Learn about IMBRA before you get serious about her!

by Mark B.
(Winston Salem N.C.)


1st this is from my own current experience. If a website offers, and or requires IMBRA information don't overlook it's importance.

The site where I meet Natasha had an IMBRA form (International Marriage Broker Regulation Act).

U.S.C.I.S. is cracking down on this. Question 35 on the I-29F form to petition the Government for your fiancee visa asks where the you met.

I never placed any merit on this because the site never ask for money, or advertised IMBRA to me. I assumed it was a formality to protect both parties. That makes sense but apparently this was a very relaxed point in the past. Now it's being used to deny many K-1 applications/petitions.

I can only say that I obviously checked into this once we received a RFE (Request for Evidence). The crackdown on question 35 per a K-1 is info I received from many reliable sources. I believe the consistency is proof that a very real issue in the Gov is now implementing this more than in the past.

We got a request for evidence. This has added 3-4 months to our K-1 timeline, and we will hear from them by Jan, 16, 2018. They received our evidence on Nov 16, 2017.

In short be warned. If you file a I-29F fiancee petition be PREPARED to answer how you meet your fiancee ahead of time. And have your proof ready for your filing.

Now we're concerned about being denied, or having to send in more time consuming information. Understand I respect the IMBRA info, as it protects Russian women and U.S. men alike. Example: She can see if I am divorced, and if so how many times, and other serious info. But the process from first signing up for a website to meeting her and filing K-1; Does not make the need for submitting IMBRA proof very clear.

Per lack of clarity I made a mistake. And hopefully we have remedied this. So I want to pass this on to the men planning to file a I-129F, and I assume a K-2 ask this as well.

In short, have solid PROOF for the government as to when, where, and how you meet your Russian or foreign fiancee.

Comments for Learn about IMBRA before you get serious about her!

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RE: Learn about IMBRA before you get serious about her!
by: Bob (Site Owner)

Thanks for the post, but allow me to add my two cent's worth.

As I recall from a previous post, you answered "No" to that question 35 ("Did you meet your fiance(e) or spouse through the services of an international marriage broker?").

I submitted this I-29F myself in 2011 and IMBRA was in full force then too. And initially I didn't know what to do with this question 35 (actually it appears that it was question 19 on the form then, "Did you meet your fiance(e) or spouse through the services of an international marriage broker?").

When I read IMBRA it seemed like the site where we met (www.RussianCupid.com) would NOT qualify as an "International Marriage Broker". As I recall, to be an IMB one qualification was that only the MAN had to pay. But the way Russian Cupid operates is that at least one party to communication must be a paying member, WHETHER IT IS THE MAN, WOMAN, OR BOTH.

I also contacted Russian Cupid support and asked them if they were legally considered an IMB. They said they were NOT an IMB.

But I spent a LOT of time at Visa Journey: Your US Immigration Community and Russian Ukrainian Adventures researching anything I found unclear. In those forums the unanimous opinion was that ANY site where foreigners could meet online was regarded by the U.S. government as an "International Marriage Broker".

So, I answered "Yes". In the box below the question where you could provide details I put the web address of the site and the physical address of the site's offices (which was listed somewhere on the site).

But no matter how you go about this, it is important to do it carefully and correctly.

That means that if you're going to do the whole process yourself, you will need to spend time researching these questions. And that's something that I think comes with practice. For example, you will probably find conflicting answers to almost any question addressed on forums. You just need to develop an instinct for recognizing the right answer.

I see that member "TurboGuy" is still at Visa Journey. As of right now (December 2017) his last post was late 2016. But HE'S AWESOME. He knows his stuff. At least he did when I was applying. I would recommend reading every one of his posts regarding fiancee/spousal visas/etc.

But if you're not equipped to do this kind of research, or even to know which questions to ask or how to recognize the right answers, HIRE A LAWYER TO DO IT FOR YOU. And for the lawyer, ASK HIM/HER how many fiancee visa cases they've handled in the past year. Ask if he/she knows what "IMBRA" is. If it's "Zero" and "No", call another lawyer.

And it doesn't need to be a lawyer local to you.

I just Googled us immigration lawyer imbra ukraine fiancee. The very first search result was Law Office of Joel J. Turney. The top right corner of the home page says "We work nationwide - call us today for a free consultation".

As I read parts of the site I am impressed. In fact, if I were in the market for this kind of service this would be my first call. I've never heard of him before now, and he may be better at marketing than actual service, but he looks good. He offers a flat fee of $975.

I know that at Visa Journey: Your US Immigration Community the nearly unanimous opinion is one does not need a service to help with this application process, but that's really a judgment call.

Having gone through this before I believe I would probably find a lawyer to do it for me next time.

I-129 Approved after RFE per Question from Gov
by: Mark

1st in past I again did not think of the site I meet my wife to be an IMBRA. Now I understand the U.S. gov=USCIS thinks it is, or could be. But;

As of today, Dec 9th, I called and we we're approved on Dec 7th. I am so very happy and shocked. However this did add 3 or 4 possible months of wait time for us.

If you're on a site that ask you about prior marriages, and personal things listed as IMB or IMBRA, it is considered an International Marriage Broker (IMB). Once you meet a woman and know you want marriage. Go send the page on the site with proper info to her. She gets it translated to show she read it and understands you on the points it covers. They will accept it sent back to you w/cert translation, and notarization in Russia.

Per question # 35 "Where did you meet your finance?) answer Yes to IMBRA in cases where it is on the site you meet her, and send in the IMBRA form w/translation. It's simple but until you do it it's not simple to understand. Hope this helps a lot of guys. (* I would also write a letter saying you meet on a date site that includes IMBRA info so they understand 1st time.)

RE: I-129 Approved after RFE per Question from Gov
by: Bob (Site Owner)

Awesome! Congrats!

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