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Frequently asked questions about Russia, visas, immigration, scams etc

If you fail to find an answer to your question here, feel free to contact us and ask your question

First time visitor (not a member yet)

About us and our service, pricing and much more...

New member

Correspondence, support, your profile.

Next step. Travelling to Russia

What to expect, how will it all go, what to bring along...

Visas and Immigration

Getting Russian visa, bringing your beloved woman to your country, costs, timing...

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First time visitor (not a member yet)

Q: Your website says I can use your services free of charge. How does that work?

A. Ladies do not pay for ANY of our services. Many services are free for men, as well: posting their profiles, searching our database, sending messages and "smiles". Men only pay for opening letters from women. They can do that by purchasing credits. More details.


Q: Do you offer any discounts?

A. After opening 15 paid messages from a lady, you can request to have the price of her letters lowered to 5 credits. You are also entitled to this reduction if you have requested the lady's contact information using the expedite service. In case the lady's contact information does not include an email address, the price can be further reduced to 1 credit per letter; however, translation is not provided at this price. If you want to keep using our translation services, the price will have to stay at 5 credits per letter.


Q. How can I contact you by mail?

A. You will find our mail address Here together with other contact information. All correspondence including payments, orders, and inquiries may be sent to this address.

Q. What is a "friend list" on a particular profile?

A. Firstly, this is not a list of people the person in question is necessarily corresponding with. You can invite a Member to be your friend by sending them a special note. If they accept, they are added to your friend list, and vice versa. You can remove any person from your friend list at any time by logging into your profile, going to "Communicator", then "Friend members", checking those you wish to delete and clicking "Delete from Friend List".

The people on your friend list can view your password-protected private photos that are inaccessible to other members.

Any member or visitor of the website can view your friend list. It is up to you to choose how many people (if any) to add to it. The number of people on the friend list can be interpreted in a number of ways. Having a lot of friends listed may mean that a girl is popular, or that she is easy-going and fun to interact with. Having just one person on the list may mean she is serious about him, while having no friends listed at all shows that she prefers to keep her relationships private. The same goes for men and their friend lists, of course. Take into account the ratings of her pictures (the number of votes and the average rating), and her popularity (more credits per letter means more correspondents).


Q. What is "trust level"?

A. The trust level is a credibility rating given to a female profile by our staff. A staff member can rate a profile on one or more of multiple scales: passport scans, live meeting, phone conversation, video, correspondence. Some are rated according to the staff member's own judgement (such as passport scans or phone calls), and others (like correspondence or meetings) according to the feedback we receive from our male members. Combined, these ratings make up the trust level. Each category carries different weight (e.g., feedback on a meeting is more important than the passport scan); the exact formula is complex and classified, so it cannot be used to artificially raise the trust level. A trust level of 100% means that we have received definitive proof that the woman behind the profile is a real person, and all her communications originate from herself. This doesn't mean, of course, that anyone with less than 100% is automatically fake or dishonest, although you should be wary of profiles with a trust level of 40% or less. Note that the absence of a trust level is not the same as a low trust level. A female profile doesn't have a trust level by default and may never get one, unless it gives us a reason to rate it.

Q.  How can I be sure I won't be scammed on your site?

A. Unfortunately, this is a problem one encounters on many online dating sites. Scammers, whose only purpose is leeching men of their mone, hide behind the pictures of beautiful women. We are aware of this threat and do our best to make this site as safe as possible. We monitor any suspicious activities of our members. If a woman sends a lot of letters requesting gifts and/or money, we run a check on her. Besides, most women are represented by their agencies, which means they have to deal with our representatives every time they come to the agencies. On our site you are practically safe, but still, your best defense is your common sense. If you get a message that you think may be a scam attempt, please let us know.

 

Q. I can not reach you by the toll-free number listed on your site.

A: Toll-free numbers do not work for people who call us from outside of the continental US which may or may not include Hawaii and also Canada and Puerto Rico. This goes for our toll-free main and fax numbers. Some of our Canadian customers can reach us, but some can't. In this case you may use our regular (toll) numbers or contact us via live chat 24 hours a day absolutely free.


 Q. The girls on your site are so beautiful. Do they actually exist?

A. Rest assured that they do. All profiles on the site are real and active.  

Unfortunately, this is a problem one encounters on many online dating sites. Scammers, whose only purpose is leeching men of their mone, hide behind the pictures of beautiful women. We are aware of this threat and do our best to make this site as safe as possible. We monitor any suspicious activities of our members. If a woman sends a lot of letters requesting gifts and/or money, we run a check on her. Besides, most women are represented by their agencies, which means they have to deal with our representatives every time they come to the agencies. On our site you are practically safe, but still, your best defense is your common sense. If you get a message that you think may be a scam attempt, please let us know.

