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Considerations to marrying a Russian woman

1. The women you see on the internet really do exist and their expectations a much more greater than simply having a male foreign pen-pal. The difficulty lies in finding an agency which is reputable and in sifting thought the scammers and real women. Russian women on the internet are young and beautiful. Their culture deems they get married at a young age.

2. If you contact a woman and win her heart, yes you can marry. You cannot marry her unless you win her heart.

3. Yes some Russian women are desperate to leave Russia. However, most are not. Russian women are highly intelligent and will not marry you unless they are made to feel secure in their choice.

4. Gandhi once said, "Be the change in the world you desire." This is so true. If you want your women to love and respect you, please love her and respect her too.

5. If you marry a woman for her body, do not be surprised if she married you for your money.

6. Always consider the broader impact this process will have. Marrying a woman is not a light step. You will need to present yourself to show your true side. When she arrives in your country, her life will change forever. She can never go back for stigmatization and in many respects; such a separation will have the same emotional impact as a divorce.

7. Start by educating yourself as much as possible. Stay away from the sites, which will only present the beautiful side of Russian/Western marriages. There is an ugly side and you must be aware of this. You must know about the lack of transparency and legislation in this business. Know your rights.

8. It is highly advisable to join an e-group or forum designed for men seeking a Russian wife: you will be able to receive advice on any subject, first hand, from men who have been thought this process.

9. You do not need to be a millionaire to marry a Russian woman, but you also cannot be a pauper. I will give you a high and low case. Some women have their own Internet and savings account in Russia. But these are rare cases. They can pay for all documentation and you will need just pay for the plane tickets. But most Russian women do not live like this. Assuming everything goes according to plan you will need to budget for approximately $8000 USD. If you do not have this money, navigating the immigration and legal issues will be difficult.

10. The general age difference is about 10 years. However, the more charming and charismatic you are, the lass important will age be.

11. Countries that Russian women are mostly interested in: Western Europe, USA, Canada, and Australia. Many of them will also consider Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, and other Christian countries.

12. Follow the scheme: first letter - correspondence - phone conversations - personal meeting - receiving a visa for her (type of visa is dependent on the country) - marriage. Show commitment to the process and an understanding if she is not sure of what to do.

13. The most important anti-scam advice: NEVER send money to someone you haven't met in person. If she needs money for emails, use email-forwarding services offered by a reliable agency.

14. Do not fall in love too fast: 3-5 letters are definitely not enough to find out if you met the right person. Especially if you have not used introduction services and never called to the woman, this is not a real relationship, control your feelings.

15. You can make contact with Russian ladies in one of 5 ways: (1) answering women's ads, (2) placing your own ad, (3) personal introductions in Russia, or (4) a phone introduction or (5) using a match-making service.

16. Top Tier agencies sometimes do in-depth profiles of women. They introduce the woman from the perspective of her past and life experiences. The benefit of this is that you will understand much more about her before you write to her and you will understand why she thinks the way she does. The disadvantage is that due to the profiling, she will become very popular and receive many hundreds of letters.

17. Answering women's ads. You have the advantage that you already know some information about the woman, and have seen her photo. When answering women's ads your chance to receive an answer is about 2 to 10; your chance to receive a positive answer to your letter is about 1 to 10 (more if you are young, handsome and athletic, less if you are not good looking or more than 15 years older than her). So to secure 1 positive answer (assuming you meet her requirements) you need to buy at least 10 addresses. The newer the address, the better your chance is to receive an answer.

18. Women's profiles with photos you will find in dating agencies and personals sites.

19. Most reliable places to look for a Russian wife are specialized Russian dating agencies based in the west: they screen their members and provide contact information of the women (postal and email addresses, phone numbers etc). These agencies are run by professional management teams.

20. When doing a background check on an agency, stay away from reading the testimonials on the website. A few of these testimonials may be true, but the vast majority of them may be fabricated. A well recognized agency will run an ethical business and work with internationally respected businesses.

