What is a Dual-Intent Visa?

In your search to find the ideal visa to take you to the United States, you’ve heard the phrase “dual-intent visa.” This visa is also called the H-1B, and it allows foreign nationals to stay in the US for a short period while possibly immigrating into the country permanently. Most temporary visas are approved with the knowledge that the holder is returning home when the validity period ends. But the H-1B visa gives you the right to enter the US with a “dual intent.” What can you do under this visa, and how does it work? This short guide explains everything you need to know about dual-intent visas.

Common Types of Temporary Visas

Visas are official documents from a foreign authority that give a person permission to enter another country. They’re issued by the embassy or consulate in the home country and are required before you can visit or work in the destination. The most common visa categories are given for business trips, gaining employment in a new country, entering as a student, and heading there for tourist reasons.

Qualifying for a nonimmigrant visa can be complicated, particularly if there is any concern that the holder is intending to stay permanently. As an applicant, you must prove that you plan to return to your home country — unless you can obtain an H-1B visa.

Do You Plan on Making the US Your Permanent Home?

When you apply for a visa, you must meet the requirements, of course. But one important consideration is whether you might plan on obtaining your green card while you’re in the US. If this is even remotely possible, an H-1B — or dual intent — visa should be your first preference.

Dual intent refers to the intentions of a non-US national regarding how long they plan to stay in the country once they enter. If this time is temporary, a simple visa works for this “nonimmigrant intent.”

However, in some cases, there is a reason why a foreign national wishes to remain in the US permanently. If this is a possibility, you’ll want to let it be known that you may be seeking a green card with “immigrant intent.” If you qualify for entry with “nonimmigrant intent” but plan on attempting to obtain your green card, you’ll need to hold an H-1B visa.

With the dual intent visa, you can begin the long process of applying for a green card at any stage of your trip. Keep in mind that this must be in the official stages before your visa’s validity period ends, and if you leave the country before your green card is approved, it may cause you to have to start the application over.

Visa Categories With Dual Intent

The H-1B is the most popular and well-known visa for dual intent purposes, but there are others. Talk to your immigration attorney to understand what each visa means and which ones you may qualify for, including those in this list:

●     H-1B specialty occupation worker

●     H-4 dependents of an H-1B holder (spouse and unmarried children under 21)

●     L-1A executive or manager of an intracompany transferring to a new position

●     L-1B dependents of said executive or manager

●     O-1 aliens with an extraordinary ability in an in-demand field (science, art, business, athletics, or education) that does not qualify for an H-1B

●     O-3 dependents of said alien

●     K-1 fiance(e) of a US citizen

●     K-2 dependents of the K-1 visa holder

●     K-3 foreign spouses of a US citizen

●     K-4 dependents of said K-3 visa holder

While these do allow for dual intent, they each have distinct qualification requirements. The H-1B is the broadest category, and the most sought-after annually.

What’s Next?

The process of adjusting your status from a visa to a green card under an H-1B category is straightforward, but it can take time. There are various steps that must be completed, similar to your initial visa petition. 

While you’re applying for the green card, you can still extend your current visa’s validity period or apply for a new one. You can also continue to work in your approved job position. 

However, your future hinges on whether your green card is approved or denied.

Don’t risk the chance that a single mistake causes you to miss out on the coveted permanent residency in the US. Contact Visa2US today to work with our legal professionals. We’ll help you obtain your dual intent H-1B visa and guide you as you take steps to obtain your green card.


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H-1B Visa

H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is used by businesses and organizations in the United States to employ foreign nationals with the preferred qualifications, knowledge, and expertise in a role.

I-485 Adjustment of Status

I-485 Adjustment of Status

Submit a form I-485 application to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

An applicant must either hold an advanced degree or have an exceptional ability in their field that would substantially benefit the U.S. to be qualified.