Can a single Russian woman get a visa to travel to the USA

by Jeff
(Maryland)

I have been corresponding via email with someone I think though to be legitimate. She has now gotten plane fare and sent me the flight information but now says the embassy says she must prove material solvency in order to travel. She asks for $3000 US dollars.... is this true. She has also sent me many pictures and a copy of her passport.

What do you think?

Bob's Answer: Thanks for your question. First, I've always heard that it is VERY difficult for single Russian women to receive a tourist visas to the U.S. I would suspect that a Russian woman would probably need to show financial solvency in order to be granted a visa. This shows the government that she really is coming for "tourism".

But that's just the "business end" of my answer. My assessment: I'm quite sure this is a scam. Russian women asking men whom they've never met to send them travel money is almost always a scam.

There are several clues even in your short post (apart from the obvious request for money). First, she claims she has booked a flight prior to receiving her visa. No one does this!

Second, she has sent you a copy of her passport... Why? Clearly to prove her authenticity, right? Most serious Russian women would not do that... they would neither offer it, nor would they provide it upon request.

Trust me, all the good scams have many pictures, convincing flight information, information from and about travel agencies, plane ticket receipts, and even scanned passports and other IDs.

Here's a little experiment you can try... Copy phrases from randomly selected emails she has sent you and paste them into Google.

For instance, when scammers contact me, I usually play with them a little. Her emails built up this story that she was coming to the U.S. for work, and could work in any city she wanted, so she wanted to know what city I was in so that she could come here to be with me. So, in her last email before she supposedly was to fly to Moscow en route to the U.S., she said, among other things, "You should know that after sending this email I will go home, take my packed bags and fly to Moscow".

So take that phrase, including the double quotes, and paste it into Google. You'll see that this "girl's" messages to me were sent to many other men, including this last one saying essentially "I'm on my way!".

I think if you do a similar exercise you'll find that the messages she sent to you were sent to many others.

Anyway, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is what I think.

Feel free to reply to this post with any additional information you would like to include and I'll be happy to evaluate it too.

Comments for Can a single Russian woman get a visa to travel to the USA

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yes I received the same email.
by: Anonymous

I too have had the same thing to happen with the copy of a metered passport. With a taped picture. The emails sent I found on scammerslist.com with a dozen or so different names.

To get a work visa you MUST HAVE THE JOB FIRST. THAT EMPLOYER PAYS FOR THE WHOLE THING EXCEPT THE FLIGHT.

What you need to understand is that U.S. visas are not easy for anyone since 911 the requirements are harder and require a background check. No one gets a U.S. visa in 2 days. I have a Filipino wife, and we went through almost a year with the filing, interviews to prove who she was.

What has happened to you is definitely a scam. Also she wants you to send the money via Western union to a name she gave. But in her email after she arrives in Moscow she says she doesn't know anyone. I hope you don't send her anything. And also report her.

It is a scam!
by: Anonymous

If you do a search on the Internet for "Visa/Travel Scam" you will learn all about this sort of rip-off. It is a classic, in Ukraine, Russia, and other FSU countries. A big thing to look out for is if she is using a travel agency to help her with her papers and plane tickets. If she has a travel agency helping her, and she chose it herself, look out! If she does not receive the funds for a bank deposit from you, she probably will demonstrate to you that she did get her visa, then she will ask for more money for travel to the airport, overnight stay there, and gifts for mom, etc. Beware! Never send money, period!.. Good luck!

My success
by: Anonymous

I met my wife on-line, then went to visit her in her city. During the first meeting, we had chemistry, so she offered to get her Tourist Visa. She had prior connections to Men in Italy and Poland, and she assured me she could get her US Tourist Visa as well. I met her Travel Agent, and they explained the process. Her Offer to get the Visa was based on her funding it herself! She had to make 2 trips to the US Embassy, and it was completed within 3 Months. She told stories that the girls in line both ahead and behind her were refused (her travel agent was very good).

