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The Einstein Visa: what is it and how did Melania Trump get one?

Immigrating to the United States can pose many challenges. And for immigrants whose second language is English, it can be confusing trying to figure out the necessary qualifications of immigrant visas.

Many want to know what type of employment history they need to have to qualify for an immigrant visa. And while you may not be well versed in the all of the eligible employment categories- you've likely heard of at least one - persons with extraordinary abilities. This is because first lady Melania Trump entered the United States on an EB-1 visa otherwise known as the 'Einstein' visa.

What's considered an extraordinary ability and how did Melania Trump obtain an EB-1 visa?

What are the eligibility requirements for an EB-1 visa?

The elite EB-1 visas are issued to individuals who specialize in a field for which they have received national and international acclaim and recognition. Qualified applicants must have earned fame in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletic fields.

Also, they must provide evidence that not only have achieved fame but also have excelled in their field. Such evidence can include presenting major publications, contributions and artistic exhibition displays or proof of a high salary. These are some of the qualifications needed to be eligible as a person with extraordinary abilities.

What are Melania Trump's extraordinary abilities?

While Melania Trump's visa application is not public there is speculation as to how she received the visa.

At the time of her application, the First Lady was working in Europe as a runway model. She was also featured in a variety of magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom and appeared in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

In addition, it may be the case that select high-profile individuals wrote letters on her behalf such as Donald Trump. These letters can be highly influential when included in an application.

Do you have to be a genius to get an EB-1 visa? Not really. Wide ranges of professionals from stunt men and women to football coaches have received an "Einstein" visa which demonstrates the subjectivity of eligibility requirements. Luckily for those who don't qualify for an EB-1 visa, there are other options for obtaining a U.S. visa and entering the United States legally without having extraordinary abilities.

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