Information, Tips and Guide
by the increasing incidents of girls who marry non-resident
Indians being ill-treated, the Ministry
of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India has drawn
up guidelines for people who want their daughters married
has sent a booklet -- Information Booklet on Marriages to
Overseas Indians -- to state governments asking for feedback.
which will soon be widely distributed, contains precautionary
measures Indian families need to take when a marriage proposal
arrives from an NRI.
says a high number of NRI marriages end up a disaster for
instances, cited by the booklet:
woman marries an NRI who abandons her even before she is
taken to the country where her husband lives. After a short
honeymoon, he leaves India, promising to send a ticket soon.
Most likely, the woman is pregnant when he leaves. So, both
she and the child are abandoned. He never calls or writes
and never returns.
woman arrives in the foreign country, only to realise her
husband will not show up.
woman travels to the foreign country but returns within
a year. Either she is sent back, or forced to flee. She
is not allowed to take her child(ren) along. In many cases,
the child(ren) is/are forcibly taken away from her.
woman travels to the foreign country, only to be assaulted
and abused, mentally and physically, malnourished, confined
woman learns later that the NRI had given false information
-- on any or all of the following: His job, immigration
status, earning, property, marital status and other material
particulars -- to con her into marriage.
woman or her parents are held to ransom for payment of huge
sums of money as dowry, both before and after the marriage.
woman learns later that the man she had married was already
married in the other country to another woman, whom he continues
to live with.
woman's husband obtains a divorce from her in the foreign
country, without her knowledge.
The woman is abandoned in the foreign country with absolutely
no support or means of sustenance or escape and without
even a visa to stay on in that country.
woman goes to court for maintenance or divorce but repeatedly
encounters legal obstacles related to jurisdiction of courts,
service of notices or orders, or enforcement of orders.
woman is coaxed into travelling to the foreign country and
gets married there. She later discovers that Indian courts
have even more limited jurisdiction there.
precautions can a girl or her parents take to avoid such
booklet offers help:
not finalise marriages long distance -- on phone or through
not blindly trust any bureau, agent, tout or middleman.
not ever agree to forge papers or enter into any fake transactions
for any reason or on any pretext.
not fall for any migration schemes, or promises for a green
card, through marriage.
not finalise matters in secrecy -- publicising the match
among family and friends could help you get vital information
which you may not be able to collect otherwise.
not agree to have only a registered marriage or to getting
the marriage solemnised at a far off place.
not agree to the wedding being held in the foreign country.
the groom's following documents: Visa, passport, voter or
alien registration card, social security number, tax returns
for the last three years, bank account papers and property
Indian embassy in the foreign country (The booklet provides
Indian associations and networks of Indian citizens.
and relatives in that country.
on the following:
of the marriage, along with a social ceremony.
all the paperwork for the issuance of the visa and other
required formalities at your end and not at his. Keep all
the original papers with yourself.
affidavit from the man stating his marital status.
tips the booklet provides:
regular and meaningful communication with the man and his
family over a period of time.
sure the bride and the groom meet personally and interact
freely and frankly in a comfortable atmosphere -- as many
times as they feel necessary -- so that they can make up
on your gut feel and communicate this if you sense anything
is amiss or wrong.
the marriage and have a social marriage ceremony.
for a bank account for the woman in the foreign country
so that she can withdraw money in an emergency.
are a number of other dos and don'ts listed in the booklet,
which the ministry wants every family that wants its daughter
to marry an NRI to follow.
at the ministry, who finalised the booklet, say the government
also plans to amend existing laws to make registration of
all marriages involving Indian brides and NRI grooms compulsory.