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John Abbot is co-owner of ChinaLoveMatch.net. Married to a lovely Chinese Lady and living in China, John knows and respects China, Chinese Women, Chinese People and Chinese Culture. His blog will include good stuff about Online Dating, Chinese Women, International Relationships and Things Chinese. Join John Abbot on Google+
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Chinese Dating Success Leads to Many Questions. Here's a Few.    

By John Abbot
3349 Views | 5 Comments | 10/19/2014 4:14:13 PM

Chinese Dating Success Stories can result in extravagant weddings, but they don't have to. It's up to the parties involved.

I recently received the following letter from a member who has found his match in a lovely Chinese woman through dating on CLM.  He had some questions arising from their current situation, and I thought those questions, and my answers, might be of interest to other members who are now in his same situation, or are hoping to be in it soon. Here's his letter:



"Hi John,



It's been many months since we last communicated.



My Chinese girlfriend, whom I met at your wonderful site, and I are continuing to build our relationship.



We are beginning to discuss the fiancee versus spouse VISA in the USA. Since I have teenage sons, I would prefer to have her come over on a fiancee VISA, or at least try to obtain such a VISA, so that my sons get to know her first. This is opposed to just bringing over a strange woman who Dad has just married.



Anyways, I want to leave the VISA decision in the hands of an immigration lawyer.



I want to entrust him/her with that decision.



My girlfriend has friends who failed to get the fiancee VISA, so she feels my money would be wasted if we went that route. She feels that a fiancee VISA is doomed for failure.



In the end, the lawyer might decide that a spouse VISA will have the best chance. If that is the case, I will go with his judgment and proceed down that path.



Here's the tricky part—really dicey.



I am in the final stages of my divorce. My ex-wife will get a substantial portion of our assets. No, I am not rich. I am a middle-class type who has a great pension built up and a great house entirely mortgage free.



After the divorce, I will be paying for child support plus a monthly payment for the buyout of my ex-wife’s interest in the house. In other words, I will be paying out every month after my divorce this November substantially more than I do currently.



To say the least, my divorce is hitting me hard as do all divorces affect the spouses.



Incidental costs that I face are: property taxes, wedding rings, airplane tickets and hotels for upcoming engagement and taxes come April 15.



On your website, I have seen men and women in traditional Chinese customs at what seems like small weddings. 



At this point, I simply cannot afford a lavish and expensive wedding.



1. Do you have any advice on how I go about finding very reasonable prices for a Chinese wedding?



2. Any ideas of price ranges of around $2,000-$3,000 for a civil union in China followed by a banquet? Or am I dreaming?



I want to do some legwork and propose some possibilities to my girlfriend. She is aware of my finances, but what that means to her is only a guess. 



3. Any ideas on how I approach her tactfully so that we can compromise on a Chinese wedding that I can afford? LOL!



We are both middle aged and both have been married before.



I greatly appreciate your advice and feedback on this crucial issue—a big hurdle we need to overcome together.



Many, many thanks."



My reply was as follows below, but it is by no means the last word.  Many of you have now been successful and your experiences are likely different than mine. I hope you'll come forward and offer your own advice to this person. 



My response:



"Good to hear from you again. I'm glad things are moving forward for you.



First, I really urge you to contact Theodore (Ted) Huang, the Visa Attorney who advertises on CLM, and get his advice on the issue of Fiance Visa vs Married Visa. The last I heard Fiance Visas were easier and slightly faster to obtain, but things change and I don't know anyone better then Ted to advise you on this.



Should you choose to go with an Attorney I also highly recommend him. We've had nothing but good reports about his services, including reasonable rates.



Tell him you came through CLM and you should get a 5% discount.  Call Ted at 1-626-771-1078.



Second, regarding a Chinese wedding, you really need to ascertain what your lady's expectations are.  First expense is photography. Chinese can go nuts over this and spend a small fortune and it usually happens roughly 6 weeks before the wedding so the photos and video are available to be shared with the guests at the wedding. The wedding can be insanely extravagant.



However, in my experience the above expense describes the wedding of a couple both marrying for the first time, certainly for the bride it is the first time.



When my Chinese wife and I married we spent about $1,000 USD in total, and that basically entailed a very expensive dinner in a high end Chinese restaurant with family and friends of the family.  Roughly 30 attendees.  Then we went on a nice honeymoon in Thailand (not included in the $1,000).  I was prepared to put up substantially more than that for the wedding (but hoped not to go crazy), but it was her second marriage and my third, and she didn't want to spend anymore than that.  She saw this as our money, and wasn't interested in blowing it on a huge wedding. 



I really can't give you much more advice than this, but I can strongly recommend that she come over on a Fiance visa and you spend some time in the US together first.  Some of the biggest obstacles to your success are waiting for you there in the US, including her ability to adjust to being away from friends, family and her culture, and believe it or not, especially her ability to adjust to the change in diet.



I think if possible you should get through that first and then worry about the wedding in China when you are able to return to China to hold it.  Your wedding in the US should not be extravagant if you then expect her to be conservative with the China wedding later.



My last thought on this is, if you are not able to discuss this with her comfortably now and reach a reasonable agreement on the topic, then you are not ready to get married yet.  



I hope that was helpful, and please do not take anything I said as intended to be anything else. I hope you both can make the decisions on these things together and get a good start into the lifelong compromise that is marriage. 



We can't wait to publish your Success Story. Best of luck.



Best regards, John"



Now please offer your own thoughts on these matters in the comment box below.


