Up next in Wedding Survival Guide (30 videos)
Get hitched without a hitch with the advice in these Howcast videos.
You Will Need
- Due diligence
- Common sense
Have a clean record
Have a clean record. The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, passed in 2005, requires mail-order bride agencies to disclose an American suitor’s marital history and criminal background to any potential brides.
Find a reputable agency
Find a reputable agency—one that does not control contact between you and a potential bride beyond charging a small fee for the initial introduction.
Pay attention to dates
Check out the 'join date' and/or 'last activity' marker on the women’s profiles. Many agencies don’t bother pulling photos of women who are no longer participating on the site, meaning you’ll be paying for email addresses of women who will never answer you.
If there is a particularly beautiful woman on one of the front pages, check a few matchmaking competitors. Many sites feature the same models as bait, with different names.
Check out her visa
Check out any woman’s claim that she has—or can get—a visa. Do not send money for her visa unless you can confirm with an embassy that she really has one, or at least has applied for one. Visa scams are common.
Don’t send money
Don’t fall for sob stories from women you’re corresponding with; if they ask for money, that’s usually a red flag that you’re being scammed.
Book your own travel
If you decide to check out your foreign friend in person, book the trip on your own—not through the agency’s travel service, which usually offers inflated rates.
Don’t expect a slave
Don’t buy into the myth that mail-order brides are more compliant than American women. These girls may be looking for a better life, but there’s a limit to what they’ll do to get it.
Be realistic. If you’re a tubby 55-year-old video store clerk and a gorgeous 19-year-old university student professes to be madly in love with you—well… we don’t have to tell you what she’s really in love with.