I can understand with you on the challenges you are facing but I still refuse to tie it down to my nationality. Perhaps because I am open-minded. In any race, tenacity is key.
I have joined upwork since November 2016 and I have not been given one project (job). As a matter of fact, about 80% of my applications were declined by the clients. As per all interview invites where I was contacted directly to accept interview invites, 100% of all the clients declined without notice or reason. They simply kept silent. But that does not stop me.
It would be a good idea to connect with the community discuss your challenges and still keep doing what you do. Perhaps there are areas where you require improvement. My profile has long been approved. Yet I still have challenges getting the first job in upwork. Let us continue while keeping an open mind.
I hope this helps.