Are Mail Order Brides Legal in your Country in 2022?

Mail brides

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Are mail order brides a real thing? Are mail order brides legal in the USA? Are there any legit mail order bride websites, and how to choose one? If you have questions regarding the mail order bride legality, you’ve come to the right place—read this guide, and you’ll understand how mail order marriages work and how to get a foreign spouse legally.

7 Best Legal Dating Sites with Foreign Girl

  1. BravoDate — best for those who search for Russian and Ukrainian women. Visit the site right now and get 20 credits for free.
  2. TheLuckyDate — best for those seeking serious relationships with Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Korean women.
  3. JollyRomance — best for its minimalistic design. An affordable dating platform with thousands of women from Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and other European countries.
  4. AmourFactory — best for those appreciating a large welcome bonus (sign up right now and get 30 credits for free to talk to Slavic women.)
  5. La Date — best for those looking for international dating sites focused on Latin America with live chat and an opportunity to purchase the foreign woman’s address
  6. UkraineBride4you — best for men searching for thousands of mail order brides from Eastern Europe. Visit the site right now to get a special welcome bonus.
  7. MeetSlavicGirls — best for its additional features aside from regular interaction, such as gift delivery and video chat.
  8. CuteAsianWoman — best for Android app and video chat. One of the most popular mail order brides platforms with thousands of Asian brides. Visit the site now, get 2 free chat vouchers and a special welcome offer.

Mail-Order-Bride---Legal

Are mail order brides illegal? 

Marrying a mail order spouse: illegal or not?

No, it’s 100% legal.

In the absolute majority of Western countries, it’s absolutely legal to marry mail order brides. The only requirement in most countries is the marriage be a bona fide marriage, which means genuine and real, without intention to get a mail order bride a permanent resident status (green card in the United States).

Obviously, mail order brides are also required to enter the US on K-1 visa, not on a tourist visa—because coming to the United States on a visitor type of visa with the intention of getting married is considered visa fraud and is not taken kindly by the USCIS officers. If your relationship is bona fide and your mail order wife enters the US on a K-1 visa, there’s nothing illegal in it.

However, when it comes to relationships, it’s the little things that can make a big difference—and this statement is true for international relationships, too. Here, we’ll cover all the details.

Mail order bride legislation in different countries

Are mail order spouses illegal? The answer is “no” in the majority of cases, but the precise answer for your case depends on many factors. The most important factor is the country of residence—what’s considered legal in the US might be a problem in another country and vice versa.

Let’s be more detailed.

USA

Mail order brides can enter the US legally on a fiance visa (K-1) or on a spouse visa (CR-1)—the main difference is that the K-1 visa is faster while the CR-1 visa is a bit cheaper. If the income of a sponsor is at least 125% of the poverty guidelines, the relationship is bona fide (genuine), and you can prove it with photos/messages/tickets, there will be no problems with getting a visa for your mail order spouse.

Philippines

Foreign citizens can marry Filipinos—but you can’t do it using an international marriage agency registered in the Philippines because of the Republic Act (Anti-Mail-Order-Bride Law). So if you dream of arranging a wedding in this country, be ready to change your dream. Explore Philippines dating services that will be popular in 2022.

Asia

Foreign brides are legal in the absolute majority of Asian countries except for the Philippines, Turkmenistan, and North Korea. You can travel to any Asian country and find single women ready to date a foreigner, or you can try international dating sites. Both variants work. Find more about asian brides in this guide.

UK

Britain allows mail brides to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa—the rules and requirements are similar to the ones of a K-1 visa in the US (proof that you’ve met, bona fide relationships, minimum income). There is also a Family Visa that is issued to people who are already in a relationship with a UK citizen—the requirements are quite similar, but this visa allows a mail bride to live in the UK for 30 months.

Canada

Canada has a similar system to the US regarding foreign mail order brides. A sponsor (Canadian citizen/permanent resident) can bring his spouse to Canada through the Family Sponsorship Program. In 5 years, the spouse can become a citizen of Canada by naturalization.

Australia

Mail brides can apply for a Prospective Marriage Visa (pretty similar to K-1 visa) or for a Partner visa (for those already married to an Australian citizen, something like CR-1 visa). The applicants are always asked to present evidence of genuine relationships. Applying for both visas costs around $7,000—this makes Australia one of the most expensive countries for mail bride relationships.

