Home » Mail Order Bride Blog » Are Mail Order Spouse Illegal or Legal
19 min read

A mail order spouse is a fantasy that comes to life. But how can you start chatting with legal mail order brides? Take a look at this guide, designed by our dating experts and me, Barrett Connell.

If it does not satisfy your need to chat with mail order brides, you can check out the best dating services on our list or take a personalized quiz to find the top site. Get your legal mail brides today to find joy!

TOP Dating Sites To Find Cute Wife or Girlfriend In 2024?

Most Popular Choice 😍
Editor's choice 👍

History of mail order brides

To start our sneak peek at the history of legitimate mail order brides, we need to clarify who a mail order bride is. The expression might seem a little cringy to you, just because it’s an old-fashioned name and the result of biased opinions about international relationships. 

legitimate mail order brides

The history of the first legit mail order bride dates back to 1620, a period of “tobacco wives”. That was a time when the first English settlement in America had lots of men, tobacco, and land, but were lacking women. To prevent the Englishmen from marrying Indians, they chose to ‘ship’ English wives. Women were almost literally bought for 150 pounds of tobacco each (payment to the shipping company). And all the 90 women that arrived in America indeed became wives.

From that moment the tradition only developed and later on, we saw King’s daughters, Casket Girls, and the 19th-century American frontier. Some may even argue that mail-order brides originate from European kings that had a long-lived tradition of marrying their daughters to foreign men to strengthen their political support. The princesses left home to marry a prince in a foreign country and as a rule, had no chance to see each other before marriage. But regardless of where the term actually originates from, the concept of mail order brides is still popular even in the 21st century. “Is mail order bride legal today?” or “Is it legal to buy a wife?” these are questions we will answer in this article today.

In modern society, you won’t surprise anyone with an international marriage as they are legal and quite common. But to understand how and how it’s possible that they are legally allowed you need to learn what makes it so. And we are here to explain!

The first thing we want to discuss is the fact that married abroad has its legal peculiarities, and depending on the laws of your home country and your bride’s the situation may vary. But generally, all of the laws aim to protect both parties of the union and avoid immigration fraud. Almost all developed countries have some type of marriage visa and supporting laws to allow legal marriage. That makes marriage happen and answers your question “Are mail order brides legal?”.

Are Mail Order Spouse Illegal

But are mail order spouse illegal sometimes? And the answer to that is yes. Here are the cases when mail order spouses illegal:

  • You or your fiancee is currently married
  • Any of you are not yet of legal age
  • There is no mutual consent for marriage
  • Your bride comes to your country not to marry you but to get a green card

These are the most common things that can make mail order brides illegal. But also note that in most cases if both in the couple are really in love and have the intention to marry they can do it almost anywhere in the world. But you should also note that a spouse and/or her children aren’t guaranteed an immigration visa or residence based on marriage. They may be qualified to apply for them but you need to check the particular laws of your countries.

How do mail order brides work?

Foreign mail order brides are women who list themselves in the catalog of potential wives for men from more developed countries. The process of getting a bride from abroad is pretty simple. Here is how the modern dating industry works.

  • Step 1. Find a reliable mail order bride services. You will need to conduct thorough research to find a good value-per-money site. Look through the expert reviews and real user testimonials to pick the communication services that work for you. 
  • Step 2. Invest in your dating journey. The majority of reputable mail order brides platforms are paid. Choose the most suitable credit package or membership status to take full advantage of your romantic journey. 
  • Step 3. Search for your perfect match. Use the searching options available on the site or browse the catalog of gorgeous mail order brides to choose the lady to build serious relationships.
  • Step 4. Initiate a conversation. Use the integrated messaging features to contact gorgeous ladies from abroad. It is possible to communicate with multiple ladies simultaneously. Everything depends on your dating potential.
  • Step 4. Interact physically. Organize a real date with your potential spouse to have a better insight into whether you match each other perfectly. After a real meeting, you can build plans for the future. 

Firstly, mail order brides are legal because love should not have boundaries and we mustn’t be forbidden to be with a person we love. And the Hague Marriage Convention is the one that regulates all the international marriage laws. Regardless of where you decide to get married abroad, you’ll need to obey the marriage laws of that country. Article 9 of the Convention states that a valid marriage that was created lawfully in one country subsequently becomes valid in other countries that sign the Convention. Each country has a process of recognition of marriage but generally, almost all countries in the world recognize international unions that were entered willingly and according to the law.

are mail order brides legal

Are mail order spouses illegal in US?