We select the best girls, which is why they are so beautiful.


Q. What if these women are only after US residency? How can I be sure she is going to stay with me once she has got her Green Card?

A. Let us be frank: we are not responsible for their actions. Nor is any other agency, so don’t believe it if they claim they can vouch for their ladies. Naturally, we do some checking and screening, but we cannot read minds. Yet :) Besides, to get unconditional permanent residency in the US the woman has to stay married to the man for 2 years. This is the law. Together with the processing time it makes 3 years. This is enough time to impress the lady, isn't it? :) Of, course, there are people who are only after the green card, but they are not many. Most of our beautiful ladies truly intend to create a family. They want to find a sposue abroad, and they will hardly wish to stay alone in a foreign country. Some guys flood the Internet with stories about how they were decieved, but maybe they had just been behaving in the wrong way and got what they deserved?


Q. I liked a particular profile on your site.  How can I contact her/him?

A. You are welcome to Join for free, fill out your profile (do not forget to upload your pictures), then send a message to that member or just a "smile", showing your interest.  You don’t have to pay for that. He or she will be able to view your message and send you a reply if they choose to. Women can read letters from men for free. Men have to purchase credits and pay with them to be able to open a letter from a woman.


Q. I liked a particular profile on your page.  Can I learn more about her/him?

A. All the information our members provide us with is displayed in their profiles. We do not display only personal contact information. If the profile has empty fields like "Unknown" or "Information not supplied", it means the member did not fill out these fields (for example : "Weight : Unknown", or "Education : Information not supplied"). If you want to find out more about this member, you should write to him/her.


Q. Do you accept cheques or bank drafts? I do not want to disclose my credit card details.

A. Yes, we accept payments made not only by credt cards, but also by cheques, money transfers and other payment options. You can use any of them to purchase credits. You will have to pay only to open letters from ladies. Remember, you can join us for free!


Q. How will my credit card statement display the charge for this service?

A.  It will show as "1st International”, possibly with a phone number and/or some abbreviations, for example, "1st Int'l NTW" or "1ST INTERNATIONAL 800-974-6453".

Q. Do you accept wire transfers?

A.  Yes, we dore. You can read all about our payment options here.

Q. One can often see beautiful young women no older than 30 loooking for men of up to 50. It seems as if they see marriage as a way to get out of Russia.

A. First, remember that there are a lot of false stereotypes surrounding young women wanting to marry a man much older than themselves. These stereotypes are widespread in America, but a foreign woman does not have to conform to them and may have an entirely different outlook. In Russia, marrying a mature man is a widespread tradition. Young girls look for reliability and stability in life, and naturally they choose men who have achieved a certain status. Of course, a 50-year-old man looking for an 18-year-old college graduate may cause some raised eyebrows, but if the girl is about 23-25, it won’t be a problem.

 

Q. Do you have any printed catalogues ?

A. No. Our database contains only real and active profiles of foreign brides. The database is updated daily, since there is a constant influx of new members, while others manage to find a partner and therefore have no further need of our services. We would have to print a new catalogue daily, which would present great problems. The only solution for us is to have daily updated online catalogues. The information in printed catalogues is months, if not years old. We try to provide only the information which is up to date.     

                                                  

Q. Can I videochat with my lady?

A. Yes, you can order an interpreted videocall. You can make your request by email support@allianceinter.com or by phone (USA toll-free: 1-866-Y-SINGLE (1-866-974-6453), UK:+44 (0) 2071935504). The price for videochatting with the lady is 2.5 credits per minute. The minimum call duration is 10 minutes, which means that the system will charge your account for the first 10 minutes automatically when you start talking to the lady. Please make sure you have enough credits on your profile account before starting the videochat. We need time to contact the lady’s local agency, or the lady herself, and make sure she will be available at the desired time therefore the videocall should be ordered in advance. Please note that exchanging personal contact information during your videocall will not be allowed.                                                       

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New member

Q. I sent a question by email but never got a response.

A.  The most likely reason for that is that your email provider blocks our messages with the anti-spam filter. A lot of providers, including hotmail, yahoo, and AOL block some legitimate messages, falsely identifying them as SPAM. Since a great many unsolicited letters are sent to different addresses every day, providers have to take measures to protect their users from spam. All messages fall into 3 categories: to be delivered, to be deleted, and those in between, which you may find in your "Bulk mail", "Junk mail" or similar folder. Although we send only legitimate messages, some of them are still recognized as spam. If this is the case, check your "Bulk mail", "Junk Mail" or similar folder. If you find our messages there, press the "It's not spam" (or similarly named) button. If you think there is another reason, or nothing helps you unblock us, feel free to contact us by phone or online chat, and and we will gladly help you and answer your question. If you use Hotmail or AOL, please follow these instructions to unblock us.