21. Selecting an agency: choose an agency that is recommended by many sources, and ask about it in the e-group you joined. If the agency is bad, people will tell you. If no one knows this agency, you will be better off staying away from them. Please remember that there are many small local agencies in Russia with the same or similar names; so always include particulars (website address, owner's name etc) when ask questions about agencies. As a rule, a good agency will be able to accept payments by credit card, provide references, and have their business address and phone number and fax number listed on the website.

22. Always remember that some agencies are the products of well orchestrated scams. If you really want to be careful you will have to do more than check news groups and other contact details. A respected agency could belong to the Anti-Trafficking-Movement (ATM), and also be a member of the Association of Russian Marriage Agencies (ARMA). Respected agencies will also have dealings with other major organizations and companies. Agencies which claim to be experts in their fields should be working with international law enforcement agencies to protect consumer.

23. How the agencies work: some agencies sell addresses of the women, some require membership, others combine the two options. An average price per address is about $10. Membership options vary from site to site. When selecting a membership option, divide the membership fee on the number of women that are members of the site, and multiply the number by the months of access, and then compare the figures.

24. Most specialized Russian dating agencies will provide you with a facility to search their databases.

25. Decide what type of woman you are looking for: age, appearance, education, kids, personal traits and interests, etc. Write it down.

26. Even thought it would be great ideas to write down the list of things you are not looking for, remember very few agencies provide you with enough details upfront to use this filter. It would therefore be better to use an agency, which can provide you with detailed information on a woman.

27. When looking through the profiles, check all the points, both positive and negative. Do not give into temptation of writing to somebody who is not what you are looking for: remember, you are going to live with this person for the rest of your life, and beauty is not only skin-deep.

28. If you live in a small town, stay away from girls from capitals (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Odessa, and Minsk): women from those cities will struggle to adapt to a life in a small town.

29. Writing your first letter: it is acceptable to send the same letter to all women, but you will have much better results if the letter is custom-made to fit a particular woman's profile. You need to write 1-2 pages about yourself, your life, what you like and dislike, the place where you live, your work, your education, have you been married previously and, if not, why (tip: because you were first busy with your studies/career, and when you have established yourself, you could not find the right woman - most were already married). Do NOT tell in length about your divorce or its reasons, and do not complain about western women and what you dislike about them. Do tell her why you decided to look for a wife in Russia and why you selected her ad. If there are some important things on your checklists that are not reflected in her profile, ask her about them.

30. Try not to make sexual innuendos in your first few letters (before personal meeting). It is not appropriate for Russian women to be discussing sex in their first few letters with you. After you believe you know her well enough, you may bring up the topic.

31. To effectively translate your emotions into your letter, it is better to use a human translator.

32. If you are going to visit the lady's country soon, or if you are ready to visit her country as soon as you find the woman you are looking for, tell her about it.

33. Before closing letter, tell her that you are waiting for her response and want her to answer in any case, even if she is not interested, just to let you know. Tell her that you will accept her decision, whatever it will be, and will not bother her again if she does not find you interesting, but you need to know that she received your letter and did read it.

34. General chain letters used across multiple women may save you time but imagine the disappointment when she reads your letter which might just as well have been written for someone else. Take the time to write real letters and you will not have to buy many addresses.

35. Include at the footer your postal and email address, phone and fax numbers. Don't worry: she will not pop up at your door tomorrow, but you can receive a surprise call from your dream woman. Also you will show her what you have nothing to hide from her. Some men who write to Russian women are already married and Russian women are aware of this.

36. Type your letter: Russian women consider handwritten letters cheap; also they are much more difficult to read.

37. If you don't want pay for translation and plan to send the letter in English, write it in simple words and phrases so she can understand. Some women can read uncomplicated English with dictionary, since all Russians study English or another language at school. Most of women will pay to translate your letter, or spend hours with a dictionary to understand even a bit what you tried to say. Remember the literal translation of your letter from English to Russian will be difficult to understand.

