I have been married to a Japanese women for about 9 years. We have two kids and they have dual citizenship (USA and Japan). I myself am a US citizen. We were thinking about getting her a spouse visa / permanent visa .

However, at this time we have no plans to actually live in the USA and just go for vacations. Having it would be just an emergency type of thing, in case of North Korea and China start bombing the hell out of Japan.

I own a home in the USA and Japan, so we have a residence there but again no plans on living in the USA and only going for vacation every year for a month or two.

My question is: If we don't go to the USA every year, will she lose her visa?

  • 1
    It is important to note the merely owning a property in a country does not establish residence there. Laws will vary across the world, but the U.S. along with most other countries, require actual physical presence in the country in order for residency to be established.
    – ouflak
    Feb 8, 2017 at 11:41

1 Answer 1


I am speaking from direct experience with almost this exact situation. She will come under scrutiny and will likely lose her green card if you try this, especially now with immigration coming under a particular focus. A spouse visa isn't even the right type of visa anyway for what you want to do. It is best to get her a 10 visitor visa, unless your wife is from a VWP country, in which case just continue to visit as normal. Reasonably easy and cost effective process and, if when the time comes that you may want to live the states, the green card process will be very smooth considering how long you've been married and the fact that she has already done one set of biometrics (may not even have to do another although I'm sure about that bit).

If there is an emergency of the nature which you describe, you can always change her status in the U.S.

  • Japan is part of the Visa Waiver Program and there isn't normally a need for a Japanese national to get a visitor visa.
    – user102008
    Feb 8, 2017 at 16:56
  • Good point. My wife was from a non-VWP country. I'll update the answer.
    – ouflak
    Feb 8, 2017 at 17:15
  • I would elaborate on "a spouse visa isn't even the right type of visa anyway for what you want to do," perhaps by adding a bit of information about the intended purpose of the K-3 spouse visa or, more pertinently, an immigrant visa for a spouse.
    – phoog
    Feb 8, 2017 at 17:50

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