Visa Fraud Arrest of Indian Diplomat Spurs Controversy

The arrest of an Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, in early December for visa fraud, triggered enormous outrage from her home country. The United States Marshall Service handled her arrest for falsely stating the amount she intended to pay her housekeeper for whom she procured a temporary visa. The Service claimed they abided by standard detention procedures applicable to all arrestees so charged. One of those procedures, the conduct of a strip search of her body, aroused the ire of her countrymen and government which took the unusual step of loosening its security at American consulates in India. They expressed anger over what they view as a humiliating violation of her dignity as a woman. 

The charges stem from her allegedly including false information on the visa application for her housekeeper to accompany her to New York City. She indicated on the petition that she planned to pay her housekeeper $4500 per month. Instead, according to the allegations, she and her husband paid her only $600 per month. It appears she may mount a defense that her own salary of $6500 per month is insufficient to afford such an expense. This is not the first example of Indian diplomats compensating employees, whom they view as servants, at extremely low wage levels.

Individuals who assist diplomats with A-1 or A-2 visas such as personal employees, attendants or domestic workers are eligible for A-3 visas. Proof that the applicant will receive a fair wage, sufficient to financially support himself, is required, according to the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. The range of the wage must be comparable to that being offered in the area of employment in the U.S. in which the A-3 is working.

The attorneys of U.S. Immigration Law Group, LLP have significant experience representing artists, athletes and others excelling in certain fields who wish to immigrate to the United States. Contact U.S. Immigration Law Group at (714) 786-1166 for consultation or visit our website. Our offices are located at 1913 E. 17th Street, Suite 204, Santa Ana, California 92705.