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What is a Dual Intent Work Visa?

work visa

Under U.S. immigration rules and regulations, there are certain types of dual intent work visas that can be obtained. These include the following:

  • H-1B visa -- for highly skilled and/or professional worker planning employment with a sponsoring employer
  • L-1A visa -- for managerial staff currently working for an employer being transferred within company to a US location
  • L-1B visa -- for professionals with specialized knowledge currently working for an employer being transferred within company to a US location

Why are These Called "Dual Intent" Visas?

These are called "dual intent" visas because these visas are temporary work visas, but can be issued even if the applicant has an "immigration intent." In general, a temporary visa is a visa where the visa holder must depart the U.S. at the end of the visa's duration of status. With most temporary visas, the holder CANNOT have an intent to remain in the US. If there is evidence of an intent to remain in the U.S., customs and immigration officials can deny issuance of the temporary visa. When processing a nonimmigrant visa, consular and immigration officials will look for evidence that the applicant has a clear intent to not seek immigration status. Examples of evidence include evidence of home, property, bank accounts, family relations, etc., in the country of origin.

By contrast, this rule does not apply to H-1B, L-1A and L-1B visas. Even though these are deemed temporary visas, there is no requirement that the applicant demonstrate a lack of "immigration intent." Indeed, there is an assumption of "dual intent" -- that is, that the applicant has BOTH the intent to work temporarily AND the intent to seek permanent residence status.

What is the Process?

When a holder of a temporary work visa seeks to obtain residence status, the visa holder is seeking an "adjustment of status." Generally, the visa holder’s employer files Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. For an L-1A visa holder, the employer can file for permanent residence in the EB-1C visa category. Both H-1B and L-1B visa holders can also have their employers apply for green card visas, but, in each case, a PERM Labor Certification is needed."PERM" stands for Program Electronic Review Management. This is the US Department of Labor's system used to process labor certifications. The PERM certification must be included with the I-140.

Can I be Denied Entry Based on a Pending Labor Certification Application?

A pending application for PERM labor certification is generally not relevant to whether you can be denied entry/admission to the US. Entry/admission depends on your visa status. Thus, if your H-1B or L-1 visas currently permit entry, then a pending request for PERM labor certification cannot be used to deny entry.

Do I Need an Advance Parole if My Application for Adjustment of Status Application is Pending?

Again, entry/admission into the US after overseas travel depends on your visa status. If your H-1B or L-1 is current, you will be able to reenter.

Contact Yekrangi & Associates Today

For more information, contact the Orange County Immigration Attorneys at Yekrangi & Associates today. You are not alone and we will fight for you. Yekrangi & Associates works to meet a higher standard. Our first goal is your satisfaction. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation or complete our convenient “Get Your Consultation” form here. We are located in Irvine, California.


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