Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, have been the subjects of plenty of speculation, especially in the wake of a viral tweet published to Twitter on February 7. The tweet displayed a photo of Melania’s parents and claimed that they can thank chain migration for allowing them to live permanently in the U.S. after Melania’s visa expired. The tweet also unfoundedly claimed that Melania remained in the U.S. illegally, allowing her to marry President Donald Trump for citizenship, which allowed Amalija and Viktor to stay. With nearly 125,000 likes on Twitter, the tweet has captured enough attention to cause publications to want to further dig into the immigration status of Melania Trump’s parents.
According to the Washington Post, there isn’t any evidence that supports the claim that Melania stayed in the U.S. illegally upon expiration of her visa. The publication points to a letter from Michael J. Wildes, a lawyer, claiming that Melania did not get her green card via marriage but instead “self-sponsored herself for a green card” and later allegedly became a legal permanent U.S. resident in 2006.
With Melania’s parents often seen traveling with her and President Trump – as they did on a trip from Camp David in Maryland in 2017, pictured above, the questions remain about their immigration status.
According to the Associated Press, Melania received approximately $20,000 worth of modeling jobs – 10 of them – that happened in the seven weeks prior to Melania gaining the legal right to work in the U.S. The Trump camp didn’t comment and Wildes claimed the modeling jobs were not reflected in their records.
The Washington Post places Melania’s parents in the U.S. for a minimum of one year, possibly living in the White House, at Mar-a-Lago or Trump Tower, and other locations. The publication examined the possible options for the immigration status of Melania’s parents, bandying about such options as them having legal permanent residence through an IR-5 visa. The publication noted that Melania’s parents could be enjoying an extended tourist visa, or have potentially requested parole into the U.S. in order to be a significant benefit to the public based on humanitarian issues.
Student F-1 visas were also proposed as a “least likely” option. However, when Stephanie Grisham was presented with the list of options, she told the Post, “None of those options apply.” The quandary has left the publication wondering why the White House has refused to answer the simple question about the immigration status of Melania’s parents, given the hard line President Trump has taken against some immigrants.