Filipinos seeking partners through religion-based dating sites: study

A study by a visa processing company shows the Philippines to be a leading source of fiancé visa applications and that dating sites are common places where couples looking to marry meet.

Below, are excerpts from the study that RapidVisa recently commissioned with Causal Design, an independent research firm based in Washington D.C. The study examines statistics and trends of K-1 fiancé visa  applicants.

The K-1, or “fiancé visa,” allows future spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the United States in order to marry, and ultimately apply for an adjustment to immigrant status. In practice, the K-1 serves as a nonimmigrant visa bridge to permanent spousal immigration status. Originally intended to assist U.S. soldiers in bringing foreign fiancés home after World War II, use of the K-1 visa has dramatically increased partly due to globalization which has driven an increase in the number of U.S. citizens marrying (and intending to marry) non-U.S. citizens.

We found that Filipino K-1 visas dwarfed every other nationality, accounting for nearly 20 percent of all K-1 visas in 2017 and surpassing the next five nationalities combined. While East European and East Asian countries have seen significant declines in K-1 visas since 2005 (Chinese nationals were only three percent of applicants in 2017), Brazil, the Dominican Republic and the United Kingdom have registered increasing numbers.

This report is based on a proprietary random sample of 4,979 RapidVisa customers collected between 2010 and 2019. In 2018, RapidVisa was responsible for processing 13.6 percent of all K-1 visas. As such, this sample may be sufficiently relevant to the broader population of K-1 applicants in considering generalizability of this report’s findings.

Source: RapidVisa

Dating websites remain the most common way for international fiancés to meet. Over 60 percent of RapidVisa respondents who reported meeting online mention using a dating site at some point in their courtship.

But perhaps the most interesting finding is the prominence of dating sites specialized specifically for the Philippines. FilipinoCupid tops the list, accounting for nearly 15 percent of all dating site traffic alone. The prominence of Filipino fiancés in our sample corresponds to our previous report, where they accounted for nearly twenty percent of all 2017 K-1 visas. Filipino sponsored fiancés appear disproportionately likely to meet through dating sites, representing 54 percent of this subsample.

Topping this list are Ukraine and Russia with the highest percentage of couples who met on a dating site. Other notable nationalities with disproportionate representation on dating sites are Philippines, Indonesia and Venezuela. Our previous report also highlights the Philippines as being an emerging international fiancé origin nation since the late 2000s. For each, dating sites are a meaningful avenue to meeting U.S. fiancés: 46 percent of eventual Filipino/a fiancés met their sponsor through the medium, as did nearly 42 percent of Brazilian fiancés. Most of the nationalities on this list each have distinctive dating sites dedicated to their respective sub-regions or countries.

RapidVisa’s top two Latin countries by volume, the Dominican Republic and Colombia are among the top 10 countries for K-1 Visa issuances, highlighted in our previous report. Online dating is among the top methods for Dominicans and Colombians to meet U.S. singles, with the popular Cupid network of international dating sites making up the majority of top dating sites where these couples meet.

The Philippines is also prominent for other niche dating group categories. ChristianFilipina is the single most widely used website for those seeking partners based on religion, representing nearly 40 percent of all international matches found in our data. Between this and ChristianDatingForFree, Filipino fiancés make up approximately 65 percent of the religion-based online dating market. In general, Christian relationships are far more common in our random sample; websites implying a Christian focus command over three fourths of the market.

Go to for the complete study.

© The FilAm 2020

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