Are Mail Order Brides Legal In 2023? — Mail Order Bride Legality In Different Countries
Are mail order spouse illegal? How and where to meet foreign mail order brides? What mail order bride services to choose and what else do you need to know about the mail order bride industry? Here, we’ll tell you everything you wanted to know about it.
|⚖️ Are mail order spouse legal?||Yes|
|🌎 Best countries to find a foreign wife legally||Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Ukraine|
|💰 Average cost of a mail order bride||$8,700 — $28,000|
|🆓 Best free legit mail order bride sites||
|🎁 Best legit international dating sites with welcome bonus||
P.S. Before you start reading, check out top-3 dating sites to find a bride legally.
3 Best Legitimate Mail Order Bride & Dating Sites
Is it legal to mail order a bride and why?
Let’s start with the main question: are mail order brides legal?
The answer is “yes”. It’s 100% legal to use mail order bride websites, to marry foreign women, and to bring a foreign bride to the United States. From the point of view of the law, there’s no difference between marrying a woman you met one a mail order bride service and marrying a woman you met on the streets of Bogota, Manila, or Warsaw. American men can marry foreign brides and bring their foreign spouses to the US, and foreign mail order wives can get a green card and even become US citizens 3 years after getting a green card.
However, there are slight differences between marrying foreign women you met on online dating sites and marrying mail order brides you met through a marriage agency. We’ll cover this topic later in more detail.
But first, let’s start with the very beginning. How and where to meet a mail order wife? How many ways are there, what are the differences between them, and which one will work better for you? We’ll answer these questions right now.
Where & How to find a legal mail order bride?
In fact, there are three ways you can go:
- Traveling to another country and meeting a mail order bride abroad
- Using mail order brides agencies/marriage brokers
- Using international dating and mail order bride websites
Obviously, each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s talk about them.
Traveling to mail order bride country
This is probably the very first option that comes to mind when one thinks of international marriages. The process might look simple: you just buy tickets to the Philippines, Mexico, Ukraine, or any other country, book a hotel room, and start enjoying your trip. You can date
- It’s always better to meet a woman in person than online. That’s how you can be sure you’re not chatting with a scammer/bot and that’s also you can also get the full picture of the person.
- A trip to a foreign country is always a fun thing to do. Most of the so-called “mail order bride countries” are very friendly to tourists.
- It’s expensive. A trip might cost you anything from $770 for 2 weeks in Brazil to $1,500 for 2 weeks in Poland and $3,000 for a 2-week trip to Japan.
- The language barrier can become a serious problem. The only country where 100% of women speak English is the UK. In other countries, it will be harder to find an English-speaking person on the streets or on Tinder.
- Not all countries are 100% safe for tourists. Even the ones that might look safe can become dangerous if you visit the wrong neighborhood.
Mail order bride agencies
There are several international marriage agencies that provide a full package of services, from finding a match to translation services on the date. Here’s how it works: you pay for their services, get several matches, then the company books a flight and a hotel room.
- You don’t need to do anything—just sit, wait, and get the best matches. These agencies often take on all the difficulties that you may face during a trip which means you don’t even need to worry about the language barrier because you’ll be provided with an interpreter to chaperone the date.
- That’s easy to find the match with the goals similar to yours. Women who use such agencies are typically marriage-minded and genuinely interested in meeting a foreigner.
- It’s expensive. A trip to a European country, for example, will cost you $4,000-$6,000 for 10-14 days, which is much more expensive than booking a trip without a marriage agency.
- Not all the marriage agencies are good at making introductions. Often, the process looks like this: you get a photo of a potential bride, some info about her, and then, you have a date with her. In fact, it’s like having a blind date—but for $6,000.
Specialized “mail order bride” sites
These are dating sites focused on long-term, serious relationships between American men and mail order brides from various regions. Here’s how mail order brides work: you sign up on a dating site, create a profile, chat with women, and ask her out. Then, you visit her country, meet her, and after that, it’s only up to you.
- Low number of fake profiles. The most trusted and reputable mail order bride platforms have an ID verification service which makes it easy to meet real mail order brides there. However, not all the mail order bride websites are like this, so you’ll have to be very careful when choosing a site.
- More premium features and communication tools than on classic dating sites. While a typical dating platform offers a live chat and a few search filters, a typical mail order bride website offers several messaging tools (live chat, emails, audio messages, video chat, etc) and lots of premium services (gift delivery, translation services, etc.)
- It’s impossible to find a mail order bride website without fake profiles. Even though there are lots of trustworthy dating services with an ID/video/photo verification tool, you still have to be careful with fake profiles and bots.
