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Russia and America, the quiet detente Part One

Marriage is a big step, and with it comes responsibility. 
Marrying a girl from overseas comes with additional responsibilities that fall right on the American man's shoulders.  Ask me, I married a Russian woman. 

American men have the advantage when it comes to marrying a Russian, or any overseas woman for that matter.  The US Embassy does a complete background check on the woman when she applies for a visa to this country if she is a convicted criminal, no visa. 

But what assurances does a woman have that the man is not a crimer?  Who does she turn to for verification?   

For a price, the woman can run a criminal check on a person but not that many overseas girls have that kind of money.  A criminal check can run as high as $250.00.  Then there is the length of time needed to run the check and deliver it certified mail to the girl.  This poses some logistical problems.  But, if you take the responsibility of getting the police record check, the cost will be minimal. 

There is also the problem of married men trying to get a woman on the side how does the girl know you are single?  Again, for a price, the girl can run a check on you, but this is very costly. 

There is no legal requirement that you have to prove anything for the moment.  There is a bill before congress that will make it a requirement that you too have a background check. 

One of the best pieces of advice is to have your local police run the criminal check on you and have public records verify that you are single.  In most cases, the fee is nominal.  I paid $20.00 and that was the notary costs, otherwise, the documents were free. 

When dealing with overseas agencies or governments, there is a second notary stamp and that is the Apostille stamp.  This is the only notarization that is recognized world wide and legalizes your documents.  The Apostille stamp is given only at state level, not county, city or district state level. 

One can ask why this is needed, and that is a good question with a simple answer without it, your documents are worthless outside of this country.  

If you are divorced, it is a wise idea to get your divorce papers, have them notarized locally, and then submit to your state agency for the Apostille stamp.  Trust me, you will need this. 

There are two ways one can meet an overseas woman.  One method is through subscription through such agencies as http://www.womenrussia.com/.  The other method is signing up for one of the tours offered through http://www.womenrussia.com/.   

The subscription method, you pay for membership and you see the registered women from that agency.  You can see their picture, read their biography, and if you like what you see, you can get an address, telephone number and/or e-mail address.   You start corresponding.  This gives you freedom to take your time and get to know the woman before you make any decisions.  

The tours are well priced, and for the activities you get, and the accommodations, you can t bet the packages. But it does have its draw backs and the major one for guys is that we don't think with our brains.  You know exactly what I am saying.  A pretty face can hide an evil mind, but that is not what our glands are saying.  Men are visual creatures period. 

What papers should you gather even before starting your adventure?

1.The criminal check
2.A copy of your divorce papers
3.Your birth certificate.
 

Have them locally notarized and then get the Apostille on each document. 

Because your agenda is to find a wife, you need to look at what is called the K-1 visa.  The K-1 allows the woman to apply for a 90 visa to this country for the sole purpose of looking at things and then deciding whether or not you and she are going to marry. 

There are several avenues to approach the K-1 visa.  One is to buy one of the kits yourself the price range starts at about $100.00.  The kit contains every form that you will need, plus a detailed guide on the process.  

The second option is to retain the services of an attorney who specializes in Immigration.  I don t know how much they charge or who to refer you to. 

The K-1 visa specifically states that you and the woman have to have met prior to applying and you have to be able to prove it.  Which means you will be going to that country. 

Whether you choose the K-1 visa kit or retain an attorney is your choice.  Some of the government forms are hard to figure out, but you have the guide for that.  Hiring an attorney, you will have someone who knows these forms like the back of their hand. If the woman has children, your best action is to retain an attorney because children add another dimension to the legal matters. 

The site http://www.womenrussia.com/.  Has information about the K-1 visa written by an attorney.  It would be in your best interests to study up on the visa before hand so you are fully informed.   

Regardless of theroute you take, either through subscription or tour, be sure to offer the criminal check up front.  Give the girl a comfort zone before anything goes too far.  And, I foresee the day coming very soon when the agency itself is going to ask for the criminal check and an negative AIDS test before you even register.  Having said that, a current AIDs test is going to be a wise move on your part.  I can assure you that the woman will be equally happy to provide the same documents on her. 

I've included a form that you can use for the police record check.  

Next, visit http://www.womenrussia.com/.  Elena has gone through great lengths to help both the American man and the Russian woman.  She also has two books that are absolute reading in advance. One is "How To Find And Marry A Girl Like Me" and the other is her guide on how to avoid getting scammed.  Considering what can happen, these books are your insurance policy. 

Yes, I know guys like to be white knights and all.  But like with any country, to include America, there are some vampires out there. Every once in a while, you read about some guy that had just lost thousands to some scammer.  Why take the chance when a little pro-action on your part will show you what you need to do to protect yourself.  I repeat considering what can happen, these books are your insurance policy.  

In Part Two of Russia and America, the quiet detente, I will cover the subscription based program in more detail.  Until then, you have some reading to do. 

Marrying a Russian girl is an adventure onto itself.  A fun adventure full of rewards and happiness, cultural diversity, and just plain exciting.  Even after four years, daily, my wife will do something that absolutely astounds me.   

There is much you can do to prepare yourself to avoid the pitfalls, but there is nothing that can prepare you for the rewards. 

Proposed form for men to fill out

Date
To: Chief of Police....
I require a criminal check, to include a juvenile history...
My home address is....
My Driver’s License Number is....
My SSAN is....
My Date of Birth is....
I am….feet, …..inches tall. I weigh….pounds
My Eye color is……My hair color is……….
I have/not had a name change. If you had a name change, your former name was….
Signature

From: Chief of Police....
You do not have a criminal record….
You have a misdemeanor(s) dated......
You have a felony conviction…..For the crime of…….
(signed and badge number).....
(Notarized by) (Notary stamp)....

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