38. It is highly advisable to translate your first letter to Russian. Even though a woman can understand your letter, she will not be able to enjoy it if her English is not perfect. When reading a well-translated letter in her own language, she can enjoy it and she will be very grateful you took the care to make the reading easier for her. You will also be able to fully express yourself and your great sense of humor. You can either make a template letter for all ladies (which is cheaper), or make one template and add separate paragraphs for each lady designed specially for her, and also have them translated (which is more expensive but much more impressive, too). If you translate it at the right place, each woman will compliment you on the quality of your letter and thank you for taking the trouble to translate it to her own language. It will show her you care.

39. If you use software translators for your first letter, it is fine as long as you follow the advice below.

40. If you use a software translator remember to keep your letters as short and simple as possible. Software translators work on script recognition and not the actual meaning of the words combined.

41. You must include your photo with the first letter: a letter without a photo has four times less chance at receiving an answer. The photo should be professionally done, in suit and tie - Russian people believe in formal photos for introductions. If you do not own a suit, rent-it or make it in long-sleeved shirt and tie. If you do not have a tie, buy or borrow one. A good photographer will be able to make you look attractive even if you are not exactly the most handsome guy on the block - although if you write a beautiful letter and not send your photo and still get a reply, this is probably a scammer or "the one".

42. If you have a great body, include also a photo in a muscle hugging T-shirt and blue jeans. NEVER send photos in shorts or without a shirt: it means disrespect.

43. Smile! If you look happy and relaxed on the photo, she will be much more attracted to you. It is must be not a cold formal smile, but a warm smile from your heart.

44. When sending your letter via email, make sure that the files with your photos are not bigger than 20-30 KB in size. Use optimization software like Adobe PhotoShop or Microsoft PhotoDraw. Send your photos as attachments, JPEG format.

45. If you sent an email and have not received a response within 1 week, send another one - copy of the first one and include a few words on the top that you are really interested in hearing from her, and want to know if she received your letter.

46. If you have not received an answer for the second time, send a letter by airmail - she could have lost her access to email (changed jobs, had other expenses and cannot afford Internet at the moment etc).

47. The best way to communicate with a woman who has no e-mail is via a mail-forwarding service. This service takes 1-7 days to deliver the letter. If you choose the registered mail service, you can rest assured that the letter will reach her and she will need to provide her passport to receive the letter. Remember the ITU reports that 21% of all foreign mail entering Russia goes missing.

48. When sending your letter by airmail includes a return envelope (so she does not make a mistake with the address) and an international coupon of post response (so she can answer you free for her - international coupons of post response are available from postal services).

49. Salaries in Russia are very low. If you do not pay for the woman to reply, there is a good chance you may never hear from her.

50. If you did everything right, you will get some responses and will have a few correspondents.

51. If you allow women to write you in Russian (and then translate their letters yourself), you will be able to see better who is more interested in you and who is more compatible with you. You can use either human or software translation to read women's letters. You can find free software translators on the Internet. However using a professional translator will ensure that the meaning of her words is understood also and not just the main points.

52. If you want to offer your woman a special treat, write a long letter once in a while and have it professionally translated to Russian: she will be looking forward to those letters. It will also show you are committed to the process and she will feel more confident about the process.

53. When you think the woman feels comfortable with you, ask for her phone number and the best time to call. Talk for 10-15 minutes (if longer it will be difficult for her to concentrate), and speak very slow and in simple phrases. Remember, it is more difficult to understand a person by phone than face to face. Talking on the phone will make your relationship more "real".

54. Do not forget to congratulate your lady with her birthday, New Year, St. Valentine and Russian Women's Day (8 March).

55. You can send her gifts through an international gift delivery service. Sending gifts by normal mail is not recommended.

56. Also too often foreign mail directed to a Russia is prematurely opened by people looking for foreign currency or other valuables. The Russian mail system is structurally inefficient and notoriously slow.

57. Consider that Moscow is the second most expensive city in the world after Tokyo. Your partner will find it very difficult to pay for any correspondence. By offering to pay for the communication, you can relieve some of the burden on her. A teacher earning 10 rubles a day must work 3 days to pay for one letter.