Q. How can i contact ladies directly?

If you want to get in touch with a lady directly, and you are a US citizen, you will first need to fill out the IMBRA form, if you haven’t done that before. Click here to download the form and requisite instructions. After that, there are two options. The first one (recommended) is to open 15 (fifteen) paid messages from the lady. At this point you have the right to request her contact info (or your money back, if for some unlikely reason it cannot be provided). You can also try and request her contact information upon paying a $50 fee (expedite service), but make sure that she doesn’t object to sharing her personal information before you pay, because the fee is non-refundable. You cannot apply for the expedite service if you haven't opened any paid messages from the woman. Please note that sending personal contact information through our messaging system is not allowed, even if you do have 15 opened messages from a lady.

We do not allow contact between members outside our website before they have officially exchanged contact information. Outside contact includes our competitor websites, social network websites, skype, etc. Outside contact violates our Terms and Conditions and may violate IMBRA law, which may in turn jeopardize a lady's chance to get a US visa in the future and men's chance to sponsor a K-1 visa. It also opens possibilities for scam. We do not allow our ladies to contact men outside our website, nor to respond to men's attempts to circumvent our rules. If you are contacted outside our website by someone claiming to be a lady from our website - please be cautious as this could be a scam attempt. All of the above applies only before you have officially exchanged contact information. After contact exchange you are free to communicate without our involvement..


Q. None of the ladies I emailed ever responded me.

 A. The responses from women will not be delivered directly to your email,  but to your account, so first you should login to your account and check the message box. All letters from ladies should be stored in your account. Whenever you receive a letter, we send you a notification. In case you do not get our messages, please read the answer above. If this does not help, check the picture in your profile: do you have it? Is it displayed correctly? If you do not have a picture, your chances to get responses to your letters are very slim. If none of the above helps, and you get no response to more than 3 messages, let us know and we will try to help you.

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Next step. Travelling to Russia

Q.  How long does it take to get a visa to Russia or Ukraine?

A. In case you have a passport which expires no less than six months after the dates of your visit, the visa support documents will be faxed to you within 1-2 working days. Then you need to apply to the consulate for the visa. Usually it takes about 2 weeks to get a visa to Russia, but you can pay to speed up the process and get a visa even on the same working day. Do not forget to count in the time needed to mail the documents to the consulate and back.  Express delivery, including FedEx next day, is accepted, and if you send a prepaid waybill, they may send your documents back to you the same way. You can visit a Russian Consulate in New York, San Francisco or Seattle and get the visa the same day. It will set you back around $300. The processing time for a visa to Ukraine is about the same. 

 

A. Russia and other CIS countries are pretty safe if you follow some basic safety guidelines, which you definitely follow in your own country as well. That is, you shouldn't flash your cash or wander into dangerous districts. Getting lost and not knowing who to turn to for help can be a frightening experience. It is a good idea, therefore, to ask the lady you are visiting to meet you at the airport and show you around.


Q.  Do I need an adaptor if I bring my laptop with me?

A. There are no restrictions on bringing laptops, but you may need a simple adaptor. Standard voltage in Russia and other European countries is 220 volts, while in America it is 110 volts. It means that all electronic devices will be fried unless you have an adaptor which transforms the voltage and makes it acceptable. Such step down transformers may be bought at Radioshack or Sears for $20-$30. However, most laptops do not need such transformers. Laptop chargers normally can handle voltage from 110 volts to 250 volts. There might be exceptions, but we have encountered none so far. To be on the safe side, check your charger manual. The acceptable voltage ("AC in") should be printed directly on the charger. However, even in this case you will need a simple adaptor. The thing is that in Russia electrical outlets have 2 round holes, while American plugs have 2 flat prongs. For this reason you will need a cheap ($1-3) adaptor which has 2 holes for the flat prongs and 2 round prongs for Russian electrical plugs. These can be bought at Sears, Radioshack, WalMart. Network and phone connectors are the same as in US. All of this applies to all other countries of  CIS.

