The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA)

The International Broker Act or the IMBRA is a federal law in the United States. It was conceived in 2005.

This law mandates law officers and International Marriage Brokers (IBMs) to make background checks for marriage visa sponsors and to put limits on serial visa applications.

The law also requires that background checks are performed by law officers or IBMs on citizens of the United States who are involved with or using IBMs that offer dating services between American citizens and foreigners for revenue.

IMBs may face fines up to $25,000 and up to five years of imprisonment if they do not comply with the International Broker Act.

The Act has several conditions that must be followed while in the process of obtaining a marriage visa and using international dating services.

The Prohibition of Marketing Children: International marriage brokers are not allowed to publish or disclose information about anyone under the of eighteen.

This includes photographs and contact information.

Duty to Disclose Criminal and Marital History and Obtain Written Consent:  BeforeAmerican International Marriage Brokers can provide information about a client they must do research and perform a series of background checks on that client. This includes:

  • Making sure a client is not on a sex offender registry
  • Requiring the client to disclose if they have a criminal record and their current marital status
  • Providing foreign clients with information on the criminal record status and background information of American clients in the foreigner’s primary language.
  • Providing foreign clients with resources (such as a pamphlet) that pertain to legal rights about domestic abuse and other important legal information.
  • Obtaining written consent by foreign clients before publishing any information about them.

Misusing Client Information: It is illegal to misuse information that is published or obtained by an IMB.

Unauthorised use of IMB client’s information may be fined and jailed for up to a year.

K-1 Visa:  The Act requires that foreigners must obtain a marriage visa (also known as the K-1-Visa) before marrying a United States Citizen. A K-1 Visa is can be given to a fiancé of a United States citizen, so they can enter the United States legally. Once a K-1 Visa is obtained the applicants must marry each other within 90 days. During the process of a foreigner obtaining a K-1 Visa Law Officers are required to do background checks on the foreigner to make sure they will not be a danger to the country or other US citizens.


Broker: a person who buys and sells goods or assets for others.

Marriage visa sponsors: couples involved in the process of getting a K-1 Visa.

Law Officers: Those in the United States Government bureaucracy that enforce the law.

IBMs: International Marriage Brokers. They are an entity that offers matchmaking services between foreigners and United States Citizens. Clients are charged at different rates for using these services.

Foreign Clients: Clients who are using American IBMs who reside outside of the United States and that are not United States Citizens.

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