FAQ - Russian Mail Order Brides
Frequently Asked Questions on Russian mail order brides. Find out all about Russian singles Internet dating.
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How Our Site Operates
Yes, you do have to pay for some of our Russian singles internet dating services. First, you pay for reading other members’ messages, for which you need to purchase credits (see below). Second, if you place a phone call through us, you will be charged for that, as well. The rest of our services are completely free and this includes registering a profile, searching our database and viewing other members’ profiles, sending messages and smiles.
The simplest way is to purchase them online with a credit card (we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discovery). Just log in to your profile, go to Membership and buy the needed amount. In case you don’t have a credit card, or don’t want to use it online, there are other options available.
This depends on the amount you buy:
- 100 credits or more - $1.00 per credit
- 55-99 credits - $1.09 per credit
- 20-54 credits - $2.00 per credit
It will show as "1st International Marriage Network", or more often as an abbreviation of the latter, like "1st Int'l Marr NTWK" 1st International Marriage Network is our Russian mail order brides parent company.
There are a few factors. First, it depends on the number of men she is corresponding with: the more men she is writing to, the more expensive her letters will be to open (if she stops writing to one or more men, the price will go down). Second, it depends on the Russian woman's English skills (if she can’t read and write in English and has to use a translator, the price will be accordingly higher). Third, if that hot Russian woman has no Internet access at home and has to use a computer at her local dating agency, this will raise the cost, as well.
If you want to get a lady’s direct contact details, you will first need to fill out the IMBRA form, if you haven’t done that already (this concerns US citizens only). After that, there are two options. The first one (recommended) is to open 15 (fifteen) paid messages from the lady (the messages that you open before writing to a lady for the first time are free and don't count); at this point you have the right to request her contact details (or your money back, if for some unlikely reason they cannot be provided). To do this, go to her profile and click the button that says "Send contact info request". The other way is to pay a $50 fee, whereupon we will contact the lady and ask her permission to send you her contact details, but note that this money will not be refunded even if the lady refuses to disclose her contact info. Therefore you should make sure you have her consent before you proceed; if you haven't opened at least one paid message from the woman, you cannot apply for this option. Please note that exchanging personal contact information through our messaging system is not allowed, even if you do have 15 opened messages from a lady; if you want to exchange such information with a lady, contact us.
We do not allow contact between members outside our website before they have officially exchanged contact information. Outside contact includes our competitor websites, social network websites, skype, etc. Outside contact violates our Terms and Conditions and may violate the IMBRA law, which may in turn jeopardize a lady's chance to get a US visa in the future and men's chance to sponsor a K-1 visa. It also opens possibilities for fraud. We do not allow our ladies to contact men outside the website, or to respond to men's attempts to circumvent our rules. If you are contacted outside our website by someone claiming to be a lady from the website, please be cautious as this could be a scam attempt. All of the above applies only until you have officially exchanged contact information. After the contact exchange you are free to communicate without our involvement.
The Requested Contacts Page (which can be accessed from the menu on the left side of your control panel) displays the contact details that you have requested. Note that it is updated no sooner than your contact info request has been processed. So, be patient.
What is trust level?
Trust level is a credibility rating given to a female profile by our staff. A staff member can rate a profile in one or more of four categories: passport, meeting, phone call, and correspondence. Passport scans, whenever provided, are rated on their quality and completeness; meetings, phone calls and correspondence are rated according to the feedback we receive on them from our customers. Combined, these ratings make up the trust level. The higher it is, the higher the chance that the lady is genuine and has honest intentions. Each category carries different weight (e.g., feedback on a meeting is more important than the passport scan); the exact formula is complex and classified, so it cannot be used to artificially raise the trust level.
A friends list is not a list of people a member is corresponding with. To be on a member’s friends list, you have to send them an invitation, which they can choose to accept. It can also be the other way around: a member sends you an invitation and you accept it. Being a "friend" is a mutual thing. That means that, if any Russian woman is on your friends list, you are automatically on theirs. You can delete any "friend" from your list by logging into your profile, going to "Communicator", then "Friend members", checking those you wish to delete and clicking "Delete from Friend List".
People on your friends list have access to your private photos, which are protected by your private password from everyone else.
Remember that the list of your "friends" is viewable by any member, or even a visitor to the site. Having many friends on your list, or having just a few, or even none is a personal choice. Friends listed on members' profiles mean different things to different people. For some, having a lot of friends demonstrates that they are popular. Some prefer not to list any friends to keep their relationships private. Yet for others, listing just one person as a friend means they are serious about them. So, when you come across a hot Russian woman use your own judgment in interpreting the meaning of her friends list, or the lack of it. Factor in the ratings of her pictures (number of votes and average rating) and her popularity (more credits per letter means more people are writing to her).
