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

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

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

A blog about business, finance, and economics.
Sept. 2 2010 11:55 AM

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. 

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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.

James Ledbetter is the editor of Inc. and the host of Panoply’s podcast Inc. Uncensored.