The biggest scare we had was at the US Port of entry, where she was pulled out of line, and every criteria submitted in the US Moscow Embassy became suspect, and again had to be defended. After being shocked at this interrogation the first 10 minutes, she had the understanding to just DEMAND her Visa be honored, and changed her attitude of fear into an attitude of questioning this immigration agents right to deny her entry. After another 20 minutes, she was released. We did not know, but the VISA in the Passport only allows you to ATTEMPT to enter the US... the real authority is at the Port of Entry, where they have the right to reject the VISA, and send you back on the next flight.

weeding through the bs
by: Bill

Why would they offer a tourist visa if everyone knows it would be denied? To collect $160 Dollars from unsuspecting people then turn them down... if that's the case that's a good scam in itself for our U.S. Embassy. Also on the embassy website they claim over 400,000 visitors to America from Russia in first half of 2014, I read it on our embassy site. Is that a lie as well? does anyone come here for vacation from Russia, Not everyone wants to live in America! I hope someone would comment on my questions, if is not true, maybe we should demand truth from our own government and in the future everyone will know that there is no possibility to come take a vacation in America. In my humble opinion they are allowing the scams by even suggesting there is such thing as a tourist visa. maybe people are blaming the wrong source.


[Bob's Thoughts:]

I'm not an immigration lawyer, so don't get caught up in too many details that may be wrong here, but the high-level view of this is pretty easy: The USCIS states directly on their websites that they assume that anyone entering the U.S. intends to STAY. Maybe not everyone wants to live in America, but the "gatekeepers" operate on that assumption and place the burden of proof, as it were, on the visa applicant to demonstrate adequate ties to their home country/community to convince them that the applicant is fairly sure to return. People in Western Europe, Australia, etc., are a fairly safe bet. Young, single women in Russia, Ukraine, etc., are NOT safe bets, so tourist visas for them are fairly rare.

But at an even higher level - leaving aside all the legal details further behind - it shouldn't take one more than about 5 minutes of reading questions/answers on this site to see that "I have a visa and want to come visit..." is the opener for nearly every scam attempt!

So in nearly all cases addressed on this site the blame lies squarely on the would-be scammers. Just assume that if you met a "real" and sincere Russian/Ukrainian woman online, she'll expect that you visit her in her country first, and assume that this is the ONLY reasonable way for men to proceed. Make those assumptions and all these "Can she really get a tourist visa?" questions just melt away into insignificance.

The same old RW email scams
by: Anonymous

I've been getting emails from 4 different Russian women. I know they are all scams, but I like to play with them. The first thing is that they don't seem to read your emails, ie., if you ask them questions, they are never answered, just some BS about how happy they were to get your last letter and never address anything in your last letter. I just wrote all four of them and told them that I have a girlfriend and they are a scam. I got back the same BS about how happy they were to get me last email. It's always that they have fallen in "love" with you real fast, then for some reason or another they have to take their vacation from work real soon and they have a "valid" passport and can get a "visa" from a agency they are using. Then all of sudden they find out that the expenses are more than they have and that they have already spent all their money and have even sold items at the "pawn" shop or whatever to try to come up with the money. But they still don't have enough, and could you send them some money via Western Union or Money Gram. You know it's a scam. I keep all the pictures of the girls that have sent me pictures in separate folders in the name of the girl that sent them. When I compared them I was shocked to find out how many of the "supposed" pictures of different girls were all the same girl. One of the best tools to use is Google Images and upload a picture of the girl. 90% of the pictures came out to be a scam...

been many times always unhappy ending
by: Anonymous

I have been trying meeting Russian women for a few years now. And virtually all of them at some point wanted money before we even met. I now can even tell when this request is coming. So, as beautiful as the woman is in the picture I am beginning to think this is how they are getting by. It may be just another woman's picture. So, my hard fast rule is NEVER send money.

[Bob's Comment:]

Gosh, I should probably add that to the list of suggestions I offer on my site :) NEVER SEND MONEY!

Pardon the sarcasm.

Ya know, just today I was re-reading my home page as a start of a sitewide review to evaluate how I may improve my content. And frankly, the home page can't be improved... If you just start searching, writing, chatting, etc., most likely you'll end up scammed. But with a little common sense combined with a little guidance, scams are completely avoidable.

And rule ONE is always NEVER SEND MONEY!

And seriously, even short of a girl outright requesting money, there are a LOT of clues that this is on a girl's mind (probably what you mean when you say "I now can even tell when this request is coming")... When she complains about how little she earns, or how much things cost, etc.