58. If your partner has access to Internet - Chat, instant messenger and videoconferences are great ways to get to know each other better. Explain her how to use them and she will be delighted to talk to you "in real time". The best location for this is

59. If you realize that some women are not what you are looking for, you should tell them about that you are going to stop the correspondence. Do NOT disappear without notice! It is very heartbreaking for a woman, and she will wonder for a long time what happened to you and if you are OK, worrying about you, isn't fair. If you started correspondence, you must end it decently. Think how you would feel if the person you like the most just stopped writing to you.

60. Although there are many, many women who seriously looking for marriage on the Internet, there are those who are young and looking for a friend. It will be a good idea to state your intentions up front. If she is just looking for a friend, it may be a good idea to find out more about Ukraine and Russia from her or just move on.

61. If you decide on one woman and want to stop corresponding with others, tell your lady about it to assure her you are serious. Most women have multiple correspondents because they are really not sure if any of man will meet them. According to statistics, only 1% of men who write to women ever make trip to Russia. Show her you are ready to visit her, and she will be yours.

62. Placing your own ad: the advantage of this way is that all women that write to you have already seen your profile and photo, and found you interesting. In this way you will receive in average 1 response to 2 letters sent (some women might decide you are not their type after learning more about you). The disadvantage is that you will also receive lots of letters from women that you do not find attractive (which is exactly the same for women when they place their ads).

63. When placing your own ad, you will need a professional photo and sound self-description.

64. How to write a good self-description: look through the profiles of women that they liked - what kind of man they are looking for? Do you possess some of the qualities they want to see in their future husband? Those are the qualities you should include in your self-description.

65. All women want to meet men that are: intelligent, educated, kind, reliable, decent, honest, good looking physically fit, interested in sport, love children and animals, even tempered, financially secure, generous and have a good sense of humor. They also favor men that well traveled.

66. All women dislike men that are: cruel, and think he is better then her because he is American, Canadian, Australian etc, and treat her as person of second nature - sort, dishonest, uneducated, mean, unreliable, have bad tempers, are unfaithful, hypocritical, obese, lazy, broke, untidy, greedy, and stingy. Many women also dislike men with facial hair and long hair. If you have long hair, put it in a pony-tale when taking photos. Later when she will get know you better and if she will feel you are the only and one for her your features will not be important.

67. There are 2 types of listings you can place: free and paid. Free listings are offered by some specialized Russian dating agencies and also by large personals. Paid listings are offered by most specialized Russian dating agencies.

68. Free listings of specialized Ukrainian and Russian dating agencies: you will need to pay for each email that you send and receive, and you will not be able to ask the lady for her address and email as this information will be deleted from the letters. So if you were to exchange only 10 letters with only one woman, and each letter costs you $6, it will be $120 for 10 letters back and forth.

69. Free listings by large personals: those are the sites where anyone is invited to place a free ad. Since answering ads often requires paid membership, and most Russian women do not have credit cards to pay the membership fee via Internet, you will not receive any letters from honest, sincere Russian women. Large personals are also often actively used by scam artists since the ads are not screened.

70. Paid listings of specialized Russian dating agencies: in this way you pay once, and have your ad running for a definite period of time, or published in gentlemen catalogs or newspapers. Answering a paid ad will be free for a woman and receiving her response and writing to her will be free for you.

71. Agencies actively promote their gentlemen's catalogs, as for them they are the means of attracting new female clients. If you are thinking about placing your own ad, it may be sensible to use also the ad placement in newspaper offered by most agencies. The benefit is that women who do not have access to Internet can still read your ad in the newspaper.

72. Remember that when you place an ad with your direct email address (online or offline) anybody can get this address and write to you. Some local Russian agencies sell addresses of eligible men to their female members. So it is wise to register a separate email account for your self-advertising campaign, and then close it down when you are done. After exchanging a few letters you can redirect selected candidates to your main email account.

73. You must answer every woman who took the trouble to answer your ad - remember how frustrating and unpleasant it is to send a letter and receive no answer, wondering if women ever get your letter?

74. Create a signature that you will use for unsuccessful applicants, so you will save time. Some like: "Thank you for your nice letter but I have a clear image of my future partner and unfortunately it does not sound like you; you are an interesting woman and definitely will find your true destiny, I wish you good luck in your search, sincerely," will do just fine.

