Fianc? Visas and Prospective Marriage Visas

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If you're interested in dating an Asian woman then at some point you're probably going to want to think about living with her, either in her country or yours.

If you want to live with your new bride in Asia then the rules for a prospective marriage visa are generally straightforward. Men with Asian wives can usually get a residency permit in their wife's country of origin. However, you may have to renew the visa on a regular basis. Normally the authorities in Asian countries are anxious to ensure that you have enough money to live on, so you'll improve your case if you have a pension, a small business or a substantial investment income.

Most men however are more interested in getting a visa so that their prospective Asian girlfriend can come and live with them in their own country. As a general rule it's more difficult to get a travel visa for a lady from a developing country, i.e. China, Thailand and the Philippines. If your Asian girlfriend is from Japan or South Korea then it should be much easier for her to get permission to visit you in your own country. Asian ladies from developing countries (especially China) may also be allowed in if they own their own homes in China and have good business related jobs.

Fianc? Visa or Marriage Visa?

Apply for a fiance visa and your Asian girlfriend can come to live in your own country

For ladies without many assets in their own country, then the option is usually to bring her over on a fianc? or a marriage visa. Regulations in different countries differ. In general, you might have the option to bring your girlfriend over on a fianc? visa, or marry her in her own country then bring her over on a marriage visa.

Men often like marrying their Asian girlfriends ladies in Asia because it's financially prudent to marry a lady in the country where your main assets aren't held. Then you can wait until you find out what she's really like before marrying her in your own country as well. Alternatively if you're worried about marrying a gold digger then get a prenuptial agreement.

The downside to marrying a woman in Asia is that there can be a long delay between marriage and getting her permission to join you in your own country on a marriage visa. There's also a slight risk in that your new bride will be denied entry to your own country. This is rare, but it does happen. Often the reason is related to finances and the home ownership situation of the man. If the authorities aren't satisfied that you can support your new bride, or you have nowhere for her to stay, then your application may be denied.

Increasing numbers of men are seeking to bring their Asian girlfriend over on a fianc? visa. Once again, rules vary with different countries. In general your girlfriend is allowed into your country for a certain number of months. Generally she can't seek employment during this time period. You'll also have to satisfy the immigration department that you can support your fianc? financially during this time. While your girlfriend is over on a fianc? visa you'll need to get married at some point. She can then apply for US citizenship (assuming you're a US citizen yourself).

The advantages of the fianc? visa route are:

  • You can live with your Asian girlfriend for a few months in order to see if you really like each other. If the relationship doesn't work out, then neither of you have too much to lose, compared to if you got married first.
  • Your fianc? can spend time in your country and see if she likes living there.
  • She won't usually have to return home after marriage, and there isn't the agonizing delay between marrying a lady in Asia and waiting for her residency visa to be approved.

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Where to Get Immigration Advice

Visa applications are getting ever more complex. Some ladies may need vaccinations, a medical examination or they may need to pass an English language test. For most Western countries the immigration department will need evidence of a real relationship. The most basic requirement is that you must have met your future wife, so if you meet her in Asia then be sure to take photos of you both together. It's also a good idea to save your correspondence (and get your Asian girlfriend to do the same). Immigration authorities can be quite old fashioned, so paper based correspondence is generally better than internet chat logs.

Be sure to consult the official website of your own country's citizenship and immigration service. Be wary of internet discussion boards because many of the members don't know the up to date rules, and you often get jokers who think they know the immigration law of a country they don't even live in.

If you're interested in finding a Thai bride then it's often useful to use a marriage agency such as Anglo Thai Introductions or Thai Professional. Both will assist you with the visa paperwork required. A Foreign Affair may also be useful in this respect. Incorrect paperwork can unnecessarily delay a visa application, so if you have any doubts then it's better to use a company that is experienced in such matters.

Alternatively why not retain the services of an expert immigration attorney? These will help you with the routine paperwork, as well as handle any unexpected issues should they arise. It's also a good idea to use a family immigration lawyer should your case be anything out of the ordinary, such as you wanting your new fianc?'s children to come and live with you after marriage.

One thing to be aware of is that prospective marriage visas are often slow to obtain. Embassies and immigration departments often publish current waiting times. They generally differ according to the Asian country, be it China Thailand or the Philippines, and the specific consular office or visa center within that country.

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