Or like when she mentions that she hasn't been in touch because she was in a car accident. She gets frequent headaches since the accidents, and the doctors in her city referred her to the specialist in another city, but the cost of transportation prevents her from getting that treatment. I usually just say, "Wow, that's horrible. I'm so sorry to hear. Let me know how that turns out."

But I would also be interested to hear where you meet these women who inevitably request money... Could be you're looking on the wrong sites.

Russian Scam?
by: Andy

A Russian lady has been emailing me every day except weekends for 5 months. She says I cannot buy her plane tickets to come visit me because the Russian government will think she is trying to emigrate. She says she has to buy it herself, but needs the money and promises to come to me if I give her money. Is this a scam? Or is she right that the Russian government will get suspicious and ban her for life from leaving the country.


[Bob's Comment:]

Yes, it's a scam. The Russian government does not care the least if their citizens wish to emigrate to other countries. I have personally bought airplane tickets for my former fiancee to fly from Russia to the U.S. And they sure as hell would not consider the fact that you purchased the tickets for her as some kind of evidence that she intended to leave anyway.

But the U.S. government does care if she intends to immigrate, and that's why they're so stingy with tourist visas to Russians. And that's also why this is a scam... I'd bet she does not have and cannot get a tourist visa to visit the U.S.

I'll make you a 100% double your money back guarantee: If you send her money, you'll never see it or her again (unless she thinks you're gullible enough to continue scamming). *** The double your money back guarantee... that's double what you paid me for the advice ;)

Russian woman
by: Anonymous

I'm seeking some advice... I have been corresponding with a russian woman for 4 weeks now via email, she has answered all of my questions, I have asked specific questions about her job, family, age, lifestyle, child hood experiences, she sends me pictures of her, casual sitting on chair, outside, they look like her work location etc. seems genuine, I have even gone as far as to asking her about what she would like in the future, she tells me she is interested in a relationship with me and that she likes and wants to learn more about me, she has asked for nothing no money questions about (are you rich) how much money I make, asked for no money sent to her in fact she seeks about wanting and liking to work and provide for a family, she has no kids, she hasn't been married, she is 34, she says it would be difficult but would leave to come to USA if she has discovered her soulmate thru correspondence this way. She has proclaimed that she is interested in me, and I in her, for as much as I know thru email writings... I'm inquiring advice, opinions direction should I cut ties, something is giving me hope or is this a hopeless scam, would a person want to do this? From what I've read I would need to go to Russia, and take photo with her, apply for her to travel with photo of her and I, she would then be granted "able to travel status ]" and then within 90 days in order for her to stay in usa we would need to marry, is this the process for meeeting someone you are interested in in Russia?? Any info would be helpful. BTW how we connected: I had joined a dating site called ZOOSK (rip off) but she sent me message like she lived near me,and asked for my email address, after the 1 email, she explained and apologized for leading me to believe that she was close and not from Russia but she wanted to find a nice American man as she had read great things about us men and the USA. Thx, confused citizen of the great USofA !!

Answer to confused citizen seeking advice
by: Bob (Site Owner)

Hi Confused Citizen

It's a scam. Read Russian Dating Scams, Russian Scammers: Email Scams, and Avoiding Russian Women Scams. EVERYTHING, and I do mean EVERYTHING, that you need to know about your situation is covered there.

The process you describe about getting her a visa is called the K-1 Fiancee Visa, but you're only partly correct in your understanding... You don't actually have to go to Russia and take a picture together. You DO have to have pictures together, but the more specific requirement is that you have to have met in person, you have a relationship, and you must be PLANNING TO MARRY, and you must provide evidence that you have met and have a relationship and are planning to marry.

Of course such evidence would include photos of you together looking "relationshippy", but you'll also need to show piles of receipts from events together, visa stamps on your passport, flight ticket stubs, etc. You both even need to submit letters to USCIS describing your relationship and intent to marry.

You don't file for a Fiancee Visa if you're not PLANNING TO MARRY. And dude, you've emailed a scammer a few times. You're not planning to marry.

If you're really serious about finding a Russian/Ukrainian woman, read this entire site.

