Is there a limit to the number of visa types a foreign national can apply for?

There is no official limit on the number of visa types a foreign national may apply for. However, a number of variables must be taken into consideration.

Firstly, any visa application must be legitimate and non-frivolous. Most notably, there has been a decrease in the number of asylum claims being approved due to the occurrence of “knowingly frivolous” applications. A frivolous asylum application entails one or more important claims being fabricated. An asylum seeker who has been flagged as having submitted a false application can face heavy consequences and may be banned from receiving immigration benefits in any form in the United States.

Secondly, a foreign national who is currently residing in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa must maintain legal status in order to adjust to permanent resident status.

Adjusting status can be done by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Any foreign national applying for adjustment of status under an employment-based preference category must provide evidence to show they have continuously maintained legal status while in the United States and are therefore not prohibited from adjusting status in accordance with section 245(c)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Prior to filing Form I-526, an EB-5 investor already residing in the United States with a valid H-1B, F-1, E-2 or L-1 non-resident visa may be eligible for EB-5 Concurrent Filing.

Lastly, a foreign national who wishes to renew or change their current nonimmigrant visa should be mindful that a pending immigrant visa, such as the I-526 petition, could affect their ability to be approved for renewal of the nonimmigrant visa. For example, if a foreign national with an F-1 visa needs more time to complete their studies and wishes to extend the length of their stay but has already filed Form I-526 as an EB-5 investor, it may be difficult to achieve renewal of the F-1 visa. When applying to renew an F-1 visa, the applicant must demonstrate their intent to depart the United States after an authorized temporary stay. The act of filing the I-526 petition expresses immigrant intent, which conflicts with the temporary nature of the F-1 visa.