I am a USA citizen, residing in South America (residency not citizenship) and I've been offered an opportunity that may require extensive travel to the states for work purposes. My wife is not a US citizen but has a tourist visa good though 2019. She's traveled to the USA several times (3 on a work study visa and 5 or 6 on a tourist visa).

If I'm in the USA two months on and one month back to my country of residence, is there any potential issue with my wife accompanying me to the USA on these trips?

  • Is it an option for your wife to apply for a K-3 visa (non-immigrant visa for the spouse of an US citizen)? Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 16:42
  • From what I know about B2 visas they give you 3 months every 180 days, it should be ok. I'd check any country specific restrictions on travel duration though
    – blackbird
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 17:05
  • 1
    @Blackbird57 Not the case. If you have a B2 visa not a VWP visit you can be granted stay up to 6 months and if there is a legitimate reason it can either be extended or after a short stay out of the country another 6 months stay may be granted upon entry. The 90/180 rule is the Schengen visa of the similar type.
    – Karlson
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 17:54
  • @Karlson true, so she should be fine with a 2 month visit. Assuming it's a B2 visa
    – blackbird
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 18:45
  • @Blackbird57 One time sure. 2 times more then likely. Constantly coming and going may raise questions at the border.
    – Karlson
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 19:01

2 Answers 2


There is a small risk that she will be denied entry. People entering on B2 visa must show that they intend to leave and not immigrate during that trip to the U.S. As the spouse of a U.S. citizen, it would be so easy for her to file for Adjustment of Status at anytime after entering. So the burden of showing that she will go back is harder. But it's not common that they turn people with visas away at the border.

I'm surprised that she got the visa in the first place. Maybe she wasn't married to you at the time she got the visa?

  • 1
    Prior to marriage she had 3 j-1 visas (work study) and then after 3 tourist visas. The latest one lasts until 2019. We've traveled to the USA 3 times since being married, she's been a total of probably 10 times without a violation of course. I created the original question but my account got disassociated. Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 17:18

I would like to expand on 102008's answer for what myself and my wife do, as we are in a similar situation. Make sure that it appears obvious that your wife is (a) very patriotic about her nation, and/or (b) doesn't quite like the US. Counter-intuitive as it seems, the border guards are not looking for people who want to cause trouble, they are looking for people who want to stay.

Have her wear a shirt with her nation's flag, and maybe she should mention something about American rudeness or some such disdain such that the border guard will just overhear it. She should appear as if she is being forced to accompany you, not that it might be something she enjoys.

Enjoy the trip!

Edit: Considering that in the last decade Americans are not at rude and vain as they traditionally were perceived to be, perhaps directing the wife's comment not at the people but at the government would be more appropriate. Consider government surveillance, militarization of police, etc. for easy targets. The point is not to be rude, but rather to be naively appalled by some aspect of America that would indicate that the wife has no desire to stay.

  • She owns a business so it probably won't be an issue. If we wanted to stay and adjust status we've had plenty of opportunities to do this in the past. Glad to see others that are doing this without an issue. Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 17:19
  • 1
    I wouldn't recommend being intentionally rude (even a little bit) or disdainful at the immigration desk. And I definitely wouldn't suggest that she might be forced to accompany the OP. Her business ownership would certainly be helpful. Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 20:17
  • I don't mean that the wife should be rude. I mean that she should comment (to her husband, but let the border guard just overhear) that she finds American culture to be rude. The truth is that American culture traditionally has been very rude and vain up until about 10 years ago. In the last decade the government has gotten much worse, but the people have become much more friendly and less vain.
    – dotancohen
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 5:41
  • 2
    -1. Immigration staff are famously humorless, and this strategy sounds like it could backfire really badly. Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 6:16
  • I'm not going for humor, I'm going for "look like I don't intend to stay here".
    – dotancohen
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 6:27

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