Published On: Wed, Dec 11th, 2019

Melania Trump news: How Donald Trump’s wife became a US citizen

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Melania Trump has been the First Lady of the United States since Donald Trump was inaugurated on 20 January 2017. Although she has lived in the US for many years, the former model was born in Slovenia. When did she become a US citizen and how did it happen?

Melania began her career as a model and first moved from home when she signed with a modelling agency in Milan.

Aged just 18, she often travelled for work and took on jobs in cities including Milan and Paris.

In 1996, Melania moved to America for the first time, reportedly living in Manhattan on a tourist visa.

Two years later, she met her future husband, Donald Trump, at a party and they quickly began dating.

READ MORE: Melania Trump stands out in £1,879 blue coat and killer high heels with Donald

Her modelling career continued in the States and Melania did shoots for publications including Vanity Fair, Vogue and New York magazine.

The First Lady obtained at H-1B work visa before making a bid for permanent residency in 2000, four years after she first moved.

She campaigned for permanent residency under the EB-1 program, which is used for people who are highly acclaimed in their field.

In order to qualify, applicants need to show they have “extraordinary abilities”.


A year after applying, Melania was approved and was reportedly one of just five people from Slovenia to get the visa.

However, it may not have been too difficult for Melania to get, Susan McFadden, a specialist US visa lawyer at the Gudeon and McFadden law firm, told the BBC.

She said: “I’ve gotten EB-1 visas for people you’ve never heard of and never will.

“An experienced lawyer knows what the US citizenship and immigration services is looking for, and how to bring out of the client’s background things that will be attractive to the agency.”

As she was already dating billionaire Donald by then, it is likely Melania was able to get a good lawyer to help with her application.

Nearly three years ago, she became the First Lady of the United States and is the second foreign-born woman to hold the title.

She became the first in the role to be a naturalised citizen rather than a birthright citizen and the first whose native language is not English.

Melania met while Donald was in the process of divorcing his second wife, Marla Maples.

They dated for six years before Donald popped the question and she was given a stunning diamond engagement ring from Graff Diamonds which cost £1.1million at the time.

In January 2005 they tied the knot in Florida before a reception which took place at Donald’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Melania and Donald have one child together, Barron Trump, who was born in 2006.

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