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Are Mail Order Brides Legal In The USA: All About Mail Order Brides Legality

Posted 2020-10-01
4 min read
Are mail order brides legal

Many people have heard about the success of mail order brides marriages. Some of them can boast over 2 million active users and thousands of marriages every year. However, there are still people who question their legitimacy and believe it’s unfair to connect people from different countries. Is it really so? Do mail order bride sites exist lawfully? What countries consider this initiative legal? Let’s find out.

legal brides

Are mail order brides illegal?

Since mail order bride services are mainly provided by websites that offer online listings of profiles, there are many questions if their activity is legal. Do they have a right to take money for connecting people from different countries? In fact, they operate as businesses that provide services to clients in most of the countries so their activity is absolutely lawful. They have a list of paid services they offer to clients that may include:

  • Communication;
  • Translation services;
  • Organizing excursions where men meet several women they like, etc.

It means the provision of bride search services complies with the law of many countries. They serve as facilitators between males and females who want to build serious relationships and operate absolutely legally.

Mail order bride legislation in different countries

Every country has its own regulation of the industry. There are regions where the government tries to combat the activity of so-called dating services and some countries have even developed legislation to guarantee protection to legit mail order brides.


Are mail order brides legal in the USA? It’s officially allowed to take brides to the USA from different countries. However, the immigration law adopted in the 1990s made brides who enter the country face a 2-year period as a conditional permanent resident. If she gets divorced during this period, there are high chances for her deportation. However, looking at the popularity of this way of finding women US legislation was enhanced to protect the rights of the future bride.

The federal government adopted The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) that take care of women who plan to marry US male residents. According to both laws, men who want to marry a woman from another country should provide a platform and a prospective bride with some personal information details including financial status, records of criminal arrest, number of children and previous marriages, etc.

Mail brides

The Philippines

Since ladies from the Philippines are one of the most active brides looking for husbands, the congress adopted the Republic Act 6955 which is known to ordinary people as the Anti Mail-Order-Bride Law. If forbids the operation of brokers and the reason for its adoption was complaints about domestic violence faced by women from this country who married foreigners. The state used to run several cases against broker agencies in 2009 and later but all of them features weak penalties and nothing more.

Other countries

In Belarus, for example, it was the President who tried to regulate brokers and make their operation on the territory of the country impossible in 2005. However, this effort wasn’t successful since most of the brokers are officially registered in other states.

Colombia adopted two Decrees (No. 2668/88 and 1556/89) back in 1988 that allows local females to become wives of foreigners but only if they suggest the papers such as a birth certificate and confirmation that each of the parties isn’t in marriage at the moment.

Australia and Canada approve of getting mail order brides but also require ladies to have 2 years of conditional marriage before getting citizenship.

Turkmenistan has introduced a quite interesting solution to marriage services. A foreigner should provide a $50,000 fee to be eligible for marrying a Turkmen resident, buy property there, and live on the territory of Turkmenistan at least for a year.

As you can see, there’s a different attitude to mail order brides when it comes to official regulations. The majority doesn’t prohibit the activity of marriage brokers and doesn’t place any obstacles to the happiness of the newly created couple. The USA that has provided protection of mail order brides brought to the country at the official level. Such action proves the legality of mail order brides and their high demand. Marrying a woman from overseas you’re on the lawful side, but be sure to consult her local laws as well.