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The Dual Intent for H-1B Visa and L-1 Visa Application

Hi William:

My U.S. citizen brother has apply for immigration visa for me several years ago, based on Form I-130. Now, my employer will send me to work in the United States with  H-1B visa or L-1 visa (not sure which view type at this time) for a large engineering project.

Do you think that I may get denied the visa application because of my previous immigration visa application by my U.S. citizen brother? or my potential application of permanent resident in the United States later?


If a U.S. consular officer finds you are not eligible to receive a nonimmigrant visa under U.S. law, your visa application will be denied, and you will be provided a reason for the denial. There are many reasons a visa applicant could be found ineligible for a U.S. nonimmigrant  visa.

These reasons or ineligibilities are listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and other  U.S. immigration laws. Some ineligibilities can be overcome, either by you, the visa applicant, or the U.S. petitioner, in certain immigrant visa cases. Other ineligibilities are permanent. This means that every time when you apply for a visa, you will be found ineligible under the same section of law, unless a waiver of that ineligibility is authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Unlike most other nonimmigrant categories, H visa and L visa cetegories are not subject to immigrant intent provisions of INA section 214(b) - "Did not establish eligibility for the visa category being applied for or overcome the presumption of being an intending immigrant ."  It is referred to as the "dual intent" doctrine. The dual intent doctrine is well known, and it is highly unusual for an H-1B or L-1 visa applicant to obtain an H or L visa denial on this basis alone.

The alien applicant applying for H-1B or L-1 visas in dual-intent categories are allowed to possess the intention to immigrate to U.S. in the future. Thus, the H-1B or L-1 visa application should not have been denied for his or her perceived lack of ties to the home country, or the expectation that he or she may eventually seek to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States.

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