There are multiple news stories discussing Melania Trump’s immigration history, and whether the First Lady deserved the EB-1 visa under which she received her permanent residence. In this post, I will discuss the EB-1 criteria, and analyze whether the first lady qualified for the visa. This analysis, however, will be based only on her public profile, which is very limited in scope.
What is an EB-1 Visa?
The EB-1 visa, EmploymentBased First Category, is reserved to very few around the world. My firm has recently won one of those visas for an inventor who won international acclaim because of his inventions and won multiple international and regional awards. The EB-1 preference category includes visas for persons of international acclaim in the arts, sciences, education or business; outstanding professors and researchers; and multinational managers or executives. My guess is the first lady qualified for the visa as a person of “extraordinary ability” in the arts for being a model. An applicant proves such extraordinary ability by meeting 3 out of 10 criteria in the law. These criteria include:
- Evidence of receipt of national or internationally recognized awards
- Evidence of membership in specialized associations which demand high acclaim
- Evidence of scholarly materials that are peer-reviewed
- Evidence of judging the work of others
- Evidence of published materials in major trade publications
- Evidence of original scientific, scholarly or artistic work of major significance in the field
- Evidence of work that has been displayed in artistic exhibitions
- Evidence of performance of a leading role in distinguished organizations
- Evidence of command of a high salary
- Evidence of commercial success in the performing arts
The First Lady’s Immigration History
There is little information regarding the First Lady’s immigration history. There are some stories discussing her arrival in the United States on a visitor’s visa, then gaining an employment visa H1-B, which allowed her work legally in the United States. There are some reports that she worked, in an undocumented way, before receiving her employment visa, which would be a violation of such status. Such a violation, if true, would have made her ineligible to adjust her status under the EB-1 category. Again, this is based on public unconfirmed reports.
Did the Melania Trump Qualify for the Preference?
Looking at the above-mentioned criteria for the outstanding ability in the Arts, one could argue that the First Lady did qualify for such a visa. The First Lady’s White House Profile lists the following accomplishments:
“As a model, Melania has appeared in high profile ad campaigns and worked with some of the top photographers in the fashion industry, including Patrick Demarchelier, Helmut Newton, Arthur Elgort, Ellen Von Unwerth, Peter Arnell, Antoine Verglas and Mario Testino. She has graced the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, British GQ, Ocean Drive, Avenue, In Style, and New York Magazine. Her major layouts include the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Allure, Vogue, Self, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Elle. In addition, Melania has appeared in numerous television commercials and television programs, including co-hosting The View with Barbara Walters.”
These accomplishments could show that the First Lady, in fact, qualified for the preference category. For example, her appearances in the above publications show that she had garnered international acclaim by being on the covers of these international publications. One could also argue that she was paid a high salary for being on these covers and being on The View, and being in commercials. Lastly, she could also show that she was commercially successful in the arts by commanding such high salaries. So it seems, based on the above information that she did qualify for the preference?
What Does This Mean?
The Administration has been opposed to legal immigration and to what it calls “chain migration”. The Administration defines such term as the ability to bring one’s family members to the United States. Melania Trump seems to have benefited from both of these things that have been opposed by the Administration. The Administration has also been opposed to unauthorized employment, which, based on reports, Melania Trump did before receiving her permanent residence. This shows that Melania Trump benefited from the system, which has been assailed by the Administration and its allies.
Call us today at 1-888-963-7326 if you have any immigration problems or if you believe that you qualify for any employment based visas. Any reference to previous results should not be construed as a promise of a result in any other cases.