If you wonder are mail order spouse illegal in US, we can instantly assure you that they aren’t. Mail order brides and international/intercultural marriage are legal in the United States. It’s not only legal but really common, no wonder why the country is sometimes referred to as ‘Melting Pot’. 

The whole process is covered by The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA), family, and immigration laws. You can marry a foreign bride in the US if:

  • You are a citizen
  • You obtain a K1 fiance visa

Or you can also get a K-3 visa if you are already married in your wife’s country and you want to sponsor her green card.

are mail order wives legal

Are mail order spouse illegal in Canada?

It is worth mentioning that international communication with mail order brides is absolutely legal regardless of the country you live in. All girls register their accounts on legit mail order bride sites of their own will with the main intention to interact with foreign men and build strong love affairs. The main point here is to choose a reputable site that delivers authentic mail order brides services.  

“Are mail order spouses illegal in Canada?” is a perfectly logical question to ask when you are looking for someone from that country. When the mail order bride industry made its boost in the early 00s, the Canadian government didn’t issue any legal requirements concerning the mail order spouses. This results in negative aftermath. More and more ladies were abused by their grooms. Moreover, there appeared more cases of mail order spouses illegal immigration to Canada.

That is why, in 2012, the Canadian authorities issued amendments to local laws. Based on immigration and citizenship requirements, each potential wife of a Canadian resident should participate in the family sponsorship program. It is a rather complicated process that requires gathering numerous documents to achieve a permanent residence in the country. Nevertheless, when a mail order bride gets her application approved, she can enter Canada and live a happy life with her foreign husband.   

Are mail order brides illegal in the UK?

All mail order brides are perfectly legal in the US as long as they meet all the regulations of the UK authorities. However, the rules may differ based on the country you live in. For example, in England, your future wife should get a marriage visa. However, in this case, you will need to get married previously and prove your intentions to live together permanently. In Wales, a potential husband is called a sponsoring partner. It is worth mentioning that he must earn more than £18,600 per year to support his future wife. Anyway, regardless of the UK country you live in, bringing the mail order bride is legal, though the overall process requires following strict rules.

Even if you haven’t decided whether you want to marry a particular girl from the UK, you can visit her without any hassles. US passport holders can easily enter the United Kingdom once they have registered for the UK’s Registered Traveller Service (RTS). You can spend vacations together to understand whether you match each other. Also, you can invite your girlfriend to your country. However, your partner should get a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa waiver to enter the USA as a tourist.

Are mail order spouse illegal in Australia?

find a legitimate mail order bride

There is nothing illegal about marrying international brides in Australia. This means that the answer to the question “Are mail order marriage illegal Australia?” – is obvious. If you are an Australian citizen and have an intention to tie knots with a foreign lady, you will need to prepare a bunch of legal documents to achieve your relationship goals. First off, it is necessary for the visa applicant. It is worth mentioning that the Australian government has issued illegal immigration reform. This means that the process of applying for a Partner Visa is relatively time-consuming, but it gives the right to permanent residency and the possibility to work for a foreign spouse.  

Why do men consider mail order brides to be illegal?

Many potential grooms are pondering over the questions, “Are mail order spouses real?”, “Is it legal to buy a wife?”, “Are legitimate mail order bride sites?”. This results in some hesitations about joining the dedicated websites and organizing the search for a soulmate online. However, misunderstandings and stereotypes shouldn’t be an obstacle to a successful international marriage. 

The main confusing thing for potential grooms is the concept “buy a mail order bride“. Suffice it to say, this notion isn’t about human trafficking or delivering a girl to your doorbell like an Amazon product. This concept refers to creating an account on a dedicated website and communicating with multiple girls online to choose a perfect lady. 

There is nothing illegal in online interaction. Moreover, mail order brides work assumes a safe and effective way to find your significant other. Purchasing a wife is just an expression, and there is no need to focus on it. Instead, it is better to focus on finding reputable communication services and searching for a lady who lives up to your expectations. 

Are legitimate mail order brides safe?