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 5 of 5) 1
#2014-10-19 17:07:41 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbott I agree with your comments. However, I don't know anyone in Australia who has used a Visa attorney or an immigration agent. Two couples I know did the work themselves (they were very careful and thorough in their preparation) and had a 9 month wait to have their Fiance Visa approved. I know one couple that married in China and it took more than 2 years for the Spouse Visa to be approved.
As far as diet goes I don't think a Westerner should be looking for a Chinese partner unless they can eat mostly Chinese food. Food is a very important issue. My partner is very grateful that I eat whatever she cooks. Food is a much more important for Chinese culture than it is for western culture.

#2014-10-19 18:10:48 by Barry1 @Barry1

With regard to marriage, in my capacity as a wedding DJ specialist who frequently both acts as MC and also plays music at many weddings - and who thus earns a lot of money from them over time - my advice is as follows.

Don't spend a cent on a wedding, except for required fees and charges.

Simply go along to the marriage office with the requisite paperwork, sign the papers, kiss the bride and the whole process can be finished in a matter of minutes.

Don't bother either with flowers or a honeymoon - save the money for your house and other bills.

My advice above may not be particularly romantic (sorry ladies), but at least it's pragmatic.

I can see from your situation that money's a little tight, given the upcoming property settlement and associated divorce costs. So don't be rash - and save the cash! (y)

#2014-10-19 21:10:13 by zqy2014 @zqy2014

yes, I would agree with John suggestion as following:-

"but I can strongly recommend that she come over on a Fiance visa and you spend some time in the US together first. Some of the biggest obstacles to your success are waiting for you there in the US, including her ability to adjust to being away from friends, family and her culture, and believe it or not, especially her ability to adjust to the change in diet."

Before getting married, the gril friend do need go to the boy friend place to live together for some time to confirm her acceptance and adaptability there.

#2014-10-19 23:48:30 by Jaguarguy @Jaguarguy

So I have a pretty good take on this given I have just gone through the "process" with my wife whom I met here.

First and foremost call Ted...FYI, he is not inexpensive but I feel that one of the reasons your woman's friends got denied was do to improper paperwork. I was told by Ted that while getting married in China is a nice thing it really have little to no bearing on be US approved. He will make sure you have everything required to get approved. His only redflag with us is my wife was 20 years younger than me but with the documentation he asked for it was approved with no issues.

This brings me to point number two. There is no way a fiancé visa will get approved (according to what I have read) if you are still married. Plus it is a HUGE red flag to go from divorce to marriage within months. I would think long and hard about this. Plus you need to make at least 2 if not 3 trips to China saving all the documentation from airline tickets to hotels, cab rides and dinner receipts. Add to this many many pictures of the two of you together and other online communication you need to save. They MUST see that your are a legit couple and not an arranged one.

Expenses, expenses, expenses..... yeah, part of life but here is the reality. My wife and daughter, from initial costs for visa attorney, 3 trips to China, (4th if you include going there and bringing them back) all additional forms and documents I believe I have spent just over 12K. Mind you this includes a couple upgrades to first class for my trips but still it was a lot more than what I thought it would be. Also keep in mind she paid for her trip to get her Visa interview in China and her medical and criminal background checks done.

I don't want to be Mr Negative but there are costs and if you are truly in love and want to be together then none of this should matter as it will all be worth it (is for me 110%). The sketchiness of your relationship has me doubting it some which IMHO would be a red flag and have me thinking you need to slow down a little.

In the end the US wants to know if you #1 are a real couple and #2 to know you fulfill the income requirements for a family of 5 now ? I didn't see anywhere on the forms where you add in pension or if your mortgage is paid off. They don't ask for your monthly expenses, they do want to know you make enough to support her and any children she would bring here.

I do want to add this also, once in the US and provided she can adjust and you do marry within 90 days as required there additional costs involved with getting her green card. Given I had to do this for both my wife and her daughter it was about $2400 more for filing fees, doctor exams and interviews to again prove the relationship is real.

Hope my comments helped a little. I really wish I had time to post my experience so others can understand exactly whats involved. When I met a woman on here some 7 years ago I thought I could make all this happen (K1 and such) but given what I know now I probably would not have been able to do it financially. Thankfully the economy crashed in the US and we had to part ways since I couldn't even make a trip to China. But in the end it allowed me to meet the most wonderful woman who I am now married too and again thank you CLM.

Good luck to you but slow down and pace yourself. If she truly is the right person she will be there in 6 months or a year whatever it takes to put it all together.

John

#2014-10-23 13:59:42 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@melcyan

You are likely right about the man needing to like Chinese food, although I know of several couples who take the time and effort to prepare both kinds of food for each meal and are so far making it happen successfully. I think that to some degree the problem is that most Western men think they like Chinese food because they assume that the stuff they are eating back home that is called Chinese food is authentic, which of course it is not. So they should not declare a love of Chinese food until they have spent some time in China and have happily partaken of the type of Chinese food their intended enjoys, and especially of the Chinese food she herself prepares.

Like you I am fortunate that I generally like authentic Chinese food, and even moreso that my wife is better cook of both authentic Chinese food and most types of western food than any woman I have ever had a relationship with so diet is not an issue for us.

@Barry1

You are such a romantic guy (wasntme). Can we assume that Tina feels the same way about a wedding as you do?

@zqy2014

Thanks for your support on that point, and the same really goes without saying when it is the man intending to move to China. Go first and live there together for a while to see if it really works for you to live in China.

@Jaguarguy

Thanks for some great pointers for everyone. Now, please both you and your lovely wife fire off your Success Story to us so all your fellow members can all share your joy, not just the few who read this blog. A few short paragraphs (each in your own language) is all we ask.

BTW, if you can provide a number of high quality photos we will use them to make a video of your Success Story to post with it, and we'll provide you a copy of that as well. Please send that to service@ChinaLoveMatch.net. Thanks.

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