Why Do Fashion Models Like Melania Trump Get Their Own Category of Work Visa? – Slate Magazine

But models weren’t shifted over to the new H-1B category, which was designated for highly skilled workers such as those in the tech industry and scientists. Nor were they shifted over, with the exception of a few supermodels, to the new O-1 visa category that was broadly designated for famous people of all kinds: athletes, actors, and individuals of “extraordinary ability” in general. To prove “extraordinariness” under the O-1, applicants had to provide box office receipts, awards, and other tokens of fame and good fortune; ordinary tear sheets—the published photos and ads that make up any model’s portfolio—weren’t included on that list. Congress, it seemed, had simply forgotten about modeling entirely.


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