What some of our clients from the U.S., the U.K. and the rest of Europe have to say ...
February 18, 2016
My Name is Martin
I am now 50 years old i am happily Married to a Russian Lady named Irina . I have been asked to write a testimonial about how i met my wife through Volga Girl . Also about my experience with the Volga Girl company, and how they have helped myself & my wife with everything from my initial invitation to Russia . Also to our visa application and even gift buying and translation services ( written & vocal ) at Russian & UK government departments .
I can only write about my experience , i will not recommend that you take the same route as me that is up to you .
The end result for me is i am a happily married man to a lovely Russian lady who will soon be joining me here in the UK our Visa has been accepted .
First of all what was my reason to look for a partner ?
I was in my late 40,s was a single parent to two children , My oldest child was studying at University . My youngest was only a year away from going to University so getting ready to leave home . I felt i had given them over 10 years of my life as a sole parent so now it was time for me to think about my future . Yes i started to think of a future for me , as a single man , not as a sole parent . I decided i did not want to stay single once the children had flown the nest .
why look for a partner in Russia ?
Well in the last 10 years in the UK the UK has had an influx of Eastern European working Migrants . Many from Poland , also from Romania Bulgaria Russia Belarus and Ukraine to name a few . These migrants have been very varied indeed , from Polish ships Captains to Romanian Electricians .
Mostly these people have had a positive effect on the UK economy and culture . I am Not a UKIP voter lol .
In the last 5 years i have had the pleasure to get to know some of these Economic migrants from the East . I have observed how supportive they are within there relationships .
I noticed the Polish people i had befriended , how tentative and caring the Polish husbands were to there wife's . How the Polish wife's demanded respect from there husbands but in return worked very hard to look after there husband and the home .
I could see these Eastern Europeans were brought up with old style traditional values .
Some thing lost a long time ago in the UK .
I could only look at these relationships with envy , how both partners worked hard to support each other in there different traditional ways . Also how they valued & put family life and the home before friends and other activities .
Why choose Volga Girl ?
Well i had started to look at different web sites for meeting Eastern European ladies . I had looked at a few sites but with only little interest & suspicion as i was aware of the scams . One evening i was just flicking through different programs on Youtube when by pure luck i came across a program about meeting Russian Ladies through Volga Girl .
The program highlighted the dangers from other sites and also showed a couple meeting through Volga Girl .
After the program was finished , i searched Google for Volga Girl and found the web site .
I logged into the site and looked through the catalog of ladies . It is at this point my experience and circumstance becomes a little different, from most men who meet there partner through Volga Girl or any other site i think .
As when i looked through the catalog of ladies , one picture , one face struck me . I read the ladies details with interest .
I closed the lap top and went to bed , i had a troubled nights sleep i kept thinking about this ladies picture .
It went on like this for 3 days , every now and then i would log in and look at the picture again . I must admit i was smitten , It took me 3 days to pluck up the courage to log into Volga Girl and request the details of the lovely lady in the photo and ask if she wanted to correspond .
The correspondence started in January 2014 , It did not take long until a close bond developed between us . Volga Girl were very good to translate all my letters to my Wife so she could read them in her own language so not to struggle with the complexities of the English Language .
This ensured that no missunderstandings occurred , which can easily be done when you are corresponding to someone who has a language and culture that is so far from our own .
After four months of corresponding was decided we should meet in early May 2014 .
Again Volga Girl were marvelous with all the arrangements . They did all the documentation for my invitation to come to Russia . This was so i could apply and get a visa to travel to Togliatti . Volga Girl also arranged for my collection at the airport and also provided me with a clean well equipped ( if a little bazaar ) apartment for me to stay in .
My first meeting with Irina ,i was very nervous , so was she , but we soon calmed down . We sat in the Volga Girl office talking through a translator . Irina can speak English but she was not used to my quick accent . So the use of a translator for the first hour gave us no chance for awkward silences or missunderstandings .
After that we were on our own and very happy to learn to understand each other, as the day progressed we became less nervous and more relaxed .
We had and have so much in common , we very quickly gelled into a couple it was as if we had been together for many years .
You see we both felt an invisible bond between us , we were not interested in meeting other people right from the beginning .
I know at Volga Girl and other web sites they all recommend that the male write to as many ladies to find their match . So in that sense my experience is a little different than most . I was only interested in meeting Irina and went all the way to Togliatti to meet her ! I knew if it hadn't had worked out i would have flown home and probably not bothered trying to meet another Russian lady .
I am so happy it did work out , she is a wonderful lady . I stayed in Togliatti for 10 lovely days , for 5 days myself and Irina went to stay on the country . We had a fantastic time walking in the grassy planes of Samara , or hunting for wild mushrooms in the forests or walking and relaxing by the Volga river .
Evenings we spent cooking on the BBQ and sitting up late into the night in the garden or inside laying by the log fire laughing and joking and generally enjoying our self's .
When the 10 day stay was over , i knew and so did Irina we wanted to stay together and did not want to part .
So i asked her to Marry me and she accepted strait away , leaving Togliatti and my Irina behind was a difficult task indeed .
Back in the UK
Once back in the UK i thought it would be relatively easy for Irina to fly to the UK so we could marry on a spouse Visa . Now once again my experience has turned out differently to most .