Foreign bride scams
by: Anonymous

I have played with several foreign women on line from Russia to Ghana. One said she lived in Washington state. When I asked for her local phone number she then said she just flew to Ghana to be with her sick mother. She wanted to send me travelers checks to cash and send her the money less plane fare for a ticket I purchase for her to fly from Ghana to the US. The traveler's checks were obviously stolen and I would be stuck for the amount. I said I would send her a non transferable, not refundable ticket because it would be cheaper. She said she could only buy the ticket with cash, so I would have to send via Western Union. She sent pictures and each time the pictures got more revealing. This is just a small part of the scam. I finally got tired of playing the game and wished her well.

Nataly
by: Anonymous

I have been talking with a gal named Natalya for a few months. I have been wondering if it was a scam all along. I told her from the beginning I would not send her money to Pokachi. Russia. She has even sent me photos holding a sign "saying hi with my name ". She claimed that she took out a loan for $800 and her mother took a loan for $1200. Then she sent me pics of her passport and medical exam. I don't speak Russian. But she speaks English very well. She even called me once that the number came up "unknown". The phone call lasted less than 5 minutes and we were cut off. She told me it cost her $18 to call me from a pay phone and that was a lot of money there and she would not be able to call again. So after her and her mother got the supposed loans for her travel to the USA she sent me flight numbers and times, pics of pass port, etc. then another email with bad news. She says she cannot leave the country with a non-immigrant visa to the USA with an unpaid loan and wanted me to send her $650 to pay off her loan. I refuse to send the money. I explained to her that once she arrives I will pay off both loans. Her name is Natalya and she lives In Pokachi, Russia. I will not send a dime to her. Watch out for this. I am told by a Russian I work with that she will have to show her own financial independence that she has money to be issued a visa at her interview. She tells me she has paid all this money and even got a passport from a travel agency I'm less than 3 days. It took 2 months for me to receive my U.S. Passport. I am thinking this is a total scam. All her letters look very similar to the ones I have seen posted on the scammer websites. She has corresponded directly to my questions and other emails. I just think this is a total scam. Who would book and pay for their plane tickets when they don't have the interview yet to be issued a visa from Russian government. I sent her an email this morning asking this and told her I would fly to Moscow to meet her. I am waiting for the reply that I get.

[Bob's Comment:]

DUDE, if you're buying ANY of this story then you haven't read ANY of my site. Even if you never send her money, you're wasting time and brain energy.

I am USA sitizen
by: Irina

Use the Skype. It is free

Russian woman
by: The Captain

I have met a Russian woman for the Kemerovo region in Russia. I Skype with her everyday. She is simple and very nice. We have not chatted about a US visit as I don't think she wants to leave Russia. How do I bring up the subject? Should I consider going to Russia 1st?

Any insight would be appreciated!

[Bob's Answer:]

How did you meet? Many sites where you would meet a Russian/Ukrainian woman provide a field where a woman would declare her openness to relocation.

But even if the site doesn't have such a field, if you did still meet on a site where Russian/Ukrainian women and Western men meet, it's usually a somewhat safe assumption that they will relocate for the right man.

But there's also really no harm in just asking, "Hey, I wanted to ask... when you meet the right man would you be willing to relocate to another country?"

But about the visit, YES, absolutely, your first meeting MUST be in her city! Well, "must" according to my rules :) But seriously it's a no brainer. Read the "Scams" section (link in left menu bar) for all the reasoning.

Russian woman scam
by: Bill

I have one emailing me out of the blue, and I reply with more questions about her, but she doesn't even answer my questions. She just goes on about how she can't wait to come see me, and she is so glad that I have accepted her request, which I have not. I told "her or him" that I thought she was a scam, but she just acts like she didn't get it. Weird!

[Bob's Comment:]

See Russian Scammers: Email Scams. I'm glad you said "her or him". The part you may not understand is that when you get these "emailing me out of the blue", "doesn't even answer my questions", and so on, it's all almost automated. You can write ANYTHING, and they'll reply with "Hi John, I'm so happy to receive your warm letter" (even if that letter had to vile things in it)! They do eventually start reading later in the programmed sequence to see if the lead-up has worked. I mean they eventually need to directly engage in order to get you to wire money.


I got one of those emails.
by: Kat

Well, I have and so has my mom. I like to play with them, since usually they answer to my questions. I received pictures from them too lol but I didn't send any since I am a female and I won't send pictures of a random person.