Q. How can I connect to the Internet in Russia?

A. Expensive hotels in big cities may have Wi Fi connection. You may want to find that out beforehand. Since Wi Fi standard is the same everywhere, you won't have any problems. If you have to use a dial-up connection, here are some useful tips:

 1. Most cities have a lot of Internet cafes downtown, so you need only ask the hotel staff or a taxi driver to help you find one. This is a good solution if you need to access the Internet from a public computer or to check your Web-based email, like yahoo or hotmail. The rate in such cafes is usually about $1 per hour.

2. If you don't want to use public computers, it may be somewhat problematic. Neither Russia nor any other


Q.  Do American electronic devices work in Russia?

A. Standard voltage in Russia and other European countries is 220 volts, while in America it is 110 volts. It means that all electronic devices will be fried unless you have an adaptor which transforms the voltage and makes it acceptable. Such step down transformers may be bought at Radioshack or Sears for $20-$30. However, most laptops do not need such transformers. Laptop chargers normally can handle voltage from 110 volts to 250 volts.  You may buy one of our adaptors for $15 plus shipping. Contact us to order one.

Q.  Will my cell phone work in Russia ?

A. It depends on your provider. If you are from Europe, you won't have any problems, because all European providers use the GSM standard for cell phone communication. However, the roaming charges may be quite high. You will need to consult your provider about that and find out if they have a calling plan that covers Russia. In this case you won't incur roaming charges.

If you are from the USA, yoг need to read the following. American providers Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint use the older proprietary CDMA standard instead of the GSM standard. These phones definitely DO NOT work in Russia. However, T-Mobile and Cingular work in Russia since they use the GSM standard. The most widely used frequency is GSM 1800. Most GSM phones offered on the US market can operate at this frequency. Sometimes, but not often, an older GSM 900 standard works in Russia. The information about the frequencies your phone works at can be found in your cell phone manual. You may also call your wireless service provider to find out about that.

If you are using T-Mobile and Cingular, your roaming charges in Russia will be quite high ($1.50 per minute). You will also have to pay international long distance charges if you are using your US cell phone to call a Russian number while in Russia. We offer our

in Russia and insert it in your existing US phone. You will get a new Russian number,and if you buy the SIM card in your destination city, you will get the local calling rates. It will be very cheap, because these cards cost about $5 and are sold everywhere. The only problem you may have here is the "locked" phone. T-Mobile and Cingular are now "locking" their customer's phones to prevent them from switching to competitors. In local cell phone repair shops you may "unlock" your phone. You can also type "unlock phone" on eBay.

Russian providers do not offer monthly calling plans. You need to prepay the service. Calls are a little more expensive than in the US ($0.05 - $0.15 a minute for a local call, $0.15-$0.80 a minute for long distance calls). International calls are expensive - up to $3 per minute. You may call at night - it is much cheaper though less convenient (the hours are 9 p.m. - 6 a.m.). You can prepay any amount at any wireless store or any bank, or use special machines that are installed in most supermarkets. These machines accept payments for cellular service and have English prompts.

We would not like to recommend a specific cellular service provider here, but if we have to do that, "MTS" or "Beeline" would probably be the best choice. They work really well and almost everywhere, have a lot of convenient offers and operate in


Q. How can I call Russia and other CIS countries? What are the costs?

A. If you are calling from the US, you need to dial 011, country code, area code, phone number. Country codes: Russia 7; Ukraine 380; Belarus 375. Be careful - if you decide to dial directly from your home/work phone without a calling card, and you are not using a special international call discount program (consult your provider about this option), you will have to pay incredibly high rates - $2 per minute or more. To avoid this, it is better to use dial-around calling cards (we offer them as well). They will give you very affordable rates to former USSR countries (as low as 4 cents per minute to Moscow, Russia). Here you will find all the information about calling cards, city and country codes.

If you happen to have problems with dialing the number, feel free to call our bilingual operator/interpreter toll-free 1.866.974.6453. She will dial the number for you and stay online to interpret your conversation. More about this service here

Q. What is the weather like in Russia?

A.  Russia is a very big country with various climatic zones. Climate varies in different parts of Russia. Most of our clients visit the central part of Russia where the climate is somewhat like that of the American Midwest (a little colder, but not so windy). Generally, the weather in Russia is not so bad. You can read our article about it. about it. If you would like to know about the weather in other parts of CIS, read on.

