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Countries That Will Pay You to Marry: A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever dreamed of traveling the world and getting paid for it? If so, you may be interested in learning about countries that will pay you to marry.

While it’s important to note that these countries are not simply looking to buy citizenship, there are a number of reasons why they may offer financial incentives to foreigners who marry their citizens.

For example, some countries may be experiencing a population decline, while others may be looking to attract more skilled workers.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China are just a few of the countries that offer financial incentives for foreigners who get married within their borders.

If you’re interested in learning more about countries that will pay you to marry, this article is for you. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from the eligibility requirements to the financial benefits you can expect to receive.

Countries That Will Pay You to Marry

South Korea

The South Korean government offers a variety of financial incentives for marrying a local and settling down in the country.

With their declining birth rates, South Korea aims to encourage international marriages by providing:

  • A one-time payment of ₩1 million (around US$800) to the couple.
  • Free or subsidized housing for international newlyweds for up to two years.
  • Subsidies for children’s education, medical expenses, and childcare.

To qualify, the foreign spouse must be married to a South Korean citizen, have a valid visa and residency permit, and have basic Korean language abilities.

While economic motivations have decreased over time, these incentives still attract ~10,000 international marriages annually, mostly from China and Vietnam.

Japan

Japan has a similar policy to South Korea’s, offering local governments incentives for supporting international couples.

For example, the Ibara City government offers a one-time payment of ¥100,000 (around US$800) to international couples who get married in the city.

While not as extensive as South Korea’s, these incentives still promote hundreds of international marriages annually, predominantly involving Chinese and Filipina spouses.

Taiwan

Since 2003, Taiwanese men in rural townships who marry foreign women can receive subsidies around $3,000 USD. While the policy aims to increase populations in underpopulated areas, it has generated controversy for objectifying foreign spouses.

Still, it boosts hundreds of marriages annually, mainly with Vietnamese and Indonesian women. More constructive policies like better healthcare, job training and free language classes for foreign spouses have been proposed.

China

In China, local governments have offered incentives like housing and economic rewards for marrying foreign spouses and settling in rural townships.

For example, Pinging Township offers nearly $30,000 USD in housing and benefits. Most foreign spouses come from Myanmar and Vietnam.

Other local governments in China have offered similar incentives, such as free housing, job placement assistance, and access to education and healthcare services. These incentives have been successful in attracting foreign spouses to rural China, particularly women from Myanmar and Vietnam.

While financial incentives for international marriages are controversial, they do influence immigration trends. The cultural and economic factors driving these policies highlight the complex challenges facing countries with rapidly aging populations.

Countries That Will Pay You to Marry

Eligibility Requirements

Age requirements

Most countries that offer marriage incentives have minimum age requirements that applicants must meet.

For example, in the Marrying Mendoza program in Argentina, applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Here are some examples of the lowest age requirement for marrying in different countries:

  • India: 21 years old for men and 18 years old for women
  • Japan: 18 years old
  • South Korea: 19 years old for men and 16 years old for women with parental consent

Citizenship requirements

Another common eligibility rule is having the proper citizenship or residency status in the country offering incentives.

Most programs require the local applicant to be a legal citizen or permanent resident of that country. Some areas may also require the foreign spouse to have citizenship or residency in a specific country too.

Applicants should confirm they meet the citizenship or residency requirements of the country’s marriage incentive program.

Income requirements

Some marriage incentive programs have income eligibility rules as well. Income requirements help target financial incentives to residents most in need.

For instance, under the Austrian tax bonus for marriages, couples must earn under a certain income level to qualify. In 2016, the small town of Kanab, Utah also once proposed limiting their marriage bonus to couples earning under $20,000.

Applicants should check if the country’s marriage payment program has any income limits to meet.

Criminal background checks

Most marriage immigration programs require a criminal background check on applicants. This helps ensure only law-abiding residents receive financial incentives. Countries want to attract foreign spouses that will positively contribute to society.

Some minor offenses may be allowed, but approval depends on the country. Undergoing a criminal history check is standard for marriage immigration incentives.

Medical examinations

Some countries also require health checks or medical exams to qualify for marriage incentives. This screens applicants for contagious diseases and evaluates their health status.

For instance, foreign spouses immigrating through Canada’s marriage program must complete an immigration medical exam.

Even if not required, applicants may choose to voluntarily undergo health assessments to improve chances for approval. Completing any necessary medical tests shows an applicant’s commitment to the program’s residency requirements.

Financial Benefits

Cash payments

Several countries offer direct cash payments to foreigners who marry a local resident.

