What is Dual Intent?

What is Dual Intent?

A person who wants to reside in the U.S. temporarily is called a nonimmigrant, which means he has no intent to become a permanent resident of the country. People who enter the U.S. on temporary visas like the tourist visa or a student visa are considered nonimmigrants.

When applying for a nonimmigrant visa, the foreigner has to prove to the U.S. immigration officials that he has a residence abroad that he will not abandon and will return to once his period of stay in the U.S. is over. His application will be adjudicated based on his intent - to live in the U.S. temporarily and return to his home country when or before his visa expires.

A person who enters the U.S. for a temporary reason, but has the intent to stay here permanently is considered to have dual intent. This is usually the case with certain visas like the H-1A, H-1B and L visas. These are temporary visas and the beneficiaries, though they apply to enter the U.S. for work, have the intent to apply for permanent residence, if they find the right sponsor.

Such applicants have the intent to stay on permanently, and this is recognized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). These nonimmigrants can apply for an immigrant visa. If their temporary visa expires while their application for permanent residence is pending with the USCIS, they may be eligible to apply for extensions. If not, they accept to leave the U.S. if their visas expire and they haven’t been granted permanent residence.

The K-1 fiance visas and the K-3 visa are also considered dual intent visas. The K-1 visa allows the fiance(e) of a U.S. citizen to enter the U.S., get married and then apply to adjust status to permanent resident. The K-3 visa is for the spouse of a U.S. citizen and allows the holder to enter the U.S. and wait in the country while the citizen’s I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is being processed by the USCIS.

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Immigration law can be complicated and this article does not exhaust all the circumstances surrounding dual intent and dual intent visas. These issues can be extremely complex, and a single misstep could potentially lead to a rejection of your application or other immigration penalties. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Call our law firm for a free consultation today at: (949) 478-4936.
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