India has reportedly detected violation of visa and tax laws in the American Embassy School in New Delhi. A number of teachers are working there illegally, allege Indian government sources.
This comes after the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York for visa fraud relating to her claims about the wages she was paying her housekeeper Sangeeta Richard. Since then, New Delhi has carried out three weeks of investigations, including the scrutiny of bank accounts and school records.
The New York Times reported Thursday that a handout released by the school ensnared it in the diplomatic row. Addressed to new teacher couples, the handout asks spouses to list their occupation on visa applications as “housewife” and not to declare that they would be working.
This amounts to visa fraud, say Indian government sources contacted by The Indian Express.
- Bigg Boss 10 Day 3 Review: Celebs Fail To Do Well in First Task
- Airtel Offers 10GB Data At Rs 259 For New 4G Smartphone Users
- Aamir Khan Starrer Dangal’s Trailer Launched: First Impressions
- TMC Supporters Attack BJP Leader Babul Supriyo
- Sri Lankan Navy Apprehends 20 Indian Fishermen
- Hillary Clinton accuses Donald Trump of being Vladimir Putin’s ‘puppet’
- Senior UP Congress Leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi Joins BJP
- Missing JNU Student: VC Gives Ultimatum To Students Over ‘Illegal Confinement’
- US Presidential Debate: Donald Trump Calls Hillary Clinton ‘A Nasty Woman’
- Hasselblad True Zoom Mod Review
- Honor 8 First Look Video
- Apple Watch 2: Review, Price And Features
- Delhi HC Dismisses Kejriwal’s Plea For Stay In Criminal Defamation Case
- Gulzar Shares An Interesting Anecdote Behind The Lyrics of ‘Humne Dekhi Hai’ Song
- Diya Mirza Displays Her Painting Skills At An Art Festival In Mumbai
They cite a 1973 agreement under which 16 American teachers are to be given visas with “tax-free” status; any teachers beyond that number would have to pay tax.
The sources allege the school has been hiring couples in what they call a “piggyback” scheme, with one partner coming on a “work” visa and the spouse on a “spouse” visa. The salary of the spouse, too, is allegedly being credited to the bank account of the partner on a work visa, so that the spouse could evade tax. This is an “institutionalised fraud”, one source told The Indian Express.
The sources said the school charges up to $30,000 a year as fees. Located next to the embassy, it has about 1,500 students, nearly 500 of them American. The rest include some Indians.
The New York Times report quoted a senior Indian official as estimating that the school has at least 16 teachers working illegally.
“We have seen reports (about the school),” external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told The Indian Express. “These are serious matters relating to the Indian visa regime and tax laws. We will examine them very carefully and take appropriate decision.”
The US embassy, when contacted, did not comment on India’s allegations. It drew attention to a US statement released early this week that said issues pertaining to the school are among those raised by the external affairs ministry with the US government and which figured in discussions between Deputy Secretary of State William J Burns and Indian Ambassador S Jaishankar in Washington. “Deputy Secretary Burns conveyed that we take their concerns very seriously and will continue to address them via appropriate diplomatic channels,” the statement said.