Dual Visa Intent

A common requirement for a non immigrant classification is that the foreign national seeking such classification have non immigrant intent rather than immigrant intent. In simple terms, the foreign national should not intend to remain permanently in the United States (immigrant intent) without jeopardizing his/her non immigrant status. The foreign national has maintain an unabandoned foreign residence abroad.

Dual intent or a dual visa is a immigration law concept in the United States. It actually refers to the point that through certain US visas, a foreigner is allowed to be temporarily present in the US in a lawful status and immigrant intent. Through this, visa holders, specifically H-1B professionals can enter the US while simultaneously seeking lawful permanent resident status (green card status) at a port of entry. Other visa holders may be presumed to have immigrant intent and can be excluded from entry per US immigration law.

There are grounds for termination of non immigrant visas issued, visa application refusal, refusal of admission at the port of entry, readmission refusal, or removal (deportation) if immigrant intent is presumed based on specific inferences made by the Department of Homeland Security’s border review. Additionally, if a border or consular official thinks that a visa holder is misrepresenting himself, then the applicant can be permanently barred from entering the US because of visa fraud. All are subject to review for immigrant intent on each visit to the US unless the foreigner holds a dual visa.

There are certain visa classifications that allow dual visa intent. H-1B, K, L and V visas allow dual visa intent under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Dual visa intent is also recognized for O visas (for workers who have extraordinary ability and their spouses and minor children), P visas (for athletes, artists or entertainers and their spouses and minor children), and E visas (for treaty traders or treaty investors and their spouses and minor children).

It is important that many other foreign visitors and workers (H-2B worker, H-3 trainee/worker, B-1 business, B-2 tourist, VWP visitor, F-1 student, J-1 exchange visitor, M-1 student, journalism, entertainer visas) not have immigrant intent. Such persons can be barred from entering the US if the consular or port official believes that they have intentions to remain in the US permanently.

One tricky situation is an upcoming marriage with a US citizen without having a K-1 fiance visa.
If a person enters on a non-immigrant category, such as a B-2 category, but works without USCIS approval or marries a US citizen or permanent resident, then a consular official may presume visa fraud and reject all future applications.

There are situations when persons who are married to US citizens are permitted to the US on tourist visas or visa waivers. Such persons have to establish to the satisfaction of the consular or port official that their visit is temporary and that the will return to their home country because they have no interest in immigrating to the US. Most classifications do not allow dual visa intent.


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