I am in the process of applying for immigration I-140 through EB-1B Outstanding researcher category; I haven't submitted the application yet. EB-1B being EB-1B, the burden of proof is on me and the bar is very high; application approval/rejection is highly subjective and there's no guarantee it will get approved (I have seen cases where strong applications have gotten rejected and weak ones have slipped through).
If my application gets rejected on the grounds that it's not strong enough to demonstrate "outstanding achievement" in my field, then will this rejection affect future US non-immigrant visa applications (I will have to leave the country in a few months in either case)?
I did some searching on this topic and got conflicting opinions; some immigration lawyers think that technically "immigrant intent" is only demonstrated when we submit I-485 adjustment of status application, while some argue that submitting I-140 in itself demonstrates immigrant intent in the eyes of the visa officer processing your future applications for any other visas; since they have wide discretionary powers, it doesn't matter whether you submitted I-140 or I-485, you demonstrated immigration intent.
This also brings up another question: Can CBP officers at port of entry and visa officers in consulates see your record of applying for I-140, which might affect their decision to grant entry or future visas?