Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Indra Nooyi and even Melania Trump entered the US on the same H-1B visa that Donald Trump's suspending

Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Indra Nooyi and even Melania Trump entered the US on the same H-1B visa that Donald Trump's suspending
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, First Lady Melania Trump and Alphabet CEO Sundar PichaiBCCL/BI India
  • US President Donald Trump’s wife first entered the country on an H-1B visa — the same work visa that Trump wants to make ‘merit-based’ and has suspended till the end of 2020.
  • Even Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, sustained their stay in the US on H-1B visas.
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave back his green card for an H-1B visa so that his wife could join him in the US without having to revoke her own visa.
US President Donald Trump’s attempts to reform visa regulations and his most recent freeze on issuing new visas, including the coveted H-1B work visa, may come as a surprise when one learns that some of the most notable names in the US made their way to the country on H-1B visas — including his own wise Melania Trump.

Many of global leading names from the US from their way to the ‘land of the free’ through H-1B visas — including Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and former CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi.

Melania Trump’s H-1B story
Melania Trump, sustained her stay in the US on a series of H1-B work visas. She apparently made her way to the US in August 1996 to pursue a career in modelling. Two months later, she obtained an H-1B visa that allowed her to work in the States for a year.

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After that, she was able to get five H-1B visas over the next five years, according to Mary Jordan’s book ‘The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump’.

It was only in 2001 that she received an ‘Einstein Visa’ — also called the EB-1 visa — reserved for immigrants with ‘extraordinary ability’ and ‘sustained national and international acclaim’. This was after she started dating Donald Trump in 1998 and her lawyer has never published the details of her application.


But without the initial line of H-1B visas, Melania would have never met Trump in the first place.

Best of the best in the US have come in on H-1B visas
Pichai is originally from Madurai in Tamil Nadu. He initially moved to the US on an F1 student visa after being accepted into Stanford University. Once he was employed with McKinsey & Co. — just before joining Google — he was on an H-1B visa. He’s now a US citizen after being a green card holder for five years.

Nadella too was born in Hyderabad before heading to the US to study electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Even though he was a green card holder in 1993 when he married his wife, he went to H-1B status to that she could come to the States and join him. Around the campus, he was known as “the guy who gave up his green card,” he writes in his book ‘Hit Refresh’.

Like Pichai, Nooyi was also born in Tamil Nadu but in the capital city of Madras. After working and Johnson and Johnson India, she left for the US to study at Yale. In 1980, she went to work from the Boston Consulting Group on an H-1B visa. Another fourteen years down the line, she joined PepsiCo as senior vice president of corporate strategy and development becoming president and CFO by 2001 — and CEO by 2006.

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