Are Mail Order Brides Legal In The United States?

"Mail order brides" is the term given to women who publish themselves as available for marriage. Usually, the brides aim to get out of a poor developing country, and history has seen women from Russia and Eastern European countries seek American men. Are mail order brides legal in the United States?

No Specific Law in the United States

There isn't one specific law that covers the legality of mail order brides in the United States. However, there are other laws that the practice of it could be covered. For example, some laws cover the men who use an international marriage broker, while others cover the women who are potentially selling themselves. There are also regular marriage laws when it comes to people from outside the United States getting citizenship.

The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, for example, has strict rules that men must follow if they use an international marriage broker to find a woman to marry. Men must share personal information, which has been viewed as too personal for some of those against the law. The validity of the marriage will then be considered before granting U.S. citizenship.

Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence

Many of the laws put in place aren't to necessarily stop marriages taking place or stop men from finding the perfect woman. They are there to protect the women from domestic violence.

Some of the information men need to share is their criminal history. Foreign women will have less support should they end up in a violent relationship, and may end up forced into a marriage they don't really want in the end.

There is also the worry that women will be treated unfavorably, almost like kept women. Some men go in search for women who are submissive and willing to only raise a family and keep house. They won't have friends to make it clear that this isn't the type of life they need to live.

Marriage and Citizenship Laws

The United States wants to prevent people marrying just for a green card. This is why immigration will do research into any marriage between a citizen and a foreigner. The investigation isn't just into mail order brides, but into anybody who marries for citizenship. It is up to you as a couple to prove that the marriage is genuine.

For more information on the legal aspects of mail order brides, talk to a professional like Martin and Martin Lawyers.