Private pictures are password protected, so you will have to write the Russian woman and request the password. It is better to do this after you have already established communication with the lady.
Sure, you can order an interpreted phone call, which costs 1.8 credits per minute (1 credit if you don’t require translation) and chat your heart out with that hottie. This should be done in advance because we need time to contact your chosen Russian woman’s local agency or the lady herself, and make sure she will be available at the desired time. Please, keep in mind that exchanging personal contact information during such phone calls is not allowed. Here is some advice on setting up your first phone call.
The majority of the Russian singles on our website are represented by local dating agencies, where they contact our representatives in person. Besides, we watch out for suspicious activity: if a member mass mails other members, uses certain words, etc. it triggers a red flag, and we run a thorough check on the member in question. Unfortunately, due to the large number of profiles it is impossible to filter out all scammers. Therefore, we urge our members to be on guard and notify us of anything suspicious.
Frankly, we cannot know the real intentions of our members. However, after you correspond with a Russian woman for a while and, preferably, meet her in person, you will get a pretty good idea of what she is about. Besides, in order to get unconditional permanent residency in the US she has to stay married to a US citizen for 2 years. Add the processing time and you get about 3 years before she can leave. That should be enough time for you to make a good impression on her, right? :) Now, could a person be so calculated as to go through all this trouble for a green card? It's quite possible, but in our experience most of the Russian singles coming here are honest women that truly want to create a family. If her husband treats her with respect, she will stay. However, some guys can be jerks and get what they deserve. Then, they cry all over the Internet about how "she took advantage" of them. Statistics tell us the divorce rate of international couples in US is several times lower than that of regular American couples.
It is not uncommon for a Russian woman to marry older men, thing that may clash with American stereotypes (although lately things are changing around here, too). If you are going to marry a hot Russian woman, you might want to learn how to look beyond these stereotypes. Of course, there are limits. If you are 40 and are looking for an 18-year-old bride, this might be a bit of a stretch, but 22-25 years old would be ok. However, each person has each own standards. Some Russian singles don’t mind a significant age difference, while other do. They usually indicate their age preference in their profiles.
Yes, we are fully compliant. Upon request, you will get an IMBRA release that you might need when applying for your Russian woman fiancee visa later. We are not very happy with this law either, as it puts a lot of unnecessary burden on us and our clients, and we urge you to sign petitions to repeal it. However, as it stands today, the law is the law, so we are complying with it.
If you are outside the continental US, you cannot use the US toll-free numbers. This includes our toll-free main and fax numbers. Outside the continental US may or may not include Canada, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. For example, some of our customers in Canada are able to call us on our toll free number, but others can't. If that's the case, please, use our regular (toll) numbers or contact us via , free 24 hours a day.
Here is our mailing address and other complete and updated contact information. You can forward all correspondence to this address, including payments, orders, and inquiries.
Most likely, your email provider has blocked the delivery of our email to you, because of its anti-spam policies. Unfortunately, many email providers, especially those like Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL are blocking a lot of legitimate email messages because they suspect them to be SPAM. With today's enormous volume of SPAM on the Internet, email providers have to take steps to protect their users from huge amounts of unsolicited emails. They use automatic filters or rules, by which they sort out messages into 3 categories: ones that should be delivered, ones that get deleted, and a category "in between" for those messages that end up in your "Bulk mail", "Junk mail" or similar folder. We never send unsolicited messages to anyone, yet some of our emails to our customers get blocked.
If this information does not help or you believe that's not the problem, and and we will be glad to help you. If you have not received a response to your question via email, the first thing to do would be to check your "Bulk mail", "Junk mail" or similar folders. If you find it there, please, click "Not spam" or similar button in your email browser. If you don't see our message in your "Bulk mail", "Junk mail" or similar folder and you are using Hotmail or AOL, please, follow these instructions to unblock us.
First, login to your account and check your messages. Note that the Russian singles will not be replying directly to your email, but instead their messages will be stored in your account Inbox. However, you should receive notifications from us about every new message/response received. In case you don't, please, read the answer above to make sure you are receiving emails from us. If there are still no messages in your email inbox, make sure that you have a picture in your profile and it is correctly displayed. Leave the surprise for other occasions - let your Russian woman see you upfront! Profiles without pictures get almost no replies. If you still get no response to more than 3 messages, let us know and we will try to find out what's going on.
