File for visa again after lying in the past

Urvashi writes, "A few years ago my employer had applied for H1B visa but because I did not have all the requirements, I lied about my experience.  I simply claimed that I had experience at a firm even though I never worked there.  A lot of Indians routinely lie on their visa applications, because for a lot of outsourcing firms, getting the H and L visas are everything.  And it looks like Americans are either stupid or too nice that they cannot catch the crooks like me in India -- my petition was approved.  However, I was so scared that my lie will be caught that I never went to the Chennai Consulate for stamping.  Things worked out for me as I found another job.  Since then, now I have the actual experience and my employer wants to sponsor me for a H visa again but I am scared to death that my lie will be caught, and that not only will the petition be rejected because of the inconsistency in the two applications but also that my employer will find out about it and I will be fired.  Can you tell me if my lie will be caught?"


Well, no one knows what will happen to your application, but here is how the process of scrutinizing an immigration application works.  When your employer filed your application, either some data was entered directly online by an attorney and whatever paper evidence was provided by you was scanned at the offices of USCIS.  By doing that, all the information for an individual is in one digital location.  Since you were already approved for a petition, the agent who will process your application may want to check more thoroughly what happened last time, and take that into consideration (in any case, both applications will be archived in one location so that they can be retrieved in the future).  Depending on your fortunes, he or she may completely miss that one line on the resume or might be alarmed by it and start comparing the two applications more thoroughly.  Remember that this is not a terrorism investigation so no one will pour over it for hours or days, but if an officer happens to notice the inconsistency, he might dig more.  It is also likely that the fact that they will see an approved petition might help you because the officer will assume that you have already gone through one level of screening and analyze your application more casually.  If they find something troubling, they will simply reject the petition without assigning any reason whatsoever (or give a broad reason that may not explicitly list that you lied about your experience).  So your employer may never know the exact reason.  Just to add, the general principle in the United States is that lies are a big deal and once it is discovered that information will remain forever and may affect your ability to get future visas.  It is also possible that you will be approved yet once again, but it does not mean that this lie will not come to haunt you in the future, because misrepresentation of facts to Uncle Sam is a serious crime, as your diplomat Devayani Khobragade learned the hard way.