Are Mail Order Brides Legal in 2023?
You can leave now or learn more about foreign brides. Actually, there are plenty of nuances and foreign dating sites to consider if you are going to find a legit mail-order bride from another country. After all, intermarriage rates are steadily climbing. In the United States, 3% of all newlyweds married to someone of a different race or ethnicity had risen to 17% by 2015.
All told, more than 670,000 newlyweds had recently entered into a marriage, and we bet not all of them lived in the USA before it. So, if you want to know are mail order brides legal, read the information below carefully.
Long story short, yes, mail order brides and girls for dating are legal.
|⚖️ Are mail-order spouse legal?||Yes|
|Best site to find a legal Slavic woman||JollyRomance|
|Best site to find a legal Asian woman||EasternHoneys|
|Best site to find a legal Latin woman||LoveFort|
|🌎 Best countries to find a bride legally||Ukraine, Thailand, The Philippines, Mexico|
|💰 Average cost of mail-order brides||$3,000 – $15,000|
3 Best Legitimate Dating Sites to Meet Overseas Single
Where to find legal mail order brides?
As you’ve learned from our spoiler, mail order brides are legal, but that doesn’t mean that all women and men you meet through mail order bride services act legally. The mail order bride industry still has a lot of nuances that you need to be aware of. And one of the most important ones is where to search for potential partners so as not to put yourself at risk of getting a mail order spouse illegally.
We did some research and gathered the most effective ways to find mail order spouses safely. We divided the options into online and offline categories and are ready to share all peculiarities of international brides and grooms search.
Mail order brides legal dating offline
One of the options is offline search, which includes traveling to a specific country or region to find a foreign wife and going on a mail order bride tour. We made a quick review of both variants.
Traveling to mail order bride abroad
You can travel to one of the popular countries for searching mail order brides (like Thailand or Japan). Planning a solo trip is not easy, but completely legal. The benefits include exploring the culture of the country you visit and meeting a foreign mail order bride or foreign husband in real life. However, if you aren’t ready to spend several thousand dollars on traveling abroad, you should opt for other ways to meet a potential spouse.
Going on a mail order brides tours
This option also includes traveling abroad, but an international marriage agency plans everything from plane tickets to reservations. Such agencies choose potential partners for their clients. But mail order brides agencies don’t give men a foreign woman’s address to visit her. They just offer solo or group trips with special events where you can connect with preselected partners.
Are mail order bride illegal online?
A short answer is “no”.
Legitimate mail order bride sites, international marriage agencies, and marriage brokers are legal, and their services are not crossing the law. Moreover, mail order bride services online are the most common way of looking for a foreign bride. But why do people choose mail order bride services?
Millions of singles looking for serious relationships tend to choose legit mail order bride sites. It’s hard to pinpoint exact numbers, as most mail order brides platforms don’t disclose numbers of members, but the best legit mail order bride websites in the niche have 1-3M of monthly visitors (according to SimilarWeb), making a search for foreign mail order brides, not an unknown thing. Even if you have never tried it, chances are high that one of your close friends did.
One of the reasons for such high popularity of international dating websites and specialized platforms is that they are low-effort. Users don’t need to go anywhere or even dress up to start looking for a potential mail order wife or husband. Also, you can be anywhere in the world, as mail order brides websites are available globally.
Specialized sites make dating more effective as it unites people with the same dating goals. You don’t need to scatter social media or regular online dating sites in hopes of finding foreign women or men who are interested in a relationship. Mail order brides services facilitate search, communication, and meetings.
Legitimate mail order bride agencies come at different price ranges. We haven’t found completely free platforms with a high percentage of positive reviews, but there is a decent number of mail order brides sites that are partly paid. Some are credit-based (offer different credit packages to spend on advanced features) and subscription-based (monthly or yearly subscriptions).
Are any legit mail order bride websites easy to find? It’s a tough question as you need to know where to search for mail-order bride and international dating sites to ensure your safety.
Top countries to meet mail order brides legally
Here are the most popular countries for foreign spouses in the US:
- The Philippines — These Asian brides dominate in popularity not just in the local region, but also among all foreign spouses. Only in 2019, 7,134 Filipino women come to the US as fiancées.
- Mexico — Mexican beauties are the most desired partners in Latin America, as 1,676 American men chose their wives specifically from this country in 2019.
- Ukraine — And Ukrainian women are the most popular in Eastern Europe, with 860 couples with US guys in 2019.
Relationships and marrying foreign women from these and different countries is completely legal and is recognized by the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and other countries.
Explore main countries with legit mail order brides
Source: Number of brides (applicants for K-1 visas) in 2019
Top-3 legit international dating sites
If you want to attract women living in one of the countries we’ve talked about above, or you just want to date and marry foreign women, check out this top-3 of the best international dating platforms.
A niche dating site that offers single men of all ages the to meet women from the Slavic region (the majority are Ukrainian and Russian) and communicate through chat, photo exchange, and mail.
A popular platform for dating Latin women that provides effective search tools that include simple, advanced, and interactive matching People and a variety of communication ways (instant messaging, long letters, sending graphic content, etc.)
