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IMBRA

On January 5, 2006, President Bush signed the “International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005” (“IMBRA”) into law as part of the reauthorized “Violence Against Women Act” (“VAWA 2005”). The motivation behind IMBRA was alarming evidence of a growing nationwide trend of abuse and exploitation of so-called “mail-order brides.” In an effort to prevent future tragedies, the new law imposes regulations on the international marriage broker (“IMB”) industry as well as mandates certain changes to the process by which an American citizen may petition to sponsor a foreign fiancé(e) or spouse to come to the United States (on either a “K1” (fiancé(e)) or “K3” (spouse) visa). IMBRA is a bipartisan, common-sense law that provides foreign fiancé(e)s/spouses with information about the violent criminal history of their American fiancé(e)s/spouses, as well as about the rights and resources available to domestic violence victims in the United States. These vital disclosures will enable foreign women to make informed decisions that will help protect them and their children from domestic violence.

The law was intended to provide more information to foreign women about the men who were writing to them before they decided to exchange personal contact information. IMBRA does not prevent you from corresponding with or meeting the women profiled on the site, and you can still exchange personal contact information. It is important that you only use sites that are compliant with IMBRA, otherwise you may experience difficulties when applying for a Fiancée visa for the woman to travel to the United States as IMBRA is now a question that is asked as part of the process.

The IMBRA form is fast, easy, and safe to complete and only needs to be completed once no matter how many women you are corresponding with, we will store it, and make it accessible to the women with whom you have an interest. The form consists of questions concerning certain past criminal acts, marital status, children, restraining orders, if you have ever sponsored a fiancée in the past, and the states in which you have resided, and is affirmed by you as being true and correct. We may also conduct a sex offender search using the national sex offender date base. There is no personal information asked for or given on the IMBRA form, (such as your address or even E-mail address), thus there is no possibility of any misuse of information. Your personal information such as your address or E-mail address is never released to any of the women, (or anyone else for that matter) unless you do so yourself.

The United States Government has passed legislation (Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act, subtitle D sec. 831-834) that requires that you complete an IMBRA form (found on the site in the members area) to exchange personal contact information with the women. If you decide to move forward with a fiancée visa with a particular woman you will have to show a copy of this form to the USCIS. It is very important that you only use sites that are compliant with IMBRA so you do not experience any difficulties with the Fiancée visa process due to any issue with IMBRA.

Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act, subtitle D sec. 831-834 (commonly referred to as IMBRA)

The following information is for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and is not intended as a representation of current USCIS law. Please seek the help of a qualified Immigration Attorney for any legal advice pertaining to IMBRA, USCIS or General Immigration Law.

Q.     What is IMBRA?

  A.     IMBRA (International Marriage Broker Regulation Act) is legislation that, theoretically, is designed to give foreign women more information about US men. It was attached (it failed to pass when it was initially introduced on its own) to the larger Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act. It went into effect in March, 2006.

 

Q.     What do I have to do to comply with IMBRA?

   A.     All you need to do is to complete the form that we provide for you in the members area when you register. The form only takes a minute or two to complete and consists of questions regarding certain past criminal acts, marital status, history of restraining orders, whether or not you have children, if you have ever sponsored a fiancée in the past, and the states you have resided in, (It does not contain your personal information such as your address or any information that could be used for identity theft in any way!) and is affirmed by you as being true and correct.

 

Q.     What if I use a service that does not comply or a foreign service.

   A.     The law states that it does not matter where the company was set up, United States, Russia, or any country for that matter, it still must comply with this law if it is selling contact information to US residents. The problem will come in when your fiancee applies for her visa. The consular officer must ask her how she met and if she used the services of an International Matchmaker Organization. If you used an agency that does not comply her fiancée visa can be denied. Thus it is very important that you use an agency that is complying with this legislation.

 

Q.     Is there now a limit as to how many Fiancee Visas I can process?

   A.     The law is somewhat vague on that issue, below is an excerpt from the law that addresses the number of fiancée visas one can request: Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), a consular officer may not approve a petition under paragraph (1) unless the officer has verified that-- (i) the petitioner has not, previous to the pending petition, petitioned under paragraph (1) with respect to two or more applying aliens; and (ii) if the petitioner has had such a petition previously approved, 2 years have elapsed since the filing of such previously approved petition. The Secretary of Homeland Security may, in the Secretary's discretion, waive the limitations in subparagraph (A) if justification exists for such a waiver. Except in extraordinary circumstances and subject to subparagraph (C), such a waiver shall not be granted if the petitioner has a record of violent criminal offenses against a person or persons.

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