75. Generic letters may save you time. But they may force sincere women to stop writing to you because she believes you are not sincere enough.

76. Attach a photo (JPEG format, under 30 KB) - a different one than is on your profile. Often women send letters to a few men, and then struggle to sort out who is who. Because of the same reason, it is a good idea to repeat some information from your profile (rephrased).

77. After you have corresponded for some time, and asked her all the questions that are important to you, and received satisfactory answers, you should decide on the personal meeting. How long should you correspond before you meet her? You need to exchange at least 10-20 letters before you consider a personal meeting, which usually happens in 2-3 months (if you communicate via email) or 6-12 months (if you correspond by mail). If you communicate for too long, you might create an image in your mind, which will not correspond with reality. If you communicate too short, you can meet the wrong person. Make sure your correspondence is good (i.e. she does understand you and you do understand her) and all the important questions have been discussed.

78. Personal meeting: there are 3 options to meet each other: (1) you visit her, (2) she visits you, or (3) you meet in a third country or in the capital of her country. If you are from the US, option (2) will be almost impossible to do.

79. If you visit her (1), you will be able to meet her family and friends and see the environment she grew up in. It will also make her feel secure, and ensure her you are serious. This is option is the best if you are really serious about your relationship.

80. When you visiting her country, you can also meet more than 1 lady during your visit. International correspondence makes it difficult to communicate with only one woman at once. However when visiting a woman it is better not to tell her you will visit other women. We have seen many women lose interest if they feel a man is not interested in them alone.

81. You will need a visa to visit Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. If you stay in a hotel, they will provide you with an invitation. If you stay at the woman's home, she must send you a personal invitation. If you travel through Russia, Ukraine or Belarus transit, you will need a transit visa. Both tourist and transit visas should be obtained at the Russian (Ukrainian, Belarusian) Consulate in your home country and are not issued on arrival.

82. If you invite her to visit you (2), she can see the place where she is going to live. It is also more convenient for you but it can create a problem for her: it is not easy to receive a visa to most Western European countries (where a woman from Russia cannot receive a visa), and it is also expensive so she probably will not be able to pay herself. If you live in the USA, Canada or Australia, it is almost absolutely impossible she will be able to visit you first - she won't get a visitor's visa; almost never agency or friends in the Embassy can help.

83. Still, if you live in Europe, inviting a woman to visit you is an option. Receiving a visa can be easy if you follow the rules and do everything right.

84. If you meet in a third country (or in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kiev etc) (3), you both are unattached and can enjoy getting to know each other while sightseeing together. Most women will travel inside their country to meet you (so do not reject a woman only because she lives too far - an air ticket to the capital of her country will cost under $150-300; and a train ticket within 500 miles - under $30-80).

85. You are expected to pay all expenses when you are together. If you stay at a woman's apartment, give her some "household" money in advance when you arrive ($10-20 per day). If a woman had spent some money for visa or tickets to visit you or meet you in a capital of her country, reimburse her first thing when you meet. A few hundred dollars is not much for you but it is a few months salary for her.

86. When visiting a woman at her home, always bring presents for her and her family: perfume or something of gold for ladies, spirits, wine, and champagne for men, soft or electronic toys for kids. According to Russian traditions, a guest is expected to bring presents, and it is rude not to bring anything. Those presents should be brought from abroad (Duty Free shops will do just fine).

87. Ask your lady to introduce you to her family and friends. If she does not want you to meet her family, it is a sign she is not really interested in you.

88. When visiting people while in Ukraine or Russia (ladies' family, friends etc) you are expected to bring a presents. The best present will be flowers for the hostess and a bottle of good wine. If there are kids, buy them sweets. These presents can be purchased in the nearest street shop (kiosk). If you don't bring presents, they will decide you are rude and stingy.

89. At the festive table you are expected to try every dish (or most dishes). All the dished were prepared for you and you could offend the host if you at least do not try something. Also drink when a toast is proposed. If you do not want to drink alcohol, say you have a medical condition that does not allow drinking (but explain it is not a serious condition). Do not say you do not like drinking; they want you to be part of the family and this means having just a little drink.