An easy-to-use dating site with thousands of beautiful Asian singles and men predominantly from Western countries who use search tools, scroll Newsfeed, and watch streams to meet each other.
All of these dating platforms can help you meet a foreign woman for serious long-distance romantic dating. However, not all ladies are interested in such a relationship, some want just to flirt and chat.
Find single brides online
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What laws affect mail order brides?
Are mail order brides illegal or legal? Are mail order spouses real? What laws affect them? It’s right to ask questions and don’t go into a commitment blindly. Laws cover mail order marriages to protect the rights of both parties of the international union. Two main laws that affect an average mail order spouse are:
The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA). Marriage brokers act makes the authorities complete background checks for all marriage visa sponsors and provides strict rules for mail-order brides entering a foreign country.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This major piece of legislation protects only the women, and aims to provide legal support in case of stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence, etc.
These two are major and most common laws that affect legal cases involving mail order brides in the United States; however, there are peculiarities of how mail order brides work in different countries.
IMBRA & VAWA: What do these Acts have in common?
Both are created to protect women from abuse and any dangers that can a foreign person experience, but let’s consider their legal similarities.
It may seem that IMBRA (The International Broker Regulation Act) is developed to regulate the industry in the US, but this is not exactly true. In fact, it forces the agencies to make their male clients provide domestic or criminal violence histories, if any, and if a man has committed or was charged with a crime, the agency must provide a bride with this information.
This is one of the most important goals of this act. Yes, the US government wants to know who moves to the country, but it also wants to make sure that everyone who crosses the border can feel and be safe.
Particular attention should also be paid to VAWA — another famous Act that was created to protect all women in the territory of the US. It was created to address domestic violence and child abuse, and the best thing is that it protects mail-order brides, too, while the majority of Latin ladies for marriage face such problems very often, unfortunately.
IMBRA & VAWA impact
It may seem obvious, but it is important to understand how huge its impact on the industry was—now, a woman does not have to suffer and stay with the abuser to stay in the country, not to face the necessity to leave without any financial support or for any other reasons.
Now they are protected by law, and that is better for both parties, actually. More and more girls sign up to dating sites because they are not afraid to find themselves completely helpless in another country.
Mail order bride regulations across the world
In general, there are several most important things you need to know about the legal status of mail brides. If you met each other in person, if your relationship is real, if you did not pay for a bride, and more importantly, if you can prove this, you are likely to have no trouble with the law.
We explored the laws of the different countries to help you understand how international relationships are regulated by the law around the world. Simply put, if you know your future wife well, and if you do not hurt her, you will need to get a visa (there are certain forms for foreign fiancés to submit). That is all.
Still, let us take a look at how it happens in different countries.
🇺🇸 Legality in the USA
United States marriage agencies and international dating platforms are legal in the US, as well as, relationships and marriage to non-citizens. But they are not just legal, but quite common. US mail order bride legality is covered by IMBRA, family, and immigration laws. Note that only US citizens can bring fiancées to marry in the country.
Both options allow you to bring your foreign fiance or wife to the USA legally. These options are:
- Obtaining a K-1 visa, getting married in the US, and then applying for adjustment.
- Getting married abroad and applying for a K-3 visa afterward.
So, are mail order brides legal in the USA? Yes!
🇬🇧 Legality in the UK
Transnational marriages are legal and quite common in the UK. To marry a foreign citizen in the country, a couple can consider getting a Marriage Visitor visa, which doesn’t entitle an extended stay. And there is an option to get a Family (Fiancée) Visa; but to get it, a couple must have a marriage license, meet the minimum income rate, and be able to prove the true nature of the union.
🇨🇦 Legality in Canada
Laws that are covering mail order spouses in Canada are based on the US International Marriage Broker Act, but they are slightly less restrictive. However, there are still clear requirements for yearly income. A Canadian citizen can sponsor a visa via the Family Sponsorship Program. But it requires getting married first. So, are mail order spouse illegal in Canada? Definitely not.
Legality in other countries
International, cross-cultural, and cross-racial marriages are common things in the 21st century. And most foreign countries’ laws allow marriage in the country. Receiving temporary residential status and full-on residency in a particular country is possible but is not a guarantee upon marriage.
Mail brides can easily get married in the country, but as the government has shortened the list of “benefits” of making a relationship official, it decreased official international marriage rates.
Marrying a local woman or man is almost the same as marrying a foreigner in Switzerland. And, the foreign spouse gets access to an easier path to Swiss citizenship.
This Asian country has a Spouse visa, for international couples who wish to get married in Japan. However, becoming a resident doesn’t depend on marital status, so mail brides don’t get any advantages of becoming wives. Almost all countries have some sort of foreign fiancé and spouse visa that makes mail bride relationships legitimate.
🌎 Are mail order brides illegal anywhere in the world?
Still wondering, are mail order spouses illegal anywhere in the world for any other reasons? Even though there might not be direct prohibitions, there can be religious restrictions. For example, a lot of Israeli Jews are encouraged to marry local women of the same faith.
Just about the same take place in Muslim countries, where men choose to marry outside their own country only to Christians or Jews (People of the Book).
