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I am a naturalized US citizen, and this past January I have started the process to sponsor my brother for US permanent residency. His case is still processing and has not been approved yet, it usually takes about a year.

However, in the meantime, my brother received an offer on his own to spend time in the US on a J1, exchange visitor visa, which is a non-immigrant visa.

Is his J1 approval jeopardized by the fact that there is an apparent immigrant intent?

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Note that while it might take a year for your I-130 petition to be approved it is likely to take more than a decade for a visa number to become available. If the I-130 prevented your brother from entering the US in most non-immigrant statuses he would need to stay away for a very long time.

That said, while a pending or approved I-130 petition does not unambiguously impute immigrant intent in the way that an immigrant visa or AOS application would, it does raise his burden to show ties to his home country that demonstrate the likelihood of his return home at the end of the J-1. That is, while the I-130 in no way bars him from applying for the J-1 it does increase the probability that he might not get it. Since a visa refusal might have follow-on effects this is a case where one perhaps would want to consult a lawyer about the application to ensure it is well-founded enough to be worth the chance and that the application itself does what it can to be convincing.

  • Just an update, my brother and his family were granted J1/J2 visas, and will arrive next week. – user79729 Jan 22 at 23:05

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