Other countries

In the 17th century, men wrote letters to newspapers, and first mail order brides entered the US on sailing ships. Today, it’s much easier than that—with modern mail bride platforms, you can chat with a woman from any country in the world in a few clicks. The absolute majority of the world’s countries do not consider mail order brides illegal—some countries try to regulate the industry, but the answer to the question “are mail order spouses illegal in country X?” is almost always “no”. Let’s be more detailed.

Mail-Order-Brides

Where are mail order brides illegal?

  1. The Philippines. The Republic Act No.6955 prohibits the organizing of marriages between Filipino and foreign citizens. It’s not a problem, though—this law doesn’t prohibit the operation of matchmaking agencies/marriage brokers/dating platforms in destination countries. There are no mail brides platforms based in the Philippines, but the Philippines is still the most popular mail order bride country globally.
  2. Belarus. The President of Belarus tried to regulate marriage brokers on the territory of this country, but this didn’t work because there are no dating/mail bride websites registered in Belarus. Just use United States marriage agencies, that’s all.
  3. Turkmenistan. In 2005, the president of this country made foreigners who wanted to marry Turkmen women pay $50,000. A year later, the law was scrapped, but a few people noticed that. The number of K-1 visas issued to Turkmen women in 2020 was 0.

What laws affect mail order brides?

Mail order wives are dependent on their husbands, their husbands understand it, and it needs a good person with high moral ground to not use this situation to their advantage.

Not all men have high moral grounds.

That’s why VAWA and IMBRA were created—to protect immigrant wives from emotional abuse, domestic violence, and sexual abuse.

  1. VAWA is the Violence Against Women Act (1994). It protects rights of domestic violence victims, female immigrants (both those who entered the US on a fiancée visa and the illegal immigrants), and human trafficking victims by funding programs that provide help to these people. VAWA also helps mail order brides get a green card without notifying the spouse which can help in certain situations, e.g., when a husband threatens to deport a wife back to her own country.
  2. IMBRA , the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, is a more specialized act that protects and informs mail order brides (legal and illegal) on their rights. First of all, IMBRA protects mail order brides entering the US from getting married to a person with a criminal record (sexual/violent crimes). Second, IMBRA does not allow men to file more than 2 K-1 visas in their lifetime. Third, IMBRA informs mail brides on their rights—even if a mail order bride doesn’t speak English, she will be informed on abusive relationships, deportation laws, and the laws that protect her and her future/living children from domestic violence.

How to differ a legitimate mail order bride site from a scam?

Now, when the answer to the question “are mail order brides illegal immigrants or not?” is finally revealed,  we need to talk about another common question. It sounds like this: how to choose a legit mail order bride service?

The fastest way you can go is taking a look at the list of the best legit mail order bride websites above—we’ve found good mail order brides sites, tested them, sorted out the ones that were not good enough, and collected the best of them into this shortlist. If you are looking for quality mail order bride or international dating sites, we recommend the following top:

Sites like CuteAsianWoman are perfect for those interested in foreign spouses from Asia, MeetSlavicGirls is a great option for those who want to marry foreign women from Europe, and La Date will be the best choice for you if you prefer Latin dating. These platforms are the leaders of the mail order bride industry and they are definitely worth taking a look at.

However, you can do your own research if you want to. Here are the 3 tips to help you choose the right mail order brides services:

  1. Google the photos of members—not only the women you’re chatting with but all members. If you see no results in Google, it’s a good sign. If you see that a profile photo appears under different names on different dating sites/international marriage broker platforms, it’s a red flag.
  2. Read all the reviews you can find. If there are lots of new reviews written by unverified accounts, if all the accounts look generic, if the reviews sound ESL-ish, you know what it is.
  3. If you get dozens of messages from extremely beautiful ladies right after the registration, it’s a red flag. That’s not how mail order brides work, that’s not how marriage brokers work, and that’s another huge red flag.

What one needs to know about getting married abroad?

Bride

If K-1 (fiancée visa) is not the best option for you or if you stay abroad and don’t want/don’t have an opportunity to return to the US right now, international marriage is what you need. Here are some facts you need to know before you go such a way.