To protect the privacy of our members and to prevent spam our system does not allow users to send a message to a member from whom you have 2 or more unopened messages. If you want to send him or her a message, first, you need to go back to your Communicator and open the mail you've got from her or him. If you have accidentally deleted those unopened messages, please contact the administrator.
If your profile was rejected, it must have violated some of our rules, or it seemed suspicious to our moderators. There are several things you can do to ensure your profile is not rejected again:
- Post a picture. It must be a picture of yourself, with your face clearly visible. No nudity or private contact information in photos is allowed.
- Write a longer description. A profile with no description (or a meaningless or obscene one) will be rejected.
- Enter your private contact information (such as email, phone number) only in the fields specifically provided for it.
- Choose the country in which you are located at the moment. If you normally live somewhere else, you can indicate that in your description.
- Provide your phone number.
Traveling to Russia
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What to expect on your trip, where and when to start, what to bring along...
If you already have a passport valid at least six months after the dates of your travel, we will fax you the visa support documents within 1-2 business days. Then, you need to apply to the consulate for the visa. Visa processing for Russia takes about 2 weeks for standard processing, but you can pay extra money and have it ready even on the same business day. Add the time for mailing the documents to the Consulate and back. They accept express delivery, including FedEx next day, and can send you the documents back the same way, if you provide prepaid waybill. Another option would be to go in person to a Russian Consulate in New York, San Francisco or Seattle and get the visa the same day. It will cost about $300. The processing time is a similar for the Ukraine visa. It may seem quite a hassle, but won't you do it for that hot Russian woman waiting for you on the other side?!
It is quite safe in Russia and other CIS countries, if you know where to go and what to do. It might be somewhat dangerous, if you get lost and you are on your own. If you stay away from unsafe neighborhoods, don't flash your cash and follow just the basic safety rules, you are going to be ok. It's a good idea to have the Russian woman you are visiting pick you up at the airport and show you around.
Yes, you can bring your laptop and you will need a simple adapter. As far as customs office is concerned, there are no restrictions on transporting your personal laptop across the Russian border. Now about the adapter. The electricity in Russia and in all the other European countries is 220 volts (it is 110 in USA). So, for all other electronic devices except your laptop you will need a step down transformer (an adapter that changes voltage). Those could be bought at Sears or Radioshack at $20-$30. However, the laptops are the lucky exceptions in that they do not need a transformer, because their chargers normally take in any voltage from 110 volts to 250 volts. There may be laptop chargers out there that would not take 220 volts, however we have not seen one. Please, check your charger first before you fry your laptop ! The acceptable voltage should be printed directly on the charger. However, even if your laptop will take 220 volts, you still need a simple adapter. The reason is that Russian electrical outlet has 2 round holes, while American plug has 2 flat prones. There is no way to fit one into the other. So you need to buy a cheap ($1-$3) adapter that has 2 holes for flat American prones and 2 round prones on the other end to plug into the Russian outlets. You can buy these at many places: RadioShack, Sears, or even at your local WalMart. Network and phone connectors are the same as in US. This applies to all the countries of CIS.
If you are staying in an expensive hotel in a major city, they may have Wi-Fi connection. Please, check with your hotel first. Needless to say, the Wi-Fi standard is the same throughout the world, so you won't have any problems. If this does not apply to you and you have to use good old dial-up, read on:
- If you only need to access Internet from a public computer (to access Internet, or your web-based email, like Yahoo or Hotmail) there are lots of Internet cafes in almost every city of the former Soviet republics. Just ask the hotel personnel or a taxi driver. The rate for Internet usage at an Internet cafe is usually about $1 per hour.
- If you want to connect your own laptop, it may be more difficult. Unfortunately, neither Russia nor any other CIS country has a nation-wide Internet provider, like AOL in the USA (for lack of a better example). So, you will have to find a local provider in the city where you are staying. Again, the hotel personnel could help you locate one. You can also find one on the Internet before your trip. You should be prepared to prepay your Internet access in cash, because local providers normally do not take credit cards. The rates are usually $.50-$1.00 per hour. Another option is to take your laptop to the nearest Internet cafe and ask the staff to connect it to the Internet. They are always willing to do so at a regular hourly rate.
Yes, but you need an AC adapter. The electricity in Russia and all other European countries is 220 volts (it is 110 in USA). So for all electronic devices except your laptop you will need a transformer (an adapter that changes voltage). They are also often called step down transformers. Those could be bought at Sears or Radioshack at $20-$30. We have decent ones for sale for $15 plus shipping. Contact us to order one.
