Blog, stories and articles on personal issues and challenges faced by South Asians and Non Resident Indians (NRIs)

Passport marriages for foreign land


Nakshab, Be a Citizen Journalist (NRI News.com)

AS A common saying goes ‘marriages are made in heaven’ in which two person shares a common bond of love. But presently this saying appears to be wrong because nowadays most marriages have hidden intentions. Some people want money, some want fame and now we have a new intention - to get a passport for foreign lands.

The problem arises due to the belief of Indians that by marrying a NRI (Non Resident Indian) boy or a girl, they will get an opportunity to go outside India without facing any legal problem from authorities. But when we see the ratio of successful NRI marriages we will find a very low figure. On the other hand, we will find a devastating number of NRI divorces. Actually the thing is that while thinking about the advantages we ignore the disadvantages of these marriages. There are number of people who have ruined their lives because of these fraudulent marriages.

The growing westernised mindset of Indians blinds them to the trap of these marriages. Sometimes they have the knowledge about those incidents but the temptation is too strong and entangles them.

The problem emanates from the fact that India is still not as economically powerful as her Western counterparts. People don’t find enough opportunities in India to earn well that is why they are lured towards foreign lands in order to acquire money, name and fame.

People are attracted by the glitz and glamour of western lifestyles and go on blindly mimicking it and also want to get rich quickly. For these people money matters a lot and to get it they adopt any and all means to go ‘abroad’. Even Kerala, the state with the highest literacy rate, is under the dark clouds of those fake passport marriages. The reason is that the people who are highly qualified want highly paid and reputed jobs, which suit their profile and if a person doesn’t find that kind of job in India than he / she will definitely go for foreign lands.

There is a need to highlight such issues so that people understand the situation. There are number of cases which highlights the condition of those who have undergone the trauma of a fake marriage. In one case, the husband divorced the wife, who had a H-4 visa. She had to immediately leave the country but did not want to leave behind her child who was only six weeks old.

In most cases, the situation remains the same or even worsened because there is lack of information about the rights. People without sufficient knowledge can’t take suitable actions in such situations. Sometimes people remain quiet and decide not to speak in front of the society because they have the fear of disclosure. Walk-in marriages and walk-out divorces are very common and acceptable in the American society. But in Indian society, such situations are difficult to face. In Indian society such incidents are very difficult to handle and bring misery not only to the victim but to her entire family.

The immigration agents or the travel agents in India do not know much about laws. Marriage is not the only passport to America. There are lot of other ways of going there - a work visa is now easily available these days. And for those who plan to get married to a person in the United States, there is the finance visa. Finance visa makes it easy for that person to meet the concerned person easily without facing any problem.

There is need to create awareness among Indians who wish to immigrate about all these issues. The Indian government till now has not been very proactive. The importance of antecedent verification, awareness of women’s matrimonial rights, maintenance rights, dowry laws and information about passport and visa procedures should be made available and regular awareness campaigns conducted to make people aware of these frauds.

Due to the increasing number of fraudulent marriages there is a proposal, which has been set by the ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in front of the ministry of External Affairs. In that proposal there is a request for making suitable amendments in the Indian Passport Act, they have also suggested to include the photograph of the spouse in the passport because it becomes a clear identity proof.

If every individual should understands his/her rights. Only then it would possible to prevent cases of fake marriages. But along with these rights, it is also necessary that a person is faithful towards his/her spouse. If this happens then there will be no cases of divorce or domestic violence and one would be able to say that marriages are made in heaven. Money is not what matters in front of happiness.

NRI Divorce® 2006-2010