90. Do not drink alcohol or beer if your lady does not drink at all. Never get drunk.

91. Do not comment that something is expensive: Russian meaning of the word "expensive" is rather absolute (I do not have money to buy it) than relative (this item is overpriced). If you do not want to buy something, just say so "No, we are not buying it" but say this soft, explain that it is overpriced, do not say you are not buying it because it is expensive.

92. Counting money during the courtship is considered very bad manners in Ukraine and Russia. It does not mean you should buy her everything she asks for: a decent woman will not ask to buy her expensive things. A normal woman will never ask you to buy anything for her. If she does not have a dress or clothing, she will let you know about the problem in some other way. If you really care about her, you will then find a way to deal with this problem.

93. But a woman will expect you to buy her drinks and meals when you are together. In Ukraine and Russia men always pay for women even if they just friends, this is just tradition. Do not let your partner go hungry!

94. You must discuss the future of your relationship before you leave. If you do not discuss it, she will feel insecure and offended. If your Ukrainian / Russian partner don't know English and you don't know Russian it is a good idea to have 2 letters written in advance, "Yes you are my only one" letter and "I think you are very cute, charming and intelligent lady, but I think we not the best for each other. I am sure you will find your happiness" letter, translated to Russian. In this way there are no misunderstandings. If you didn?t make the decision before last day - give her the corresponding letter a few hours before you part, so she has some time to come to terms with your decision while still in your company. Be kind with her and try not to break her heart.

95. If you decide go to romantic tours: preparing for the tour is not complicated: take your best clothes (a suit and a tie is a must), and buy some presents for the women you will date (perfumes are the safest bet). Everything else - air tickets, hotels, excursions, transfers etc - will be organized by the tour company.

96. If you think you've met the right woman, and want to marry her, the right way depends on the country. Most countries have special visas: fiance' or spouse visas. Those visas are specially designed to allow foreign nationals to marry a citizen.

97. For USA it will be fiance' (K-1) visa that you should apply for: it is special non-immigrant visas given to people that intend to marry. To receive a fiance' visa you must prove that you have met in person before (4-10 "romantic" photos together, air tickets, hotel bills, tickets to concerts and other activities you attended together, etc), and that you have an established relationship (include copies of emails, envelopes/letters, postcards, phone bills, etc). You both should be legally free to marry (not married at the moment), and your fiance' should not have a criminal record or dangerous disease (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, syphilis etc). You need to have a yearly income of more than 125% of the current poverty level (more than $13,500). Only USA citizens can apply for a fiance' visa; permanent residents are not eligible for this visa and should marry outside the country.

98. You must be married within 3 months from the arrival of your fiance' on the fiance' visa, or she will have to go back. The fiance' visa cannot be extended; in case you did not marry she will have to re-apply for another visa to enter the USA for the second time. A warning here is that it will be very difficult for the women to get a visa again if she is sent back to Russia.

99. Unmarried children of fiance' visa holders under 21 years old receive visas K-2 (no separate application is required, visas are issued automatically).

100. Since 2001 spouses of American citizens (if you married in her country) are eligible for a non-immigrant visa K-3 (their children for visas K-4), which take a longer time to process than immigrant spouse visas.

101. For Australia it will be prospective marriage temporary visa (subclass 300). You will need to demonstrate that you and your fiance' met in person and that your relationship is genuine and you intend to marry and live together as spouses. You will need to provide the range of documentation to prove that your relationship is established and genuine (letters, air tickets, tickets to concert and other activities you attended together, phone bills, photos together and photos of the engagement, etc - the more documents you present, the better). You will also need to provide assurance of financial support for your wife to be, so the migrant will not rely on any Government form of support. You must be engaged to be married and wish to marry in Australia within 9 months from the date of issuance of the visa. Both Australian citizens and permanent residents can apply for a prospective marriage temporary visa.

102. Children of prospective marriage temporary visa applicants under 18 years old should be included in the application and will receive visas to Australia together with their mothers.

