
  • Internal project description for the applicant.
  • Petitioner’s federal tax returns for the last 2 years.
  • List of petitioner’s employees, with name, specific job title, yearly salary, immigration status, start and end dates.  (Hmmmm,  guess the applicant will be able to see where they fall on the salary list…)
  • W2 forms of all persons employed by the petitioner for the last year.  (That is a lot of copying of forms for companies with thousands of employees!)
  • State unemployment wage reports for the past 3 quarters.

I can see some employers baulking at having to provide some of this.  It could take days, if not weeks, to accumulate these items.

The letter from the end client and the project description is an easy thing.  The hardest part is waiting for it to be delivered to India.

Corporate tax returns are not public information here in the U.S.  I’m not sure how a company would feel about having to provide this information, keeping in mind that all of the requested documentation has to be submitted  by the visa holder, not sent directly to the consulate.

The list of the petitioner’s employee names, titles, annual salary, immigration status, start and end dates could be fairly easy to put together.  For the majority of companies, this is all computerised.  The applicant being given this information is another story.

One of the many United States embassies throughout the world.

I have never worked for a company where there was not a directive regarding the privacy of your salary.  Employers do not want their employees to know what the other employees make.  It opens up the door for people to ask for raises based on what their co-workers make.  It also could lead to wage discrimination lawsuits.

State unemployment wage reports are also a fairly simple report to provide.

The kicker comes in if the W2 forms of all employees for the past year are needed.  Most, if not all companies, keep a separate file for each employee.  W2 forms are not computerised.  They need to be completed and signed by each employee, and therefore are probably kept in the employee’s physical file.

If this is needed, it means the employer must pull someone away from their normal job.  This person must take each employee physical file, locate the W2, copy it, put the form back in the file, and refile the employee physical file.  If there are only a few hundred employees, this could be done in a day or two.  If there are a few thousand employees, this could take a few weeks!  Maybe even longer if the employer cannot dedicate someone to work on this full-time.

After the needed documentation is returned to the consulate, there is no time frame for when the decision will be made.  It could be days, weeks, or months.  I have read on some forums that people have been waiting for 2 to 3 months and still have no news.

I could not imagine being a wife and mother, and being stuck in this situation, not knowing when you will be able to see your family again.  While PD is waiting for this to be settled, I doubt if she will be getting paid.  Maybe if she has vacation or sick days, but most companies only pay for 3 -5 days for grievance.

My heart goes out to PD.  I don’t know what I can do to help her other than to pray this all gets settled quickly.  She is a wonderful person.  She doesn’t deserve to have this happening to her.

I can’t help but wonder if things would have been different if she had gone to get her stamp before bin Laden was killed…

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2 Responses to my friend is stuck in India

  1. barb19 says:

    I hope and pray that your friend gets things sorted out soon. I really feel for her.

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