If you're looking for a foreign bride then there is little doubt that a Filipina bride is your best choice. Millions of lucky foreign men can testify to the qualities of their treasured wives, and to the inner beauty which made them so irresistible. When searching for your Filipina bride, you find yourself spoilt for choice. On dating sites like Filipina Smiles you will find that there are so many lovely Filipina girls interested in you. And it will be a very difficult choice to make. Always look for sincerity and good values. And consider the following issues very carefully, when choosing your Filipina bride, and going on to marry her.
Age Gaps - Is your Filipina bride too young?
We would suggest that in general you should limit your search to Filipina brides who are at least half your age plus 5 years-old. So if you're 60 years-old, look for girls no less than 35 years-old. And if you're 40 years-old, look for girls no less than 25 years-old. But if either you or your partner has special circumstances or qualities, you could increase or decrease the gap accordingly. Your respective, educational levels, wealth, and personal qualities etc should be considered carefully, in assessing whether it's a relationship that can last.
Cultural Gaps - Can she cope?
The cultural gap is often overlooked by both men and women, but it can prove far
more challenging than an age gap.
Most Filipina grow up with a very close network of relatives, friends and neighbours around them. Some are used to sleeping 7 or 8 in a tiny room. But in their new country they will find themselves alone at home all day without any friends, in a place they don't yet understand. Some will have difficulty coping with the isolation. It is something that they are not accustomed to.
Is your chosen Filipina Bride free to marry?
A filipina who is already married could pose much bigger difficulties than you might imagine.
Divorce is not legal in the Philippines. It's the last remaining holdout against divorce, reflecting the strong influence of the catholic church. The only exception arises where one of the parties is a foreign national, and the divorce has been lawfully obtained abroad. The only other option would be to seek an annulment.
Annulment is concerned, not with ending a failed marriage, but with determining that the marriage was never valid in the first place. And this is possible in a limited set of circumstances. The acceptable grounds for an annulment are - lack of parental consent (if under 21); insanity; fraud; coercion; impotence; and incurable STDs. However it's a very lengthy and expensive process, usually well beyond what most filipina could ever afford, and with little certainty about the outcome. It's likely to take over 6 months and could cost over $10,000. More if the other party is being uncooperative. or looking to profit from it.
It's advisable to try conceal your involvement as a foreigner from the lawyers and from the ex-spouse. And it's advisable to try to secure a fixed price package deal. Under no circumstance should you ever consider sending money direct to a girlfriend for her to pay for an annulment, as there are many annulment scammers operating out there.
You can obtain professional assistance if you feel that you really need it, and if you can find someone with good credentials or good recommendations. Always check that they are registered and licienced, and suitably experienced - with testimonials to prove it. And remember that it's only governments who can issue visas - and that anyone offering to buy or fast-track a visa for you will just be a scammer.
Parental Consent, Parental Advice
Anyone wishing to marry in the Philippines must be over 18. They will also require 'parental consent' if they are under 21, or 'parental advice' if they are under 25. Philippines Family Code
How to Marry your intented Filipina Bride
you decide to marry your girlfriend it will almost certainly be the
first time that you've married a foreigner. And you almost certainly
won't be an expert on immigration. So you will need to start researching
this at an early stage - starting with your own government's websites.
Every country has it's own requirements, and most countries have
sophisticated laws and procedures to control immigration, and to prevent
bogus or 'sham' marriages. And it will be easy to make mistakes if
you're not careful.
Common mistakes include:- assuming that if you marry then your wife will have an automatic right to citizenship of your country; or assuming that if you marry then you can bring your wife home on a tourist visa; or failing to start collecting evidence of your relationship at a sufficiently early stage.
If you find a serious girlfriend who you think you might want to marry then you should start keeping a file of any documents that might be useful in the future as evidence of your relationship, and when it began. Any letters, cards etc should be kept together with the envelopes or packaging, and any photographs, airline tickets etc should also be filed away for possible future use.
If the time comes that you decide that you want to marry your girlfriend then your best route would be as follows. Apply for a fiancee visa first (using the evidence that you have collected), then if successful, take your fiancee home, and marry her there within the period time required by the visa. If your Filipina bride has set her heart on a wedding in the Philippines, then you could also have a wedding ceremony there at a later date.
Unfortunately, obtaining a fiancee visa is neither simple nor quick. Before applying for the visa you will probably need to have known your girlfriend for a certain period time, you will also probably need to have met her in person, and you will probably need to have evidence to show that you have done so. You will also probably have to obtain certain documents relating to your marital status, financial status, and immigration status. It will take some months, and your fiancee will probably need to attend for interview at your embassy in the Philippines.
Marrying before obtaining a fiancee visa is likely to cause a lot of extra delay and expense, and expose you to unnecessary risks - in the event that it is never possible to bring your Filipina bride home. But this does not apply to every country. Some countries, most notably Canada, do not have a fiancee visa.
US K-1 Visa
Some help with the K-1 visa application.