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How Do Mail-Order Brides Work?

How Do Mail-Order Brides Work?

From 1994 to 2009 (the year when one of the toughest immigration laws was abolished), the number of marriage migrants to the UK increased from 30K to 77K. From 2021 to 2022, it increased from around 194K to 242K

Needless to say, the growth is dramatic.

The mail-order bride business is still going strong, actually. But it has changed a lot, too. How do mail-order brides work in the modern world? That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss. 

Top mail-order brides & international dating sites

Agencies aren’t such a big thing anymore. Most men in the UK find their foreign spouses on international dating sites and mail-order bride websites, and we’ve already chosen a few top options for you. 


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How do mail-order brides work? Who are they?

mail-order bride

Are mail-order brides legal? The short answer is yes, they are. Don’t take our word for it, though. Take a look at the definitions and explanations below, and you’ll see why the modern mail-order bride business operates in the legal field. 

Let’s start with definitions.

A modern mail-order bride is a woman looking for a foreign husband and isn’t expecting anything in return. It’s a husband and not a boyfriend because she’s interested in starting a family instead of another short-term relationship. She’s 100% motivated to build a deep emotional connection and a genuine romantic relationship with her compatible match and not just marry a random man who’s also ready to settle down. 

Again, a modern mail-order wife isn’t compensated by the website, agency, or her potential spouse for her desire to get married. She isn’t motivated by the sole desire to immigrate, either. Usually, it’s about a complex mix of different social, personal, cultural, and political factors that make her think intermarriage is a great option. This mix will be different for every specific country. 

A lot of men wonder how to find a wife if, in reality, they don’t make any orders or choose women from catalogs. In fact, the process is very similar to regular online dating. Here’s how things really work for men and women: 

  1. The woman decides that she wants to get married to a foreigner and chooses a regional site (Asian, Latin, European) where women from her country find husbands most frequently. 
  2. The mail-order bride shares a lot of details when creating her account on a niche site and verifies her new profile. The man also joins the community. 
  3. They meet, chat, and get to know each other better. If they really like each other, they start a long-distance relationship and then meet offline.
  4. If partners realize they are each other’s soulmates, the bride applies for a foreign partner visa to the UK and they get married. 

Usually, the entire process takes around a year. During this time, partners build a legitimate emotional connection. They get married only if they have a genuine relationship as required by law, and contrary to common belief, the wife doesn’t have any special duties. A mail-order bride is not a woman who agrees to be obedient in exchange for the opportunity to migrate to the UK. Such an approach is nothing but a relic of the past. 

Pros and cons of finding a foreign wife

Potential benefits of finding a mail-order wife:
  1. Opportunity to find a spouse in a country where your views of life, family, gender roles, etc. are the most common. 
  2. Opportunity to find a woman you’d be 100% attracted to, both emotionally and physically. 
  3. Higher speed of finding a potential spouse both due to the modern advanced matching algorithms and the fact that you’ll be connected to women with the same relationship goals. 
  4. Advanced communication features will help you build a strong emotional connection event at a distance. 
  5. The total sum of money you’ll spend on dating services and trips will still be lower than the average sum a man usually spends during a long-term offline relationship. 
  6. In the end, you get a healthy relationship with a woman who’s usually more motivated to make it work than an average girl you can meet in the UK. 
Potential drawbacks of finding a mail-order wife:
  1. There’s a chance of getting scammed. 
  2. You’ll need to go through a long-distance phase in your relationship, and that may be exhausting. 
  3. Your couple is likely to face the mail-order bride stigma. 
  4. You’ll still need to invest money in the experience. 
  5. Going through bureaucratic procedures is also a must. Your bride won’t be able to marry you without getting a visa. 

How do I make sure that your online foreign bride is real?

On sites like ours, men can find mail-order brides easily. We take all safety precautions, but perfect systems just don’t exist, so we recommend members follow these simple recommendations: 

You can double-check photos shared by a woman using tools like Google Image search. We do it ourselves, but you can also do it for your comfort.
Ensure you see one person in different photos. We check that too, but again, you can’t be too careful when it comes to online dating.
Focus on people with videos.
Read bios carefully and spot things that contradict previously shared information in your private conversations.
Initiate instant phone and video calls.
If you hear excuses (excuses to meet offline, to take a call, to send you a recent photo or video, etc.) report a scam to us and block the person.
Block anyone who asks for money right away. We also ask you to contact us immediately if anything like that happens so we can block the scammer.

We are updating and improving our security system and moderation algorithms, so you can have a great dating experience here. Still, if you follow these recommendations, you can feel even safer. If you spot anything wrong, please contact us so we can improve our system. Your cooperation will be much appreciated.  

Summing up

Mari Kovanen

Now you know how mail-order brides work, and the next important question is whether such a scheme is acceptable and beneficial for you personally. If yes, start your dating journey and remember that in this case, being more rational than emotional is actually the only right approach. Choose the site carefully, take safety precautions, and select matches wisely, and you’ll definitely succeed. 

Mari Kovanen
Dating Expert
Hi, I'm Dr. Mari Kovanen, a therapist, dating expert, and chief author at Mail-order-bride.co.uk. I write most dating guides for Mail-order-bride.co.uk and I'm also responsible for giving online dating advice to singles who are planning to use international dating websites to find love overseas.