The safety of getting a bride overseas is one of the biggest concerns when people are looking for reliable legit mail order brides sites. But safety concerns are not only a worry of Western men looking for a wife abroad, but also foreign women are at risk of traveling from their home country to unknown environment and people. Each country cares about its citizens and guarantees protection under the law for both parts of the union. For example, in the  US there are several federal laws:

  1. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  2. The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA)
legal mail order brides online

Under these laws, the couple undergoes marriage brokers checks and gathers other important personal information, to avoid scamming, and catfishing and protect legally from any sort of abuse and home violence. The process may appear invasive, as even women that are citizens in the US marrying the fellow citizen won’t get access to such information.

In what countries are mail order spouses illegal?

Even though we live in the 21st century, you still can’t marry a person from some parts of the world: some countries don’t allow or recognize an international marriage. The reason for that is mainly strict religious beliefs that don’t allow interfaith unions. And as in these countries laws and religion are intertwined, you can’t marry a mail order bride legislation from one of them. For example, Israeli Jews oppose mixed relationships, and Islamic law in the Muslim countries states almost the same. But there is an exception to Islamic law if your fiance is in the People of the Book, meaning Christian or Jew, such union is allowed. And a Jew can also marry a non-Jew but only outside Israel or if a partner agrees to convert. 

mail order bride legality in USA

No matter which country you live in, bringing a foreign spouse for living together is absolutely legal. However, it is still necessary to follow the international mail order bride legislation issued in your country. For example, in the UK, your future spouse can apply for a marriage visitor visa to legally enter the country and walk down the aisle. The US government requires a fiancee visa applicant and proving the relationships of a particular couple. The regulations may vary depending on the country, so you should carefully study immigration law before inviting your foreign wife to your home. 

What do women think about being mail order brides?

More and more ladies worldwide create their accounts on dedicated websites to find a reliable partner abroad. They understand all the pros and cons of international marriage and are well aware of the international marriage broker act peculiarities. On top of that, foreign brides understand that they will need to move to another country and completely change their lives for the sake of their international relationships. 

Nobody forces foreign girls to create their accounts on legit mail order bride sites and share their personal information. They upload photos and confirm their identities at their own will and with a strong urge to find a soulmate. For many girls, specifically-designed dating sites are the only way to find a decent partner and to open new horizons in their lives. 

What are men’s responsibilities in getting foreign brides?

There are several aspects each potential groom should consider before building serious relationships with a foreign woman.

  • You will need to provide for a family since, most likely, your foreign spouse won’t be eligible to get legal work at the beginning of your relationship. 
  • It is necessary to have enough room in your house to give a personal space for your future spouse. 
  • A potential husband should cover all the expenses related to the marriage with a foreign bride. 

How much do mail order spouses cost in different regions?

If you strive to find a mail order bride abroad, you will need to understand that the cost for a foreign wife varies depending on the destination of your search. Overall, it is necessary to consider the following factors that affect the total price of finding a soulmate from abroad.  

legal mail order brides in Canada
  • The expenses on the mail order bride service—depending on your activity and the platform of your choice, they may vary from $60 to $250
  • A trip to the country your future wife lives in—from $300 to $1,000 for a round flight trip from New York
  • Gifts and flowers—optional
  • Visa expenses for mail order brides entering the country—from $300 to $1,000 
  • Flight tickets for your future spouse to your home country—from $200 to $800

An average mail order bride cost in different regions

Latin America$4,500

Getting an Asian bride is absolutely legal since there are numerous girls who register their profiles on reputable mail order bride websites. It is worth mentioning that Asia includes the largest number of K1 visa holders. Besides, the most popular country for love searching is the Philippines. More than 3,000 fiancé visas were issued the year before. The main obstacle you may experience when building relationships with an Asian mail order bride is the local traditions. For example, in Thailand, you will need to pay a “Sin Sod” or Thai dowry to the bride’s family to demonstrate your serious intentions to marry a certain girl. 

Legality of brides in Latin countries

Marrying a Latin mail order bride is legal in the USA, whether you are going to tie knots inside or outside the country. Nevertheless, depending on the place of your wedding, you will need to apply for different kinds of visas. If you are going to marry your Latin soulmate in the USA, feel free to apply for a K1 visa. In case you have already married in one of the countries of Latin America, it makes sense to apply for IR1 or CR1 visas. Anyway, you should provide evidence that your date is in real life, so keep taking as many photos of the two of you during your real dates as possible. 