It depends on the provider that you are using. All European providers use GSM standard for cell phone communication, so, if you are from any European country, your phone will work seamlessly in Russia. You are likely to be charged premium roaming charges, so, please, check with your provider. They may have a calling plan that covers Russia, so you won't incur roaming charges.
In USA: Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint use the older proprietary CDMA standard. Those phones WILL NOT work in Russia at all. I have tested it myself. On the other hand, T-Mobile and Cingular use more widely accepted GSM standard, so, those will work in Russia. Usually, you do not need a quad-band “world phone” as they call it. In Russia the most widely used frequency is GSM 1800. Most GSM phones offered on US market can operate on this frequency. On rare occasions in Russia you may encounter coverage for older GSM 900 standard. To get signal in these locations, you have to have a phone that will work on this frequency. Consult your cell phone manual or call your wireless service provider to find out what frequencies your phone can operate on.
Normally, with USA providers like T-Mobile and Cingular, your roaming charges in Russia will be about $1.50 per minute, which is a lot. If you need to call a number in Russia from your US cell phone while in Russia, you will also incur international long distance charges which are also high. The easiest way would be to buy a cell phone in Russia - but they are kind of expensive there - prepare to spend about $150 even for a basic one. Still, there is a better way, if you have a GSM phone. It may seem a bit complicated, but you will not only get decent rates for calling Russia and USA, but you will also get a Russian cell phone number without spending a lot. What you can do is buy a SIM card in Russia and insert it in your existing US phone. The SIM card comes with a brand new Russian cell phone number, and, if you purchase it in your destination city, you will get local calling rates. SIM cards are sold at every wireless store which are everywhere and cost about $5. There is one last trick though. To prevent their customers from switching to a competitor, T-Mobile and Cingular are now “locking” their customer's phones so that a SIM card from a different provider cannot be used. To use Russian SIM card you have to “unlock” the phone. You can find such service locally (usually, in cell phone repair shops) or just type “unlock phone” on eBay.
Russian cell phone providers offer prepaid service only. They do not offer monthly calling plans. Airtime is somewhat expensive, compared to US. Local calls are 5 to 15 cents a minute, long distance calls are 15-80 cents a minute. International calls can be as high as $3 per minute. Calls made from 9 PM to 6 AM are about twice cheaper than daytime calls. You can prepay any amount at any wireless store or any bank. There are, also, special machines in most supermarkets which accept payments for cellular service. They have English prompts as well.
There are a few cellular service providers on Russian market, and I'd hate to recommend a specific one, but, if I absolutely must recommend one to a foreign traveler I would go with “MTS”. It's not the cheapest one, but it seems to be the largest, has the best coverage and has wireless stores everywhere. Plus, it also operates in Ukraine and other CIS countries, where your Russian woman might be residing.
In most cases, when calling from the US you need to dial 011, then the country code, then the area code and the phone number. The country code for Russia is 7, for Ukraine is 380 and for Belarus is 375. If you dial directly from your home or work phone without using a calling card, or signing up for a special international call discount program with your long distance provider, the cost may be very high ($2 per minute or even higher). We offer dial-around calling cards that give you very affordable rates to former USSR countries (as low as 4 cents per minute to Moscow, Russia), so you can talk to Russian singles. For more information on dialing rules, a complete list of countries, city codes, and how to buy our calling cards, click here.
Remember, if you get stuck, you can always call our bilingual operator/interpreter toll-free 1-866-974-6453 and have her dial the number for you. She will stay online and will interpret your conversation in real time. Details on this service are here.
Russia is a large country and its climate is as diverse as it can be. So, it would be hard to get a full description in just a few sentences. But, generally speaking, the climate of the central parts of Russia, where the majority of our clients travel, is not as bad as portrayed in movies and somewhat resembles American Midwest, only a bit colder, but less windy. To check the weather forecast for any major city or regions in Russia click here, then type in the name of the location.
Visas and Immigration
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How to get a Russian visa, how to bring your Russian woman here, costs involved, time...
Yes, you need a visa in order to enter the Russian Federation and US citizens are not an exception. You will need separate visas for other CIS countries, such as Ukraine, or Belarus. We can send you the official invitation you need in order to obtain a visa to Russia. Currently, we do not provide invitations to other countries. Then, you will have to send the invitation along with your passport, consulate fee, and 2 passport-size photos to the Russian Consulate in your country, which has jurisdiction over your region.