For example, South Korea offers multicultural families up to ₩3 million (roughly US$2,400) to help cover wedding expenses. This subsidy is available to couples where one spouse is a South Korean citizen and the other spouse is a foreign national.

Even some rural towns and prefectures in Japan provide newlyweds with lump sums up to ¥300,000 (around US$2,700) for settling down in the community.

Tax breaks

Marrying a local can lead to significant tax savings in some destinations.

In Brazil, Spain, and Portugal, foreigners who marry residents are exempt from paying non-resident taxes on their worldwide income for several years.

For instance, Spain offers non-resident tax exemption for up to 5 years after exchanging vows with a Spanish citizen or long-term resident.

Free housing

Several governments provide free or subsidized housing to new couples in which one spouse is a citizen or permanent resident. These include South Korea, the UK, and parts of Canada.

Housing grants and priority access to public housing units help ease the financial burden of relocating internationally to start married life.

Education and healthcare subsidies

Some destinations assist foreign spouses with accessing education, job training, and healthcare services.

Sweden offers free Swedish language classes along with subsidized higher education and vocational training to help immigrants integrate into society.

New Zealand’s partnership residence visa makes spouses of citizens or residents eligible for domestic tuition fees and provides access to public healthcare services.

Assistance with job placement

Governments in certain countries have programs to match foreign spouses with local employers.

For instance, Singapore’s Workforce Support Initiative offers training grants to help cover the costs of upgrading skills as well as career coaching and job matching services.

Meanwhile, Germany assists immigrant spouses with finding employment, attending language courses, and navigating bureaucratic procedures.

How to Apply

Find a marriage partner

The first step is to find a suitable partner who is a citizen of the country you want to move to. This can be done through international dating sites, marriage agencies, or personal connections.

It’s important that you both have genuine feelings for each other and are compatible, as this will increase your chances of approval.

Some key factors authorities will consider are your commitment to the relationship, shared interests, ability to support each other financially and emotionally, and knowledge of each other’s cultures and languages.

Marriage in a foreign country

Gather the required documentation

Once you’ve found your partner, you’ll need to gather all the necessary paperwork to prove you meet the eligibility criteria.

This usually includes documents like:

  • Passports
  • Birth certificates
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Medical examination certificates
  • Evidence of relationship (photos, correspondence, joint bank account)

Having organized records will demonstrate you are law-abiding and your relationship is genuine.

Submit your application

With your documentation complete, you can formally apply for residence status through marriage in your chosen country. Each nation will have specific forms and procedures to follow, which are important to understand.

For example, some applications require translations or notarizations. Be sure to follow all instructions closely.

Attend an interview

As part of the application process, authorities will likely interview you and your spouse to further assess your relationship. They may ask about how you met, your wedding plans, living arrangements, joint finances, future goals as a couple and more.

Answer openly and honestly, providing any corroborating evidence that could strengthen your case. Portraying a loving, committed relationship is key.

Things to Keep in Mind

Cultural differences

Marrying someone from a different culture can lead to some big adjustments. Consider differences in communication styles, values, gender roles, and more that may require compromises from both parties.

Be open-minded, communicate respectfully, and be willing to learn. Recognize there may be a period of culture shock and discomfort as you adapt. Seek help from books, workshops, or counseling if needed.

Language barriers

If you and your partner speak different native languages, this can make communication very difficult, especially during conflict or complex conversations. Consider hiring a translator for important matters like financial and legal issues.

Make language learning a priority for both of you – this shows commitment. Be patient, use body language, and don’t rely on subtle cues. Apps and visual aids can help during the transition period.

Legal considerations

Make sure to follow all laws and visa requirements in your spouse’s country. Consult an immigration attorney to ensure proper paperwork and timelines.

Be aware you may need to provide proof of income, medical checks, police certificates, etc.

The process can be lengthy and expensive – account for legal fees, document fees, and travel costs. Understand divorce laws as well, in case the marriage doesn’t work out.

Emotional preparedness

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, homesick, and many complex emotions when adjusting to a new spouse and country.

Seek out expat communities for support and friendship. Call home often to ease loneliness. Develop hobbies and interests independent of your partner for fulfillment.

Communicate your feelings and needs. Make your physical and mental health a priority during this transition. Be patient with yourself – give it time.

Conclusion

While there are many financial benefits to marrying a citizen of a country that offers these incentives, it’s important to remember that marriage is a serious commitment. Carefully consider all of the pros and cons before making a decision.

It is important to note that these financial incentives are subject to change at any time, and couples should always contact the relevant government agency for the most up-to-date information.

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