  • As long as a union was legal when and where it was performed, it’s recognized in the US as valid.
  • Some countries require more documents than the US—and the problem is that some of these documents do not exist in the United States. For instance, the affidavit of eligibility to marry which is required in such countries as Turkey and Korea. In most countries, a written statement regarding your ability to marry/get married that was notarized by a USCIS officer will be enough.
  • A Certificate of Witness to Marriage Abroad has not been issued since 1989—but you can still obtain a copy of this certificate in case you need it. Contact the Bureau of Consular Affairs Office to request a copy or get your questions regarding this certificate answered.

Important to know: Sponsorship

When you file the Form I-129F petition, you are becoming a sponsoring partner, which means there are certain things you must understand and certain requirements you must meet. In this context, being a sponsor means providing financial support for the basic needs of the person you’re sponsoring (foreign mail order bride). You will be liable for the K-1 holder’s support until your foreign wife becomes a US citizen or until she is credited with 40 quarters of work (10 years).

There are four important things to mention here for you as a sponsor.

  • First, you can be a sponsor even if you live abroad.
  • Second, divorce does not end your obligations.
  • Third, the sponsors are responsible for repaying the costs of the public benefits received by their foreign spouses.
  • And the last thing you have to understand about sponsorship is that your household income must be equal or higher than 125% of the US poverty level for the size of your household—if you’re sponsoring a foreign bride, your household size includes you and her, which means your income must be higher than $21,775 ($17,420*1.25).

How much do mail order brides cost?

Instead, we’ll talk about international dating websites—as we’ve already said, sites like CuteAsianWoman are the perfect option for every man who wants to meet foreign brides. The price is one of the most important factors to choose mail order bride sites over international marriage agencies—most online dating platforms will cost you around $100-$150 per month.

After the online part, you’ll need to meet foreign women—it’s necessary to get a K-1/CR-1 visa later, and it’s also necessary to understand if there is chemistry between you. Mail order bride services like MeetSlavicGirls have a video chat service, but it’s still not as good as meeting in person, especially when we’re talking about marrying foreign women.

In most cases, you’ll need around 14 days to visit the country—here’s how much it will cost.

  • A 2-week trip to such countries as China, Japan, or Korea might cost you around $5,000-$6,000—that’s why Asian mail order brides are often considered so expensive.
  • A 2-week trip to South America will cost you around $1,500 because these countries are quite cheap to visit and because of cheap tickets.
  • Eastern European countries are somewhere in between—a 2-week trip to Ukraine or Russia will cost you around $2,000-$2,500.

Find out how the mail order bride cost is calculated here.

What drives mail order brides

Tens of thousands of mail order spouses from almost any country in the world get married to American citizens every single year. Hundreds of thousands of potential mail order brides dream of marrying foreigners and use international marriage/dating platforms to meet foreign men. These women live in different countries, they have different cultural backgrounds, and obviously, we can’t say that all these women are like this or like that.

However, we can safely say what most mail order brides are looking for—most foreign women want to meet a caring and loving man who will treat them with respect. Infidelity, domestic violence,  sexual violence (e.g., “marital rape”), low quality of life—these problems are, to varying degrees, common in the absolute majority of so-called “mail order bride countries”. Obviously, young, beautiful, and intelligent local women don’t want to suffer like their mothers and grandmothers—that’s why they often believe that American men make better partners and/or husbands than their local men. 

This is exactly why most mail order brides are interested in foreign husbands—they just think that their lives will be much better if they marry a better man from another country they like.

Obviously, this is not the only thing that can attract women living in poor “mail order bride” countries. Some women want to participate in such a relationship because the US is a much richer country than their home country, the others just want to try something new, etc. But in the majority of cases, women who want to meet and marry foreign citizens are driven by the idea of building a perfect relationship with a caring, loving, and respectful foreign man. Explore 10 best countries to find a wife here

Conclusion—Are mail order spouses illegal?

They are 100% legal. You can meet a foreign bride in Asia, Latin America, Eastern/Western Europe, or any other world’s region using international marriage agencies or dating sites, and you can get your future wife to your country if your relationship is genuine and bona fide. As long as your relationship is real, there is no domestic abuse in your relationship, and your mail order spouse has no criminal record in her home country, you can marry her and get her to your country legally.

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