The state of Texas has brought to law the “International Matchmaking Organization (IMO)” rules. Men in Texas now need to submit fingerprints in order to fulfil the rules if they want to seek out a foreign wife from overseas. This is an extension to the existing USA IMBRA laws that is specific to Texas (the second largest US state). Individual US states are now taking up the charge in regulating so called “International Marriage Brokers” — and their statutes are more onerous than the federal legislation. Here is more info on the Texas law in addition to what I posted earlier:
What is the law’s citation?
Tex. Bus. & Comm. Code 101.001 – 101.005
When did the law go into effect?
September 1, 2005
What kinds of businesses are regulated?
International matchmaking organization. (IMO) A corporation, partnership,
sole proprietorship, or other legal entity that does
business in the United States and offers to residents of this state
dating, matrimonial, or social referral services involving recruits by:
(A) exchanging names, telephone numbers, addresses, or statistics;
(B) selecting photographs; or
(C) providing a social environment for introducing clients to recruits in
a country other than the United States.
Are some kinds of businesses specifically excluded from regulation?
Is an official criminal background check required of the US male client?
Yes. The US male client must provide the IMO with copies of his criminal
history records obtained from the Department of Public Safety and the FBI.
The IMO then has 30 days to provide this information to the foreign female client.
Must additional details on the US male client’s marital history be provided to the
foreign female client?
Yes. In addition to the marital history information that IMBRA requires to
be disclosed, the US male client must also disclose whether any of his
previous marriages resulted from using the services of an IMO. The IMO
then has 30 days to provide this information to the foreign female client.
Must additional “basic rights” information be provided to the foreign
Yes. ― Basic rights information means information applicable to a noncitizen,
including information about human rights, immigration, and emergency
assistance and resources. The IMO must give this information to the foreign
female client within 30 days after receiving the US male client’s criminal
history record information and marital history information.
Must this additional information be translated into the foreign female
client’s native language?
Yes. In addition to the information that IMBRA requires to be translated
into her primary language, the IMO must translate into the foreign female
client‘s native language:
Criminal history record information regarding the US male client
Additional marital history information regarding the US male client
Basic rights information
What limitations are placed on the IMO’s services until
the additional criminal history, marital history, and/or “basic rights”
information has been provided?
The IMO is not permitted to provide any further services to the foreign
female client or the US male client until the IMO has provided the foreign
female client with the criminal history record information and the marital
history information. Provision of further services is not conditional upon
the IMB providing the basic rights information to the foreign female client.
What penalties could an IMO face?
Violation of the IMB law could result in a fine not to exceed $20,000 for each violation.