I will explain in basic . The Immigration process for the UK is very complicated ! Also expensive and very time consuming . Once the details of proving the relationship and Marriage is genuine ( which allot of details are required ) , the Immigration want the financial details of the sponsor ( the husband ) going back at least 12 months ,
Also proof of income , Proof of residency ( mortgage or rent contracts ), Also how many other occupants in the residency and tax details and National insurance details , Also supporting letters from employers , and landlords .
My situation differs , because as i told you in the beginning , i am a single parent . So i have for the last 10 years worked self employed . This enabled me to work my time round my children . Unfortunately this also made my past financial and tax affairs erratic !! Also my previous years income prior to meeting my wife did not meet the minimum financial requirement for a visa .
If i had been in salaried employment for at least 12 to 24 months months prior & during to meeting my wife , and earning over 19.000 per year , if proof of this could be easily produced then the visa application would have been much simpler
But as a self employed person the documents that were required were far more extensive . I had to produce bank statements going back 18 months ! i had to produce tax documents for at least 3 to 4 years prior to meeting my wife . I also had to produce year end accounts signed off by a credited accountant . Also the accountant had to give details of certification . Also i had to show proof of income ( from employer & tax ) for the previous 12 months prior to application was higher than the Immigration minimum .
This is where my story again becomes different to most .As a result from all the details needed we had to stall the application for at least 12 months ! I changed my job and started to sub contract to a company for a higher rate of income . Enough income to exceed the Immigration minimum .
Myself & my wife Irina decided during this period , if she could not come to the UK We would get married in Russia !!
I would then travel back to Togliatti as much as i could . This decision ( we did not know it at the time ) was the best decision we made . For two very good reasons , One reason is , it proved to the Immigration that our marriage was genuine .
The Immigration officer dealing with our application said to me 'you are not going to travel to Russia and get Married and also return 5 times over a 15 month period for a fake scam marriage '.
Volga Girl were fantastic , Helen at Volga Girl researched all the documents we would need for a UK citizen to get married in Russia . Helen very patiently drip fed me piece by piece what paper work and information i would need to get married abroad .
Once i was back in Togliatti with the correct paperwork , Helen from Volga Girl with Irina dealt with the government departments necessary to get Married .
I had to go to meet the registrar with my future wife and Helen kindly came along and worked as my translator .
The registrar excepted our paperwork and granted us a wedding for the following week !! we had 5 days to organize a wedding . As i could not speak a word of Russian , the organizing was left to my wife and her sister . They both organized the day like a military operation . We had a wonderful wedding and we were glad Helen from Volga Girl came along to wish us well .
Visa Application .
Helen from Volga Girl and my wife spent a long time amassing information and documents for the Visa application . The package they put together was extensive , supported with photographs , copies of flight details, my wife's documents and some of my documents .
The package was i would say was a good 5 to 6 inches thick. The Immigration officer i had to deal with here in the UK asked me if myself and my wife had hired a Immigration Lawyer as the package was so well put together .
Now the second reason why my travelling to Russia 5 times was a good decision .
This gave me chance to learn the Russian culture and a little Language ( badly lol ) .
I found the Russian culture is very family orientated . Every thing is centered round family , also around celebration of family events .
Birthdays , anniversary's all occasions are celebrated with good food with all the family together and many many speeches with toasts .
I soon realized if i had flown to Togliatti and met Irina and just expected her to fly to the UK and marry me there , I would have created a divide , i would have never learnt properly the cultural difference . I would have never had the chance to get to know her family , who are very important to her .
I soon thought how ignorant i was in the very beginning , what was i thinking ? Did i honestly think i was going to marry this lovely lady and she was going to just go back home once or twice a year to stay with her family without me ?
Or if i went with her i would have been the guy no one knew or could talk to ! It would have been a very lonely and awkward two weeks . Probably i would have gone once and not returned unless necessary . To her family i would be just that British guy that took Irina away from them .
I have found by actually taking the time to travel and stay in Russia , i have learnt so much . It is a lovely country , with a fantastic rich culture i have met so many friendly people . I have made some lovely friends and also have had the chance to get to know my wife's family . Her family are all wonderful & caring people indeed . They have gone so far out of their way to make my time in Russia a positive and happy time . I can not wait for them to visit us here so i can do the same for them here .
Also by learning the Russian ways and culture has helped me understand my wife and her way of thinking much much quicker .
I think it was quite Ignorant of me in the beginning to expect my wife to adjust to a British culture without me having any understanding of hers .
It has been a long process , but also a big learning curve for which i am truly grateful . Volga Girl have been wonderful throughout , holding my hand through the paperwork and complexities of many issues . Also buying birthday gifts for my wife while i have not been there . I will be eternally grateful to Helen & Volga Girl for every thing they have done for me & my wife .
My circumstances are different to allot of people because of my self employment and erratic past financial affairs . But thankfully Volga Girl helped me through this . So if you are reading this & thinking 'you will not have the same difficulties than me' I hope you do not . I will not tell you what to do, your route is entirely up to you , but may be learn from some of my mistakes . I did not do the home work first , nor did i think about learning the language & culture ...
I am now befitting so much that i took the time to learn about my wife's family & culture and language and i feel so so much enriched for it . I am sure as a result our marriage has a better chance of longevity and we will be together to the end of life .
If you choose to marry a Russian lady , i wish you the best of luck, and you can not be in better hands than Volga Girl .