How many mail order marriages end in divorce?
The divorce rate varies depending on the country. For example, in the US, about 50% of couples divorce. But that is only the statistic for 1st marriages, as numbers for subsequent marriages are even higher: 60% for second marriages and 73% of all 3rd marriages. However, 80% of international marriages last, which makes such a way a better marriage option.
It might be a result of overcoming a lot of cultural differences together and learning to tolerate and accept each other’s cultural specialties. When women and men write letters, exchange real and virtual gifts, and just talk a lot, they can create a stronger bond than people who dated for a month and then started to live together.
Where and how can brides marry their foreign husbands?
In most cases, they can do this anywhere they want, both in the USA and in any other country of the bride’s origin. What do you need to do it? Here is a list of some common steps that work for most countries:
- Decide if you want to get married in a church or at a notary. (Yes, in some countries, both options are available, and both are legal in the US.)
- Prepare documents; plenty of them, actually. Usually, these are copies of your and your bride’s IDs, birth certificates, divorce decrees, copies of passports, and yes, all your documents must be translated into the official language.
- Schedule the wedding.
- Notify the Embassy about your marriage if you are going to come back to the US in the near future.
Are mail order brides legal in their own countries?
Of course, mail order brides are legal in their native countries. It is obvious to everyone who knows who mail order brides are. They are women who quest for a spouse from a distant country and use the services of a third party (site, platform, or agency) to find a future spouse and get closer to him. In fact, this is a long-distance relationship, which, in turn, is legal in all countries of the world.
Please, note that this is not a one-size-fits-all scheme. This is rather the most common strategy that you will likely use if you decide to get married to a mail order bride in her country.
Video: Is ordering a bride illegal?
Conclusion — Are mail order brides legal or illegal?
First mail order brides might have doubted this statement, but nowadays, it’s not just legal in almost all countries, but also very common. So, if you were curious about online dating, there is nothing legally stopping you from trying.
Unfortunately, the mail order bride industry isn’t that transparent and safe but distinguishing scam bride websites from good ones isn’t too difficult. Read the reviews, find what real users say about a certain site, test it yourself, and make sure the women on this site look real—that’s how you differentiate a scam dating platform from a legitimate one.
Yes, they are 100% legal. If you and your bride meet certain requirements, have all the documents, and don’t have any criminal history, you’ll be able to bring her to the United States on a K-1 visa. 3 out of 4 K-1 visas were approved in 2020 so most brides who apply for a K-1 visa get it.
When applying for a K-1 visa, you’ll need to collect all the documents including an Affidavit of Support, copies of your passport, proof of your meetings within 2 years, etc. You’ll also need to pay for it—a K-1 visa will cost you around $2,200. If you do everything right, in 8–12 months, your bride will be able to enter the US.
A great blog, it has a lot of useful information to me.
are mail order spouse illegal or legal in my country, Canada? I mean the article says that a Canadian citizen can become a sponsor but is it like 100% legal
no restrictions and legal barriers?
and what about the agencies? are any of those mail-order spouse agencies considered human trafficking in Canada?
It’s legal to bring your foreign wife or bride to Canada if you’re a Canadian citizen as long as you have all the documents completed and collected (application forms, proof of status, IDs, police certificates) and your relationship is bona fide (real and “for love”). As for human trafficking, the rules are clear: moving a person for profit (sexual/labor) is considered human trafficking, as well as controlling and pressuring a person by force/through threats. As long as your relationship is real, you don’t have to worry about it.
So I see from the guide that an American citizen has 2 options a k1 and a k3
But what about cr1/ir1 visas
Is it an option for me (M, 46, interested in Russian mail order brides)
Russian brides are legal now, and yes, a CR-1/IR-1 visa is an option, too (IR-1 is for those married for 2 years or more while CR-1 is for those married for less than 2 years). This is a Spousal visa, meaning you need to get married outside the US to apply. The process of getting a CR-1 visa is slower (around 17 months), and it’s cheaper ($1,400) than a K-1 visa, but your wife will be able to work and leave the US immediately after arrival.
I love it when the sites say they can get you a bride at a reasonable cost… Is mail ordering a bride illegal? Yes, if you’re buying someone! It’s 2022, and I’m glad someone just said it..
Ok, does it mean that if I have criminal records, I won’t be able to marry a foreign girl? Also, are mail order spouses illegal in Australia?
No, it doesn’t—there are no such restrictions, but if you use services provided by a dating agency (marriage broker), they’ll have to share this information with your potential bride. On regular dating sites, you don’t even have to share such information when signing up. Yes, mail order bride services are legal in Australia, too.
So, though brides are free, it seems that you’ll have to waste a lot of money on just a chance of getting a foreign wife, am I right?
The total cost of getting a mail order bride largely depends on the choices you make, from the site you are using to the number of trips that you take to a woman’s country. The visa + getting an adjustment status costs around $2,500—the rest is the cost of online dating services and travel expenses. The final cost of getting a bride starts at around $6,000, but you can spend more or less, again, depending on the country, the decisions you make, and the efficiency of your strategy overall.
Finally, a clear guide on the legal aspects of marrying a foreigner. Thank you!