The immigration process is frustrating, and as of 2018, taking even longer than ever. Understandably, couples want to see each other before their visa is approved. So we often get asked the question “Will I get approved for a tourist visa if I’m waiting on my fiance or spousal visa to get approved?” The unfortunate answer is: Probably not. Although it’s not breaking any rule to apply for one, the fact is you have already signaled your intent to immigrate to the United States. A tourist visa is intended to make a short visit for the purpose of tourism. So the fact you already have shown your intent to stay in the US long term, most officers will reject the case outright because of presumed guilt. They assume you are looking to circumvent the long process by short-cutting your way here with a tourist visa.
It’s not completely impossible to get approved for people of certain circumstances, however, your odds of tourist visa approval are very low in this circumstance. For example, if you are of well means, and not from a country that the US has a huge problem with overstays, and happen to need to attend a work trip or conference in the US, which is unrelated to visiting your fiance, there’s a slightly better chance of approval. But if you are specifically going to see your fiance, it is likely a waste of time and money to pursue.
In the circumstance you already have an approved B1/B2, or even are able to travel on visa waiver, and you’ve had it since before you even applied for the fiance visa, there’s a chance you could be turned away by a CBP agent. This would be extremely frustrating to waste the time and money buying a plane ticket all the way to the U.S., only to be turned back at the airport. But we have had this happen, and it should be assumed this may happen.
Most of our customers simply visit each other in the alien’s country while they’re waiting on the fiance or spousal visa to get approved. There’s no limitation on this, apart from the country in question’s visa rules.