I am bored sometimes and I like wasting time on scammers. After all, it's a waste of their wasted time too. :)

For the finale, I send them a message in Russian telling them that I was just messing around. Never got reply to those.

Yes, I speak fluent Russian (not great at spelling). No, not Russian by nationality and neither is Russia my home country.

Anyway, I lived there long enough to know that there are two outcomes.

Outcome 1. You meet a nice Russian girl and she scams you. Happens more often because life there isn't bad as long as you have money. Russians love money and power. If that Russian or Ukrainian woman doesn't have enough money than she is most likely looking for money. Even if she does marry you. Just be careful with that. I am sure it the same with some other countries. Think Philippines.

Outcome 2. She is real, she comes and you get married. Although, it usually end in divorce. No, not because Russian woman come just to live in US (I'm sure some do) but because they face harsh reality that American man are very often a**holes (maybe not you). Russian women are hard workers and they are housewives at the same time. Although, wife's money is not husbands money. Husband pays for home, food, bills, gifts and so on. Wife takes care of of the kids and usually is the one to shop for their stuff. She usually ends up buying most of the gifts or kitchen stuff. Anything to make their care giving easier. They most commonly end up spending good money on the family even if the husband pays all the bills. You can rely on that. I have family in Russia and this is how they function. My mother is not Russian but she is Slavic and she is the same way.

If you try hiding money/withhold, avoid taking care of your family, and/or take advantage of the money Russian wife makes while she cooks, cleans, and takes care of you. You will be labeled as no good and it will be over. If husband respects and appreciates it and is also helpful it creates healthy and happy family.

This is why many Russian women work, they don't have to if they are married.

So in short, they are told that in US they can find their prince in a shining armor on a white horse. I bet it's super rare ;) but this is why they often look for men from here.

Good luck to everyone searching but there are nice girls in US too.


[Bob's Comment:]

Such generalizations are rarely very helpful. I'm familiar with many successful Russian-American marriages where there was no scam and no divorce. I have heard (but unable to authenticate) that the divorce rate between international couples was lower than the national average. And on and on.

It's like in the U.S. when someone says "all attractive women want a man with money". Yes, of course, all other things being equal, a wealthier man may have an easier time finding an attractive woman. But "ALL"? That's nuts.

Of course any man who walks into this pursuit without his eyes wide open is an easy target, but scams of almost every type are pretty easy to avoid.

A complicated situation
by: bill

The situation I found myself in is super complicated. Reforms in visa policy is needed in America.

I met a girl about 2 years ago online, and began writing each other every day. Our first meeting was about 4 months after we met in the Bahamas, and had a very short term scam issue prior to meeting her with another person, and is how I found her trying to research the first girl.

I purchased her ticket through a agent in America, and the resort. And when I saw her the first time, was amazed that she was everything she told she was and more. Totally beautiful and sweet, and very respectful time together. We went to another place 3 months later, and I went to Russia, and 3 more places after.

Now have tried 2 times for a tourist visa and both times denied? I wanted her to see my home and meet my family and not rush to marriage. But how can you do that when they deny a visa? They give a fiancee visa with very little requirements and force people to marry in a short time, and probably ends in failure.

I will echo our new president by saying I think we know for the most part who is a terrorist, but I as a free law abiding American should be able to lawfully invite someone I care about to my home if I want and follow the rules. But it is not possible in a so called free country?

To me is simple, so if anyone from our government is reading, please take notes.

First, require the needed documents to know who the person is and where they will be staying and with whom they will be staying with. Second, Pass a criminal background check. Third, when approved to travel, stamp really big TOURIST VISA, and no city official should give a marriage, drivers, or any employer give a job!

All agency's require proof of U.S. citizens to get any of these. And when they see the Tourist visa stamp, they know are not citizens. And with the financial side, is not our governments job to concern themselves with how they pay for their food! Christ, do they care about all the hungry already here?

It takes a certain kind of person to live illegal in a country and people to assist them. Therefore heavy fines and loss of a future visa can be penalties for a person overstaying and people that help them. In my view are two kinds of people we do not want here, people that would harm us, and people that become a drain on society.

