Clarifying the Notion of Dual-Intent US Visas

Some US Visas Denied

Many foreign nationals seeking non-immigrant visas are unclear about the “presumption of immigrant intent” and are consequently denied their visas because they are unable to prove their temporary nature of their stay in the U.S. Why are the majority of non-immigrant visas denied? What must a foreign national know when seeking a non-immigrant visa? The following will attempt to clarify the doctrine of dual intent and provide a quick summary of non-immigrant classifications that support the dual intent policy.

What is your intention?

Non-immigrants wishing to enter the United States are presumed to have immigrant intent, that is, it is assumed that the applicant wants to live in the U.S. permanently. As such, many non-immigrant visas are denied because the non-immigrant visa applicant is unable to demonstrate that they intend to leave the U.S. upon expiration of their visa. Being unable to show significant family or employment related ties to their country of origin to the satisfaction of the consular officer often proves detrimental to the approval of the applicant’s non-immigrant application. This holds particularly true if the applicant’s entire family lives in the U.S. or the consular officer is aware of a pending immigrant petition filed by the applicant.

A foreign national who seeks to enter the U.S. as non-immigrant in most visa classifications is responsible to prove that his or her intent to come to the U.S. is strictly temporary and that they have the intent to return to their country of origin. In other words, foreign nationals entering in most non-immigrant visa categories should not have the intent to remain permanently in the United States.

There are, however, various non-immigrant visa categories where the preceding is not a requirement. The doctrine of dual intent dictates that you can enter and remain in the U.S. lawfully as a non-immigrant while at the same time not actually maintaining a foreign residence and/or having immigrant intent. This holds true, with some limitation, for various employment visas including H and L Visa category visas, O and P visas, and E visas.

If you’ve been denied a non-immigrant visa under, the Doctrine of Dual Intent policy, we suggest you to consult an attorney before you re-apply, or apply in any other non-immigrant visa classification or status.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: dual intent dual intent us immigration dual intent visa usa Immigration Intent US

About Fadi Minawi

Fadi is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Toledo College of Law. He is called to the New York State Bar and is registered as a Foreign Legal Consultant with the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is currently serving as the Media Liaison for the Canadian Chapter of AILA. Fadi has extensive experience in US immigration matters and is the firm’s lead in the area of US immigration. He is specialized in corporate and family immigration, as well as issues dealing with US inadmissibility.

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