Essential info to know about the legality of mail order brides in European countries

Europe is a diverse continent with numerous girls of different ethnicities and traditions. Nevertheless, regardless of the destination of your search, you can legally marry a mail order bride from a European country. All you need is to follow the standard procedure for foreign spouses. When all the documents are ready and your future spouse is allowed to enter your country, feel free to organize the wedding ceremony of your dreams. Although it will take time to get the visa approved, it is a perfect chance to check your relationships for distance.

Legality of foreign brides in Ukraine

legal mail order spouses in UK

Ukraine has recently become the hottest spot for searching for love. Currently, Ukrainian women have simplified requirements to enter the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. However, you should still prove the authenticity of your relationships by providing your pictures together, screens from online conversations, etc. Even though it is advisable to postpone the trip to Ukraine, you can still organize a real date with your soulmate in one of the European countries. As you see, there are no boundaries for love.    

Top websites to find a legitimate mail order bride

The modern market offers a bevy of options to meet a mail order bride. However, not all of them deliver their services with equally good efficacy. Our experts do thorough research to provide relevant information about the most popular and trustful platforms. Here are the most reliable options to approach these days:

  • La Date—Best choice to find a Latin beauty
  • Eastern Honeys—Most suitable option for Asian love-seekers
  • Ukraine Bride4you—Most effective website to meet a lady from Ukraine
  • Jolly Romance—Feature-rich platform for international communication
  • Bravo Date—First-class platform to create a connection with European mail order brides

How to avoid scam?

Even if you choose the best dating platform and follow all mail order bride regulations, there are still chances that you will become a victim of scammers. That is why it is necessary to follow some dating safety rules to ensure a smooth dating experience and make the most out of your romantic journey.

  1. Approach the legit mail order bride sites with a high level of security. Make sure you create an account on a legitimate mail order bride site with fair terms & conditions, pricing policy, and good value per money. It is advisable to read the experts’ reviews related to the authenticity of the website before investing in your love adventure. 
  2. Use only built-on communication options. Integrated messaging options on the site are designed to keep your personal information secure. By using the means of communication on the site, you don’t need to reveal your personal information. Thus, you protect your identity and avoid unnecessary connections.
  3. Never transfer money. Even if it seems to you that you have been communicating with your soulmate for a long time and there are sincere feelings between you two, be cautious if your partner asks you to send money. Such a situation requires special attention, especially if you haven’t communicated online via video chat.


Now the answer is clear—marriage to mail order brides is legal in all Western countries! It might not be the easiest thing and involves a lot of documentation, but the marriage can happen lawfully. Real love and family life get tough sometimes, but finding your soulmate and building a happy family together is definitely worth it. Use modern technologies to your advantage and get a foreign bride legally.

If you still have doubts about whether mail-order brides are legal here are a couple of facts that can prove that they are legal:

  • There is a protection for foreign brides which is called the Violence against women act. It protects immigrants against domestic violence. 
  • According to Rapidvisa research, 43% of K-1 visa applicants meet in person and 57% meet online. Moreover, marriages between people who met online are more long-lasting compared to marriages between people who met offline. Therefore, more people prefer meeting online and mail order brides dating websites is the best place where you can commence serious relationships with foreign women. 
  • It is common for Americans to find mail order brides from different countries. American men are using special reliable dating sites or dating agencies to find the most compatible foreign spouse. 

Each year 3000-4000 American males find wives through mail-order bride dating platforms. Therefore, new couples are created and mail order brides are moving to the United States.


Can you still buy mail order brides?

No, you can’t buy an actual woman. But as by buying a bride many understand getting a foreign bride, then yes, you absolutely can!

In the earliest days of the US, when did the legality of mail-order brides become legal?

Mail order bride marriages occurred in the US in the 1880s and were legal. But IMBRA as a part of VAWA was signed only in 2006.

Are mail order bride sites legal?

Yes, the majority of the mail order bride sites are legal. They just offer a safe and interesting place for dating and various related services.

Is mail order bride legal?

Mail order brides are completely legal, as single women are just looking for a partner abroad. And you can marry legally in almost all countries in the world.

Barrett Connell
I'm Connell Barrett and I know everything about building a successful relationship with a perfect woman. I started as a journalist but a little later I became a dating coach. I've helped thousands of single men find their soulmates online and in real life. My book, posts, and reviews assist guys in their romantic journeys.