And most Russian women are neither! Maybe a bit over simplified, but I think my point is clear. Has cost me a fortune to see a real person I care very much for. I think makes sense for someone to see your country, meet your family, and see how they feel here before marriage! And would rather have spent my money in our own economy than forced to spend somewhere else. And also will help with scammers and would be easier to sort out. All I am saying is, your adults lawmakers. Figure it out so it works.


[Bob's Comment:]

I guess I've gotten used to what the answer actually is and less what I think it SHOULD BE.

Not that I support it, but I hear that the reason tourist visas are often denied to people from certain countries is that the U.S. assumes they will overstay or not return.

I have read that it is essentially the policy of U.S. immigration to assume that anyone entering the U.S. intends to stay unless there is lots of good reason to believe they will return home on time.

So a single Russian/Ukrainian woman with no children, not much property/assets, no business(es), etc., really does not have enough stake in her own country to ensure her return.

If a Russian woman had a husband, three young children, and owned property, and she applied for a tourist visa (and not her husband or children), she's have a better chance.

Another thing that gives visa applicants a better chance is if they have a long history of visiting other advanced countries and returning on time. So a Russian/Ukrainian woman who has a passport filled with stamped visas showing entry and on-time exits to 10 different countries in Western Europe (France, Italy, Spain, Germany, etc.), it'll give her a better chance.

Just do the fiancee visa! Either that or just both of you relocate to a country that welcomes both of you.

Found a good one
by: Anonymous

I have been corresponding with a Russian Woman from Siberia. She has been what to would want to expect. I would like her to visit here. She is very hesitant and knows Visa to US are hard to get.

I Skype with her daily, she has never asked me for money and will not accept any. She wants to visit but on her own.

I want to go there now to meet her. I have been through the "scam mill" and can recognize them all.

This is the real deal. What is the best way to seal the deal?


[Bob's Comment:]

I think your plan is the right way... Visit her in her city. It's really the ONLY way to do it, and it's one of the cardinal rules regarding this process. A girl who wants to visit you is usually up to a scam. A girl who wants to meet in Dominican Republic may not be a scam (per se), but she could just be seeking a nice vacation on your dime.

When you visit her in her city, it takes all these variables out of the equation. Nothing is 100%, but making the first meeting in her city is the best plan by far.

Didn't meant to confuse you
by: Kat

Bob, I think I might not have been clear enough, sorry about that. Didn't meant to confuse you but I never said there are no success stories. There are many of them out there but it's unlikely started with an email.

Russian women are usually in pursuit of a man with money. No, not because they are gold diggers, but because they are looking for providers(even if she is not that pretty, since not every Russian women has been born gorgeous).

They, the men, can be Russian, or any other country but the television has made Russian women believe that US has the best batch. Russian woman can make a great wife but you have to play your part too, they don't take shit and don't like to be taken advantage of (is what I meant).

Many men respect that and make good husbands. I know many who have divorced or are disappointed (I understand that you don't). I was raised here and honestly, I think what you see on TV is not what you get irl. All men are the same everywhere, some are good people and some are jerks. Then again, same goes for women. Nevertheless, US has nice girls too and Russia has some not so nice. You are pretty much gambling.

Tickets
by: Anonymous

I have a special gal and she has her visa B and is at the Moscow airport. She says she has to go through customs and has to show funds to be in the us for 180 days and than she can get her tickets and times and flight schedule to fly to me. It took two weeks for her to get her visa and trip to Moscow for physical and a trip to the U.S. Embassy to receive documents. Is this true!

[Bob's Answer:]

You left out critical information: How did you meet? Who contacted who first? Have you met in person? Have you spoken on Skype? Have you spoken on phone?

Knowing the answers to those questions could push my confidence in the accuracy of my answer to 100%, but 99% says is B.S.

It is true that the U.S. wants to know that a visa holder has funds to support their trip and return home on time, but that is the concern of U.S. officials AT THE U.S. EMBASSY in Russia, NOT customs officials at the departing airport. The customs officials at the Moscow airport are RUSSIAN customs officials, not U.S. And Russian customs officials don't care of a departing Russian citizen has the money to support a trip. Russian officials only business departing travelers from Moscow airport is to make sure no one is taking out anything they shouldn't, or at least taxing them for anything they take.

There are no U.S. customs officials working in the Moscow airport.

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