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Nonimmigrant Visas: Effects


As we discussed in our prior articles, “Types of Nonimmigrant Visas” and “Nonimmigrant Visas: Time Limits and Immigration Status”, a nonimmigrant visa, aka a temporary visa, grants its holder with U.S. government permission to perform a specialized activity – and only that activity – for a specific, limited time.

Generally, applying for a nonimmigrant visa expresses to the United States Government an intent to stay in the U.S. for a temporary period. This intent is contrary to an application for a green card, which expresses an intent to reside permanently in the U.S. With the exception of certain visa categories, you may be denied an application for a non-immigrant visa if it is believed that you have an “immigrant intent.” What is an immigrant intent? Immigrant intent means that you plan to permanently stay in the U.S. by way of your visa. Certain non-immigrant visa categories are known as “dual intent” visas. What are dual intent visas? Dual intent visas allow an applicant to also have the intent to reside permanently in the U.S. The following are dual intent visa categories: H-1B, L-1, H-4, L-2. In addition, although not explicitly a “dual intent” visa, O-1 visa holders are not required to show that they will maintain a residence abroad. As such, they are allowed to travel on the O-1 visa even if they have filed an immigrant petition on Form I-140; O-1 visa holders should not travel if they have filed for an Adjustment of Status (on Form I-485) until they have an approved I-131 Advance Parole. For all other categories of nonimmigrant visas, it is important to not have your temporary visa application denied due to inadvertently expressing an intention to stay in the U.S. permanently.

Additionally, if you have been in the United States for a weighted total of 183 days during the previous three (3) years, you are considered a tax resident, unless you spent less than 30 days in the country in the current tax year. The weighting of the total days counts each day in the current tax year as one, each day in the previous year as one-third of a day, and each day in the second previous year as one-sixth of a day. There are exceptions to this rule for students, professional athletes, certain foreign government employees, and certain teachers. If you become a tax resident, you must report your entire worldwide income to the United States government. This does not necessarily mean that the government will ultimately tax all of your worldwide income. That determination will be made by international tax treaties that the United States has with other countries. Once you are a tax resident, you must file a U.S. tax return.

The effects of obtaining a nonimmigrant visa can be confusing and invite many complications. If you want to learn more about nonimmigrant visas, or need help with your particular immigration matter, reach out to our experienced immigration attorneys here at KI Legal. We are ready and able to help you navigate any immigration process you may be facing. Call (212) 404-8644 or email to get started.




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