- The absolute majority of these websites are not free to use.The good news is that you’ll only need to pay around $100-$200 per month to get full access to the majority of legitimate mail order bride services.
Best countries to meet a mail order bride legally
As we already mentioned, there are so-called “mail order brides countries“. This means your chances of meeting a real mail order bride there are higher than in other countries. Let’s be more detailed about them.
The mail order brides from this country are the most popular brides in the world right now. Thus, in 2019, more than 7,100 mail order spouses from the Philippines entered the US on a K-1 visa, meaning they got married soon after arrival.
Just to make it clear: the total number of K-1 visas issued to brides from the whole African continent was more than twice lower (3,279) than from the Philippines. In the whole Europe, only 6,900 women got a K-1 visa in 2019!
Mexico is the most popular country in the Americas regarding mail order brides. 1,676 K-1 visas were issued to Mexican mail order brides in 2019, which is pretty simple to explain. Mexico is close to the US, Mexican Americans are one of the largest ethnic groups in the US, and it’s impossible to deny that the cultural influence of Mexicans can be found almost everywhere in the US. All these make it much easier for Mexican brides to adapt to a new country.
China is another Asian country that is incredibly popular in the US regarding mail order brides. Chinese women often have traditional values and views on family and gender values which makes them a perfect choice for those who’d like to find a trad wife in a foreign country. In 2019, 1,135 brides from this country entered the US, got a K-1 visa, and got married to American men.
We couldn’t miss Latin America, of course—this is one of the most popular regions in the world when it comes to mail order brides. In 2019, more than 1,000 brides (1,014 to be precise) from this country got married to American citizens.
Eastern Europe is another extremely popular mail order bride region. Slavic women are incredibly beautiful, loyal, respectful, and they tend to have quite traditional views on family roles. At the same time, they are well-educated, intelligent, and very interesting to talk to. Ukraine is the most popular Slavic country regarding mail order brides: in 2019, 860 women from this country got married to the US citizens.
Best sites to meet a mail order bride legally
There are two types of dating platforms where you can meet a partner: international dating sites and mail order bride sites. The main difference between them is that women who use mail order bride platforms are often more marriage-minded and typically have very serious intentions. As for international dating sites, there are lots of marriage-minded women there, too—but you can also find a lot of girls focused on something more casual there.
Best international dating sites (1-3)
First, let’s talk about the best international dating websites where you can meet a foreign woman.
Best mail order bride sites (4-6)
Now, it’s time to talk about the best mail order brides websites available right now. Here they are.
What laws affect mail order brides?
The mail order bride industry is regulated by two acts in the United States: IMBRA and VAWA. These acts are meant to protect mail order brides and their children from abuse. Let’s be more detailed.
IMBRA, The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005, is an act that requires full background checks for American citizens who would like to become K-1/CR-1 visa sponsors. The main intention of IMBRA is to protect mail order brides from domestic violence and abuse by checking the criminal histories of prospective husbands.
This act, however, only regulates IMBs—international marriage brokers—which means regular dating sites and mail order bride sites that are not solely focused on matching US citizens with aliens do not fall into the IMBRA. So, if you meet a woman through a mail bride agency (they usually provide romance tours, translation services, etc.), you will need to provide a different set of documentation, such as the information about the IMB.
VAWA is The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 introduced to protect women from violence. This act protects mail order brides, too. For instance, if the mail order bride hasn’t got her green card yet and her husband becomes violent, she can divorce him and still get a green card thanks to VAWA.
Mail order bride regulations across the world
The answer to the question “is it legal to buy a bride in the US” is negative because it’s impossible to “buy” a bride, obviously. There is no country where a person could “buy” a bride: in fact, the absolute majority of developed countries have pretty similar laws and regulations when it comes to mail order brides. Let’s talk about them.
- Legality in USA 🇺🇸
American citizens who want to bring a foreign bride to the US have two options: a K-1 and a CR-1 visa. To get a K-1 visa, you’ll need to get married in the US after your bride gets a visa, and to get a CR-1 visa, you’ll need to get married outside the US first. In all cases, your legit mail order bride will be able to get a green card and become a US citizen after that.
- Legality in UK 🇬🇧
Foreign brides of British citizens can get a Marriage Visitor visa. It allows the applicant to live in the UK for 6 months (the bride must get married during this period). After the marriage, she’ll get a UK Spouse Visa which allows the applicant to live in the UK for 30 months. After that, the wife of a British citizen will be able to apply for citizenship through naturalization.
