The Washington Post has questioned whether First Lady Melania Trump was deserving of the green card she received through the EB-1 program, which is supposed to be reserved for aliens with “extraordinary” abilities. The article states that, “Melania Trump’s ability to secure her green card not only set her on the path to U.S. citizenship, but put her in the position to sponsor the legal residency of her parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the couple is now close to obtaining their own citizenship.”
Before marrying Donald Trump, Melania was a fashion model, and her profession afforded her an H-1B work visa. While the matter of the EB-1 green card may be something worthy of debate, the H-1B visa was pretty straightforward. Judging from the work as a fashion model that the First Lady did, it would not be unreasonable to approve the First Lady’s eligibility in that category. That’s because of the following explanation, provided by Inc magazine.
“When Congress created a separate type of visa for celebrity occupations, including people like “performers, athletes, Nobel Prize laureates and religious workers,” Bloomberg said, “lawmakers realized they hadn’t put fashion models in a separate category.”
So, they lumped them in at the last minute with tech workers and other specialty occupations, under the H-1B visas. Subsequent efforts to move models to the category for performers and athletes have failed.”
The Inc. article adds, “A new analysis by Bloomberg’s Frank Bass and Kartikay Mehrotra shows that foreign fashion models are more than twice as likely to be granted H1-B visas than foreign computer programmers. ”
So far, perhaps understandable. My experience is that women of her former stature qualify for H-1B visas. As for getting the green card, apart from winning some international award such as an Oscar, Nobel Prize or the like, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration web sites spells out the other criteria to qualify for a green card in the EB-1 category.
By Andy Semotiuk for FORBES
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