What is a Dual Intent Visa


Life changes. You might well come to the United States on a temporary visa only to decide that you’d like to adjust your status later.

Yet coming to the United States with “dual intent” can create legal complications. For the most part, when USCIS issues a temporary visa they do so on the grounds that you will eventually leave the country.

It can create something of a double bind, as you can’t misrepresent your reasons for coming into the country, but can face visa denial if you indicate that you might want to adjust your status later. Most of these visas also require you to provide proof that you don’t intend to remain in the country. 

What is the solution?

Dual intent is permissible for some visas.

A good example would be the F-1 student visa. Immigration knows that students often develop job or romantic opportunities after four years of study in the United States. They are generally open to an adjustment of status for a student who is completing their course of study and who has either gotten engaged or who has found an employer willing to sponsor them.

Certain temporary work visas are similar. 

In general, you can safely seek dual intent with:

However, you should still speak to an immigration lawyer to ensure that your intentions are communicated in a way that is both honest and unlikely to trigger a denial.

Completing the Adjustment of Status

To complete the adjustment of status you will need to fill out form I-485 with the help of an immigration attorney. You should expect immigration officers to examine whether you had a “preconceived intent” to adjust your status. The exception is the H-1B or L-1 visa, temporary workers in a specialty occupation or intra company transfers. K visas are another exception; this is the fiance visa and the implied intent is that your intent is to get married to a United States permanent resident or citizen. 

Keep in mind that you do not necessarily need a dual intent visa to adjust status later. In addition, certain visas, like the visitor’s visa, are never eligible for an adjustment of status. You would need to return to your home country and seek a more permanent immigration path. 

Speaking with an immigration lawyer is always going to be your best move. Don’t make any decisions or fill out any forms before calling us to schedule a consultation.

See also:

Steps for Getting a Student Visa in the United States

Can You Apply for a Green Card After an Overstay

Converting an F-1 Visa to an H-1B Visa

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