Avi Socha: LEPP major and State Department Intern


Law, Economics & Public Policy (LEPP) student Avi Socha is currently finishing up an exciting internship with the U.S. Department of State in Rome. The State Department, which accepts less than 10% of applicants nationwide, granted him Secret Security Clearance and a posting at the American Citizen Services Unit at the Rome embassy, working alongside the U.S. Consul General.

As a LEPP student, Avi carried out research on nationalism and Islamophobia, which entailed studying immigration as part of the research. “Working in the Consular office gives me the chance to directly witness the mechanisms I learned about when studying Visa security policy. It’s also a priceless opportunity to practice my analytical skill in service to the American citizen,” says Avi.

As a State Department intern, Avi specializes in business anti-fraud investigations for the E1 and E2 Visa program (investor visas for Italian citizens), doing forensic analysis of business data, including taxes, business plans, and more.

It’s his job to ensure that all information disclosed on Visa applications is accurate, and to ensure that the enterprise is viable, profitable, and real before an E-Visa is granted. Avi’s work has significant impact, as his analyses lead to both the acceptance and the rejection of many applications.

Having demonstrated aptitude in forensic analysis, Avis was asked by the Tri-Mission Chief Economist to assist with an economic analysis of E1 and E2 investment impacts from 2005-2017, focusing on the trends and patterns pre and post economic crisis. “It’s amazing to work in a real life scenario with complete data,” Avi enthuses.

Speaking about his work as an intern, Avi notes: “Anti-fraud work was never something I expected to do, but I came here to learn beyond my comfort zone first and foremost, and I think one would be wrong to approach a chance like this with a wish list of items they expect to gain.”

Avi Socha (front right) attending a lunch with coworkers. Consul General John Tavenner (left side of table, far back) and Vice-Consul Jillian Itharat (sitting to John Tavenners right side), along with officers from the Non-Immigrant Visa Section, were in attendance.