- Legality in Canada 🇨🇦
If a bride of a Canadian citizen wants to enter the country, she can do it through the Family Sponsorship program. After that, she’ll be able to become a Canadian permanent resident. Permanent residents can later apply for citizenship if they have been physically present in Canada for 1,095 days during the 5 years before the application.
- Legality in Australia 🇦🇺
In Australia, they have a Prospective Marriage visa that is pretty similar to the K-1 visa in the US—it allows a foreign bride to enter the country for a certain period of time and she must got married within that period. The main difference here is the price—the fees associated with this visa start from $7,000! There is also a Partner visa which is similar to CR-1.
- Legality in Switzerland🇨🇭
Foreign brides of Swiss citizens can apply for a marriage permit, enter the country, and get married within 3 months after the arrival to Switzerland (it’s illegal to marry in this country on a tourist visa). 5 years after that, a wife of a Swiss citizen will be able to obtain Swiss citizenship.
Are mail-order brides illegal anywhere in the world?
Yes, they are illegal in the Philippines. There is an Anti Mail-Order Spouse Act in this country that prohibits the business of organizing marriages between Filipino mail brides and foreign men. And, as you can see, the Philippines is still the #1 mail order bride country in the world. Does this mean you or your Filipino bride will break the law?
No. The law is against the owners of mail order bride websites, not against the users of these sites. The absolute majority of dating sites where you can meet Filipinos are not hosted, registered, or based in the Philippines, so they remained unaffected in 2015 when the Act was passed.
So, is it legal to mail order a bride from the Philippines? Obviously, it is!
The legal aspect of marrying a mail order bride in the US
The majority of mail order brides enter the United States on a K-1 visa which means they get married to their partners within the US, not outside the country. In this case, the process will take less time than it would take with an alternative option, a CR-1 visa, because there are 2 steps to take for a K-1 visa (USCIS+Embassy) and 3 steps for a CR-1 visa (USCIS+Embassy+National Visa Center). Anyway, here’s a short description of the process:
- First, you need to apply for the visa.
- After that, your bride will be finally able to enter the US. Once she arrives, you have to marry her within 90 days on her arrival.
- After that, she’ll need to file Form I-485.
- When it’s done, she’ll become a permanent resident (green card holder).
- 3 years after getting a green card, your foreign wife will be able to apply for US citizenship.
The process will take time and some money, but it is worth it if you want your partner to live a regular life in the US.
Mail order marriages statistics
There are lots of stereotypes regarding international brides and marriages. For example, some people say that such marriages are less likely to end in divorce, while the others think the opposite. Here, we’ll refer to numbers to make everything clear.
Do mail order marriages still exist?
There are lots of men who still ask questions like “are mail order spouses real?”. The answer is “yes”.
Thus, the number of K-1 visas issued to foreigners in 2019 was 35,881 which means more than 35,000 American men married foreign brides in 2019. What’s even more interesting is that according to RapidVisa (US law firm focused on fiance/spousal visas), more than 55% of K-1 applicants first met online—via dating platforms, mail order bride sites, and international marriage brokers.
How many mail order marriages end in divorce
According to the 1997 paper, marriages arranged through mail order bride services had a lower divorce rate than the national average. Another important fact you can find in that paper is that more than 80% of such marriages lasted over the years for which the reports were available!
But that’s not all. According to a newer study, the divorce rate in mail order marriages is 6.7%-12.2% lower than the national average! Unfortunately, this study only covers the American-Russian marriages, but we can safely say that women of other ethnicities and races are less likely to get divorced during a lifetime compared to White and Black American women (18% for Asian wives, 30% for Latino wives, 38% for White American wives, 45% for Black American wives).
“It’s legal to meet mail order brides, it’s legal to bring foreign spouses to the US, and it’s also legal to meet women on online dating sites. However, it’s very important that you get everything right when it comes to applying for a K-1 visa—if you are not sure, you can use a lawyer/special services to get everything right the first time.”
It’s 100% legal to bring your foreign mail order bride to the US through a K-1 visa. You need to be a US citizen and you also need to meet your bride in person before applying to this visa. The process will take around 12 months and cost around $2,000.
Yes. However, it’s not about “buying” a foreign wife, obviously. The process looks like this: you meet a woman on mail order brides websites, date her, meet her in person, propose to her, and marry her. After that, you can get your foreign bride/wife to the US.
From the point of view of the law, no—unlike international marriage brokers, not all international dating sites fall into the IMBRA. Another difference is that regular dating platforms don’t take your money to find you a bride.