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How can someone qualify for an 'Einstein visa?'

Some of our readers may have seen the recent media reports that First Lady Melania Trump was granted what's commonly referred to as an "Einstein visa" years ago. The official name of the visa is EB-1. It's purpose is to allow immigrants who "have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher or are a multinational executive or manager" to live and work in the country legally.

Since the first lady was working as a model under an HB-1 visa when she was granted the EB-1 visa in 2001 (before she married Donald Trump), one might wonder how she was able to qualify. There's no clear answer to that or to what role her future husband may have played in her obtaining the EB-1, which is a stepping stone to a green card.

Let's look more broadly at what the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) stated requirements are for obtaining this visa. It depends on which of the three immigration classifications a person falls into.

Extraordinary ability

This ability must be in the arts, sciences, athletics, education or business. It requires having national or international acclaim and documentation that you've been recognized in your field. An award like an Oscar, Pulitzer or Olympic medal would be an achievement that would qualify as evidence of their extraordinary ability. They also need testimonials from other people and must meet at least three out of ten specific criteria.

Outstanding professors and researchers

Applicants seeking an EB-1 visa in this category must have gained international recognition in their field and have spent at least three years doing research or teaching in that field. Unlike the "extraordinary ability" category, this one requires that the applicant have an employment offer in the U.S. for teaching or research comparable to what they've been doing abroad.

Multinational manager or executive

Applicants in this category must have plans to continue to work for the firm they're currently with abroad here in the U.S. in an executive or managerial role. That firm must petition for the visa on behalf of the applicant.

An EB-1 visa isn't easy to get by any means. However, if someone believes that he or she may qualify and would like to apply, it's essential to have guidance from an immigration attorney who has experience with this coveted visa.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "What is the ‘Einstein visa’ Melania Trump was issued?," Debbie Lord, accessed March 30, 2018

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