I am a U.S citizen living in Mexico. My wife is a Mexican citizen and has no plans to work in the U.S. We just want to travel. Can I just get a tourist visa for her? We don't need the residence visa as we have no plans to work or live in the U.S.

  • 3
    Of course she can get a tourist visa; why wouldn't she be able to? – phoog Sep 8 '16 at 15:32
  • Being married dont most people get a resident visa ? witch we dont need just to travel. – Baja Bound Sep 9 '16 at 1:08
  • 1
    @phoog This is a quite problematic issue--they will presume you're trying to skirt the considerable delays in bringing a foreign spouse to the US. It's not easy for foreign spouses to get tourist visas to the US. – Loren Pechtel Sep 9 '16 at 1:33
  • 1
    @LorenPechtel, If he was normally resident in the U.S., sure. But as they are established and living in Mexico, it's no problem. Further, even if he wanted to 'skirt' the considerable delays in bringing a foreign, which I found to be non-existent in my case, if they did want to remain in the U.S. to live, she'd have to get the appropriate permits anyway. Indeed, the system is practically designed around the idea that people enter the U.S. and change status (hence the strict rules on notification of change of circumstances). – ouflak Sep 9 '16 at 6:33
  • @LorenPechtel "they will presume..." Of course they will; that's their job. But it should be possible to overcome that presumption, and, as ouflak points out, it shouldn't even be that difficult if the couple are established in Mexico. – phoog Sep 9 '16 at 17:01

Yes you can. I and my wife are in the exact same position (except her nationality) and she was given a 10 year multi-visit visa no problem. There are many expats around the world who are in this position and who visit the U.S. all the time with the non-citizen spouses in tow.


The embassy will most likely ask for evidence of her stability in Mexico to establish that she is not an overstay risk. This is normally done by submitting bank account details, letters from work or school, contact details for people she knows or will be visiting in the US, and conducting an interview at the embassy. If she is unemployed and doesn't have much money in the bank, there could be difficulty.

There could also be issues if they suspect she is visiting to marry you. They will most likely ask her to swear she isn't visiting to marry, and if you do they could use her statement to invalidate the marriage visa application and deport her anyway. I'm not implying that you would, but it is best to not try to game the system.

  • 1
    We are married she does not work. We travel a lot but not in the U.S. The process for the resident visa is long. The tourist visa is faster and i dont need to go to the U.S consulate in a different city. – Baja Bound Sep 9 '16 at 1:06
  • -1 for a wrong answer. The OP was clear that they are already married. As she is married to a citizen who is established and living with her in Mexico, her requirements for demonstrating 'stability' are practically irrelevant, especially as she would almost certainly immediately qualify for green card anyway if they ever did decide to live in the U.S. @BajaBound, I found that the process for a Green card and the process for a long term visitor's visa to be about the same for my wife (from India), both very quick and similar processes. Look into it. – ouflak Sep 9 '16 at 6:28
  • Since she had not been to the United States I was assuming that they were married in Mexico in which case the embassy would not be aware. There are cases where people will keep this secret to get a tourist visa because once they know you are married the husband will sometimes also have to be involved to prove that he is established in the foreign country and planning to return after the visit as well. I'm glad to hear that your green card process was very quick. That has not been the case for anyone I know. It was a long process with many agencies and fees for me. – Kristopher Hall Sep 9 '16 at 9:59
  • @ouflak: "especially as she would almost certainly immediately qualify for green card anyway if they ever did decide to live in the U.S" And that's exactly why it may be harder to get a tourist visa for her -- because it is so easy for her to abuse the tourist visa to immigrate -- she can just change her mind at any time while visiting the US and qualifies to get a green card while in the US. – user102008 Sep 9 '16 at 17:55
  • 1
    @KristopherHall, the consulate will certainly be aware that she has an American spouse who lives with her in Mexico since the DS-160 application for the visa asks about that. And she has every reason to fill that in, not only because it would be fraudulent to do otherwise but because it supplies a perfectly reasonable explanation of why she would like to visit the US. If her husband is in fact planning to return to Mexico there is no reason not to involve him. The reason she wants the visitor visa seems to be exactly the reason visitor visas exist. This doesn't seem too hard. – Dennis Sep 9 '16 at 18:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.