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Visas and Immigration

Q. Do I need a visa to go to Russia? Can you assist me with the procedure?

A.  If you are the US citizen, you need a visa to go to Russia or to other CIS countries (Belarus, for example). We can send you an official invitation to Russia or Belarus (this is for US citizens only). You will have to send this invitation, 2 passport-sized photos, consulate fee and your passport to the respective consulate in your country which has jurisdiction over your region. US citizens can enter and stay in the Ukraine for up to 90 days without a visa if they have a valid passport.   

Q. Can you help me bring my future wife to my country?

A.  We can advise you on visas and the necessary paperwork if you are our client and a US resident. The next answer will cover the process and the costs. You may also contact us and we will try to help you. We don't have an attorney on our staff, but if you need one, we will refer you to an experienced attorney who specializes in Immigration Law. 


Q. What steps should I take, and what will it cost to bring a woman here?

A. Note.  The price estimates and visa kits are for the US only. Since other Western countries have similar immigration laws, you may use the information as guidelines.

IMPORTANT: Use your common sense and never send money to people you don’t know. Even if you have met the woman, think twice if she is asking you to send money. Unfortunately, international scams are common nowadays, and scammers have many ways of relieving you of your money. They may tell you tales about the cost of the visa/the ticket, which, according to such scam letters, can be $2000-$3000. They may ask you to send this money to them or to an intermediary. They can couch it in nice expressions, but remember: you will not see either the woman or the money. If you get a letter with a money request, feel free to contact us. We have a whole article on scams which you can read 

To bring your bride-to-be to the US, you have to meet her in person first. Of course, she can try to get a tourist or guest visa to the States, but she will probably fail. So the easiest way is for you to go to her country. You should apply for her "K" (fiancée) visa. The law requires that you meet her in person first. You should be able to offer some proof of your meeting: pictures of you two together, tickets and so on. Some of our clients choose to meet somewhere where Russian citizens can go without a visa (Dominican Republic, Cypres). Remember, there are a lot of scammers. Meeting in a third country will leave you vulnerable, since you will have to pay for the lady’s ticket or send her money.

The next step after meeting her in person is filing a petition with

office having jurisdiction over your state. You will have to wait for 2-3 months before you get the approval. The fee as of this writing is $170. After that you should send it to your woman, and she will go with the papers to the US Consulate in her country and apply for the visa.  In total, you will have to pay about $350 for the procedure ($170+USCIS fee+visa processing fee+postage). It is a lot easier to get "K" visas than tourist visas. Problems may arise, however, if she has a criminal record, if the forms are filled out incorrectly, if either of you violated the Immigration Law previously, and if either of you applied for a "K" visa before.

In most cases ladies do not have sufficient funds to purchase an airplane ticket to your country, so you will have to buy her one. The cost of a one-way ticket is $600-$900 (depends on when you buy the ticket). You may fly to her country to accompany her if you can afford it. It is not necessary, though. Anyway, your two-way airfare could be anywhere between $800 and $1600.

The visa terms are 3 months. During that time she can stay in the US as a "fiancee", but if you do not eventually get married, she will have to go back to her country. You don’t have to marry her, but you may have to pay for her return ticket if things go wrong.

After you marry her, you will have to apply for a permanent resident status for her. You may contact us at this point. The cost is about $800, and if you fill out the forms yourself, you will also need to undergo some medical tests.

Filling out and filing most of the immigration forms should present no difficulty, but sometimes the assistance of an immigration attorney may be needed. We do not have one on our staff, but we can recommend a very experienced and competent attorney, whose services we employ on a regular basis. His name is Gary Bala, his phone number is (610) 446-VISA. You can email him at garybala@VISA-Attorney.com

Q. How long does it usually take for a Russian woman to get the visa?

A. The procedure takes 2 weeks after she applies for the visa at the US Consulate in her country. It may be longer if there are complications. However, you should keep it in mind that you will first have to fill out the petition forms and wait to get the petition approved which may take 2-3 months. 

Q. Can I pay to speed up the issuing of a visa?

A. If a US citizen is trying to get a visa to Russia more quickly, he may use expedited service and get the visa very quickly. If a Russian citizen is trying to get the visa to the USA, money will be of little help. There is no expedited service at the US Consulate, so the timing remains the same.


Q. Can I bring my woman to the US without first marrying her in her home country?

 A. Yes, and for you it is better to bring her to the US on a K (fiancée) visa and then marry her here. While she is waiting for her permanent residency papers, she will be with you. In case you get married in Russia, she will have to wait for the papers there. It may take as long as 6 months (sometimes even longer), keep that in mind.