Melania Trump, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, might have been an undocumented worker when she first came to the U.S. to work as a model.
In 1995, Melania traveled to the U.S. and posed for a nude photoshoot. Although she would go on to marry Donald in 2005 and become a U.S. citizen in 2006, she might have began her modeling career in the U.S. on a short-term tourist visa, which would not have allowed her to work.
According to a January profile of her in Harper's Bazaar, Melania said she came to the U.S. legally.
"I came here for my career, and I did so well, I moved here,” she told the magazine. “It never crossed my mind to stay here without papers. That is just the person you are. You follow the rules. You follow the law. Every few months you need to fly back to Europe and stamp your visa. After a few visas, I applied for a green card and got it in 2001. After the green card, I applied for citizenship. And it was a long process."
But going back to her native country of Slovenia every few months wouldn't have been necessary if Melania had the H-1B Visa that she has previously said in interviews she had when she worked as a model. H-1B Visas allow holders to stay in the U.S. for up to three years, according to Politico.
If Melania had to return to Slovenia every few months, she most likely would have had a B-1 Temporary Business Visitor or B-2 Tourist Visa, neither of which allow holders of them to work legally.
After questions regarding her immigration status began to surface, Melania issued a statement denying she broke any immigration laws.
“In recent days there has been a lot of inaccurate reporting and misinformation concerning my immigration status back in 1996. Let me set the record straight: I have at all times been in full compliance with the immigration laws of this country. Period,” she said. “Any allegation to the contrary is simple untrue.”