Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses Yearning To Strut Down the Catwalk

You’ve heard, no doubt, of the H-1B visa, the special immigration status given to highly skilled workers whom American businesses just can’t live without. And when you think of an H-1B worker, you probably think of a software engineer, perhaps from Asia (where a plurality of H-1B recipients come from).

It turns out there are three types of workers who are eligible for H-1B visas. One is specialty occupations, which the law says includes but is not limited to “architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, surgeons, and teachers in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, academies, or seminaries.” A second type is someone working on research and development for the Department of Defense. 

And the third type? Fashion model. That’s right; apparently this was put into law in 1991. According to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services , in order to qualify for what is called an H-1B3 visa, “you must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.” I don’t know exactly how the government goes about adjudicating that. Funny, though, in all the cacophony about immigration, you don’t hear a lot of people complaining that Misa Campo is going to come here and steal some poor American’s job.