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I am a US citizen and my wife is not. She has yet to come to the United States. In the first years of our marriage, most of our time will be spent outside of the States. In a couple of years, we intend to have a second home in the States, and split our time how we wish between the countries.

With this background, I'm attempting to navigate the US immigration process. A green card as an immigrant visa would require that we spend a majority of our time in the US, so it looks like this is not the path. The only non-immigrant visa for a spouse is the K3-visa, which is only for being together while waiting for the result of the immigrant-visa process. Since we're not waiting for anything, this doesn't seem like the option either. The final option is just a standard tourist visa. I've read somewhere that doing a tourist visa, when you are married to a US citizen, might have problems about "withholding information". Is this true? Furthermore, tourist visas are processed without consideration for the fact that she is the spouse of a US citizen.

Where is the path that allows my wife to be with me in the States, without intention to immigrate at this time? Have I got something wrong? What have I missed?

She is currently my fiancé, not wife. I've not seen anything where the difference helps.

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    I think you are not wrong. The problem is that you are not primarily resident and it looks like she wouldn't be either. That's a recipe for getting any green card cancelled (without prejudice, so not really bad) and having to go through the standard visa process. Does she have a long-term visitor visa now anyway? The U.S. government is quite lenient in this regards (from my personal experience) and they don't even mind if people change their status while in the country. – ouflak Feb 8 '18 at 10:57
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    For example if you decide to plant roots in the U.S., she could apply for a green card right then. I would think a longer-term visitor visa would be satisfactory for what it sounds like you want to do. – ouflak Feb 8 '18 at 10:57
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    @fionbio B-2 or B-1/B-2 is not sponsored (and few US nonimmigrant visas have the concept of a sponsor, though some require a petition). B-2 is common for retired people and others who spend up to 6 months in the US without working. You would need evidence that she (or you) can support herself during the stay, and in particular that she will leave the US again after each trip. This could be a job abroad, family ties, kids in school, owning property or a business, etc. Being married to a US citizen will count against her in this process, so you might need more evidence than usual of all this. – Guan Yang Feb 8 '18 at 13:24
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    @fionbio The key requirement (and the source of the infamous 214(b) rejection) is that the applicant has to demonstrate they are not an immigrant, i.e. intend to leave the US and not adjust status (become an immigrant) while there (despite the fact that your wife would be eligible to be an immigrant, were she to apply for a green card). Normally this is judged by the presence of ties to one’s home country, e.g. residence, job, property. But being married to a US citizen is often interpreted as a sign that one might want to travel to the US and stay there, and possibly adjust status there. – Guan Yang Feb 8 '18 at 18:22
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    @GuanYang but being married to a US citizen who resides outside the US will not be particularly troublesome with regard to immigrant intent; it could rather be somewhat helpful if the US citizen's ties to the foreign place of residence are strong. – phoog Feb 8 '18 at 18:42
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Where is the path that allows my wife to be with me in the States, without intention to immigrate at this time?

The appropriate visa is a B-2 tourist visa.

I've read somewhere that doing a tourist visa, when you are married to a US citizen, might have problems about "withholding information". Is this true?

It can, but if you document your circumstances well enough to show that you have no intention of moving to the US, that should satisfy the visa officer that your wife has no "immigrant intent."

Furthermore, tourist visas are processed without consideration for the fact that she is the spouse of a US citizen.

That's not strictly true; they will take it into account just as much as they take any applicant's family circumstances into account. The problem is that being married to a US citizen can make it harder for someone to show a lack of immigrant intent. It is by no means impossible to do so, however.

For anyone in this situation, it should in fact be fairly easy to do so if the US citizen spouse also has strong ties to the foreign place of residence. The harder problem is for a couple that wants to maintain their marriage while the US citizen lives in the US and the foreign spouse lives elsewhere. But even that is not impossible.

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Should it be useful to others: My fiancé was granted her US tourist visa for 10 years. Her interviewer pushed on the question of whether we would marry in the States, which she replied no as it is not our plan. In our case, the invitation letters and various proof documents we had prepared were not even looked at. I don’t know how this may be affected post marriage.

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K3 visa is obsolete, if she is already your wife you should petition her for a spousal visa CR-1 but if you are married for 2 yrs or more IR-1 is the visa of choice.

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    This would be good advice if they were planning to move to the US, but the question is asking about repeated short visits, for which B-2 is the appropriate visa. CR-1 and IR-1 are immigrant visas that lead to permanent residence status, and they are not appropriate here because the non-US spouse does not intend to reside in the US. – phoog Jul 25 '18 at 15:51

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