103. If you are legally married to an Australian citizen (marriage in your country or any other foreign country), you are eligible for a spouse migrant visa. Dependent children of spouse migrant visas applicants should be included in the application and will also receive visas, if the mother's application is approved.

104. For South Africans you could send a personal letter of invitation to your lady to receive a visa. If you are honest and provide the embassy with the correct details, then they could approve your application within a few days. It is best to apply for a 3 month visa. When your lady comes down you can spend some time to get to know each other better. You can then file for temporary residence and later for permanent residence. All that is required is proof of income from the sponsor and proof of cohabitation.

105.Generally, the better your financial situation, the easier you will get the visa for your fiance'. It will also help if she is a high class professional and holds a degree.

106. You can also decide to marry in Russia, and then apply for a spouse visa for your wife. In the case of Russian marriage, you will need to produce a legal document that you are free to marry, certified document of your legal address, birth certificate, divorce certificate (or death certificate) if you were married before, and your passport. All documents, except for the passport, should be legalized, notarized, and have a copy translated to Russian by a certified translator.

107. Most women moving to foreign countries are worried about being completely dependent on their husbands. It is humiliating for a woman to ask money for purchases every time, when she is used to working and having her own income. First months after her arrival she definitely will not be able to work because of the problems with language. The best idea is to open a bank account in her name where she can have a debit card, and every month put some money on this account ($200-300 a month will be sufficient; if your lady had higher income in Russia, you should compensate her former income). Do not ask how she spends the money and do not check her statements. Tell her about this arrangement before she arrives.

108. Several Tier One agencies offer elaborate yet useful Marriage Support services. For example one innovative feature offered is the "Orientation Package". If your fiance' will be coming to 75 Jefferson Lane, Portland Oregon, then a package is put together detailing what the area is like, the people, location of shops, location of other facilities, distance to amenities, things to consider and also considers pictures. The package also consists of Russian lessons for the man and English lessons for the women.

109. When your fiance' received her visa, buy her return ticket, so she is not worried sick that she will be stuck with you if you are not compatible. Everything that makes a woman feel secure is beneficial for your relationship. You will be able to receive a partial refund for the non-used part of the ticket, if it was purchased in your country (you pay at home, and she will be able to pick up the ticket in the office of the air company at her country).

110. Adaptation: when she arrives, don't be surprised if she is not very affectionate and does not seem very happy. Please understand she had to leave her homeland, her family and friends behind, and this makes her feel sad. She is still unsure if everything will work out for you and her. The process of receiving the visa is also very stressful and frustrating, and she may simply be tired. Let her rest and relax, and in a couple of weeks she will be a different person. Be kind and patient with her.

111. Things that Russians are not used to: asking "How are you?" when meet (they only say "Hello" in Russia, then go ahead); saying "Thank you" for any help or service, especially at shops; smiling without a reason; buying groceries only once a week; wearing street shoes at home; the wedding protocol; credit cards and checks; paid medical aid; insurance policies; private pension funds. Explain to her everything in detail - she will hesitate to ask. She will be thankful that you care enough to make her understand everything.

112. Encourage her to spend as much time as possible with other people. Ask your family to ask her for help in choosing gifts for Christmas, arranging a birthday party, babysitting, shopping etc. Ask your church if they need help with some projects. People should not offer to help her - she will decline; they must ask her to help them. The more time she spends with people, the faster she will adapt.

113. Remind your fiance' to bring her Russian English dictionary from Russia and other books that can help her find necessary words if she will need to say something or understand an issue.

114. Sign her up for ESL courses - this way she will meet other people whose English (another language) is not perfect, and will not feel too bad about her own poor English. As soon as her English improves (usually within 6-8 months), she will become much more outgoing and sociable.

115. Do not press her to attend a Russian church (only if she wants to) or make friends with other Russian people. Russian people that immigrate to the USA (or another country) on their own do not like Russian women that marry Americans because they think the women get it "too easy" while they had to struggle. The best Russian friends for her will be other Russian women married to men from your country. They will be able to advise her on many things that they already have gone through.

116. The process does not look easy, but by following our advice above and just following your heart and common sense, it will become a reality.

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