If you are in the US and are our customer, we can help you with general advising on visas, procedures, forms, etc. Please, read the next answer for an overview of the process and associated costs. Feel free to contact us and we will guide you in the right direction. We do not have an attorney on staff, and your particular situation may require one. However, if you need an attorney, we can recommend a good one who specializes in Immigration Law and has been working with us for a long time.
NOTE: The price estimates and visa kits are for the US only. The immigration laws are similar in other Western countries, so, if you live outside the US, you can use this information as a guideline.
IMPORTANT: Never send money to people you have not met in person, and even if you have met them, exercise common sense before you trust them with significant funds. Internet dating scams are common these days, including various visa and ticket scenarios. A lady may claim that she can get her visa and/or plane ticket and be on her way to you, if you would only send her, or some intermediary (like her agency, or a travel company) a certain amount (usually 2-4 thousand dollars). 99.9% of such claims are fake. Read more here. If you are asked for money under any excuse, please, contact us for advice before you send it.
Generally, you won't be able to bring your chosen Russian woman here until you have met her in person. Her chances of getting a “tourist” or “guest” visa to the US are very slim. The best way to proceed is to apply for her “K” (fiancée) visa. Note that in order to apply for this type of visa, the immigration law requires that you have met your Russian woman in person. You have to have proof of that (photographs together, tickets, etc). The best place to meet her in person would be her home country. Some of our clients choose to meet in a third country, like Cyprus, or Dominican Republic, where Russian citizens do not need a visa. It is acceptable from the Immigration law standpoint, but it opens you up to possible scams, as you will most likely be expected to pay for her ticket (or send her money) in advance.
After you have met her in person, you need to file a petition with USCIS, known as form I-129F. The petition can be filled out by yourself. I recommend purchasing a fiancée visa kit from us. Please, contact us to order one. The kit contains all the necessary forms and instructions. You need to file the included petition with the USCIS office having jurisdiction over your state. It takes 2-3 months for USCIS to approve it. The fee as of this writing is $170. After you get it approved, send it to your Russian woman. She needs to take it to the US Consulate in her home country and apply for a visa. If you add the USCIS fee, postage, visa processing fee, you get about $350 for that step. Contrary to tourists visas to the US, which are notoriously difficult to get, “K” visas are usually granted without a problem, provided that the documents are filed properly, she does not have a police record, and you or she had not violated any Immigration law provisions in the past (i.e. overstayed a prior “K” visa). If you or she had applied for a“K” visa in the past, it may also be grounds for denial of the current application.
Most likely she will not have the funds needed to buy her plane ticket to the US, so, you will need to pay for that. You do not have to travel to her country, again, to accompany your Russian woman, but it would be a nice gesture, if you can afford it. A one way ticket just for her could be around $600-$900. If you decide to accompany her, your two way airfare could be anywhere between $800 and $1600, depending on the season and how far in advance you buy your ticket.
Once she arrives, your Russian woman can stay in the US for 90 days on the “fiancée” status. By the end of that time you either get legally married, or she has to go back to her home country. Neither you, nor her are obligated to get married, but you may be financially responsible for her return ticket, if things don't work out.
When you do get married you will need to apply for a permanent resident status for The Russian woman. There is a special form for that and an application fee. When you get to that point, you can give us a call. If you fill out the forms by yourself, this is going to run up to about $800 in fees and required medical tests.
You should not have any problems with most of the immigration forms, but in certain matters you may require the assistance of an immigration attorney. While our company does not have its own immigration attorney, we can recommend one who is very competent and provides consulting for us on a regular basis. His name is Gary Bala, his phone number is (610) 446-VISA. You can email him at email@example.com
If there are no complications, the actual process should take up to 2 weeks, starting from the moment the Russian woman applies at the US Consulate in her home country. That does not include filing your petition.
For a US citizen obtaining a Russian visa - yes. The list of fees includes expedited service. For a Russian citizen obtaining a US visa - generally no. They US Consulate does not offer expedited service, and the waiting times are the same for everybody.
We recommend bringing your Russian woman to the US on a K (fiancée) visa and then marrying her here. This way, while she is waiting for her permanent residency papers, she will be in the US with you. If you get officially married in Russia, she will have to wait for those papers in her home country. This process is lengthy, might take as long as 6 or more months, so you really need to take this into consideration. Still, you will find out that a hot Russian woman as your bride is worth the waiting!
If you don't find an answer to your Russian mail order brides questions on this page, please, do not hesitate to contact us. We will gladly try to help you.