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What is a Dual Intent Visa?

What is a Dual Intent Visa?

A dual intent visa is a visa classification that is both for immigration and non-immigration purposes, for example, for someone who either eventually wants to become a permanent resident of the United States, or someone who just wishes to work here temporarily. If one’s ultimate goal is to get a green card and permanently immigrate to the United States, then it is important to consider a dual intent visa. An immigration attorney can advise one on the application process as well as elaborate on the various benefits and limitations of the dual intent visa.

How and Why Does This Help Me?

  • If you are temporarily working in the United States, but your employer wants to file for your permanent residency.
  • If you have more ties to the United States than to your home country, to avoid any questions about immigration intent at the time of arrival to the United States.
  • You have a pending application for adjustment of status and need to temporarily leave the United States, and do not wish to have your application deemed abandoned.

Who Can Apply?

The dual intent visas are generally employment visas and an employer must petition for you. is most beneficial for students, family members, fiancés, and minors. According to there are several common U. S nonimmigrant visa statuses that allow dual intent. They include the following:

  • H-1B temporary workers in a specialty occupation
  • H-4 dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old) of H-1B workers
  • L-1A intracompany transferees executive or manager
  • L-1B intracompany transferees specialized knowledge
  • L-2 dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old) of L-1A or L-1B workers
  • O-1 aliens with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
  • O-3 dependents (spouse or unmarried children under 21 years old) of O-1 visa holders
  • K-1 fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens
  • K-2 dependents (unmarried children under 21 years old) of K-1 visa holders
  • K-3 foreign spouses of U.S. Citizen
  • K-4 dependents (unmarried children under 21 years old) of K-3 visa holders
  • V dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old) of U.S. lawful permanent residents.


Q: Can I be denied entry based on a pending labor certification application?

A: If you are seeking admission based on an H-1 or L-1 visa, you will not be denied admission.

Q: My adjustment of status is pending; do I need advance parole?

A: No, as long as you are on valid H-1 or L-1, if you do not have one of these two visas, you will need advance parole otherwise your I-485 will be deemed abandoned.

Q: Can I still get a green card if I do not have a dual intent visa?

A: Yes, the dual intent visa just offers an easier path to adjusting status.

Further Resources:

  • USCIS offers an extremely comprehensive PDF that goes in depth of the application process.
  • An immigration attorney will be able to help you decide if a dual intent visa is the right choice for you and your family.
  • You can also visit the USCIS website for the application documents and other helpful links for dual intent visas.

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