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The problem is that she is not supposed to use a tourist visa to enter the U.S. if her intent is to stay. They may just wave her on through, but if they look her up and see she is married to a U.S. Citizen or if they question her and figure it out, one of three things could happen:
a) They will allow her to withdraw her request to enter the U.S. and she can go home, no penalty.
b) They will not allow her to withdraw her request to enter the U.S. and will order her excluded. This has a 5 year penalty that she cannot come back unless she gets a very hard to get waiver.
c) They will not allow her to withdraw her request to enter the U.S. and they catch her in a lie and they exclude her with a permanent bar due to fraud and/or misrepresentation and with that charge she cannot come back unless she gets a very hard to get waiver.
To be safe, I would start one of the two processes now:
1) The K-3 spouse visa takes 6 to 9 months. The I-129F will cost $340 and $350 for the visa processing fee. Then after she enters the U.S., she must still file the I-485 for $1070 and wait for the marriage interview about 5 to 7 months later.
2) The CR-1 visa (or IR-1 if your marriage is more than 2 years old) takes about 1 year or so. The fees are $420 for the I-130, $330 for the visa processing fee, $88 for an Affidavit of Support fee. But once she enters the U.S., she enters as a Resident and she does not have to file (or pay for) an I-485 nor does she have to attend an additional interview. She just gets her green card in the mail a few weeks later.
So the K-3 is faster but generally more expensive. The CR-1 (and IR-1) are slower, but generally cheaper. And no, there is no middle-visa that she can use to enter the U.S. while that process is pending. She will most likely have to wait outside.
Here is a link to both:
and another link:
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