Currently, in season 6, 90 Day Fiancé, began airing on 12 January 2014, giving couples in long-distance relationships 90 days to decide if the courtship should culminate in marriage. The series follows couples who have received or applied for a K-1 visa, a type of visa that is exclusively available for foreign fiancés of citizens. In the show, these couples are given 90 days to decide if they will enter into marriage before the foreign fiancé’s visa expires and is forced to leave the USA.
90 Day Fiancé makes the decision somewhat easier for the participants, as a long distance relationship is challenging enough. You never quite know the person you don’t physically spend time with. So, spouses travel halfway around the world, spending time together, while they experience life in the States with their loved ones for the first time. Within 3 months, these couples must figure out a way out of their language and cultural barriers, personality differences, and fight off the stigma of being referred to as mail-order spouses.
Just like any other reality TV show, this one has rules, and the love birds must adhere to them. There are a few things they are not allowed to do or assume. Let’s see what the rules say about fake lovers, broken marriages after the 90 days, and the truth about the visa application processes, among other issues.
Here are 15 things the cast of 90 Day Fiancé isn’t allowed to do.
Becoming a US citizen is not as easy as putting up with someone for 90 days, then getting married. The couple must stay married in order to keep their green card and stay. The Citizenship Services makes it clear that once married, the foreigner can receive a green card, which is renewed after two years, but still, does not mean citizenship. Essentially, one needs to be a green card holder for at least 3 years before applying for citizenship by naturalization.
Although staying married is not cast in stone by the show’s producers, they’ve had pretty good results. Out of all 25 couples, only 3 divorced. Indirectly though, it seems that to be on the show, and stay in the US, you really need to be a strong couple.
Getting the K-1 visa is not easy, despite being a short-period visa. There have been couples whose relationships hit a wall due to an unsuccessful visa application. One such couple was Nicole and Azan when Azan’s visa was declined, denying the lovebirds an opportunity to be together in the U.S.A. That said, some couples have been lucky and gotten the visa, but that doesn’t mean permanent residency.
To stay in the US for the 90 days, foreign partners need a K-1 visa, which, unfortunately for them, has numerous rules. One of these is the requirement to leave the country in 90 days if the couple doesn’t get married. Well, seems that a wedding within 90 days is not enough for a partner to enjoy the dream. Divorce or separation in two years could lead to withdrawal of the foreign partner’s permanent residency status.
The Citizenship Services has dealt with several cases of fraud, the most common type being people faking relationships just to become citizens. This has not stopped people from thinking of ways to take advantage such as faking a relationship to be on 90 Day Fiancé. The producers of the show have a strict rule, ensuring that the cast are in real relationships.
As part of the application process into the show, the foreigner is required by producers to go to their respective embassies for an in-depth interview, proving that they have been in a relationship with the citizen. The proof is in the form of photos, correspondences, and videos. The couple’s background and future relationship plans are also queried.
Despite the stringent rules, fans have accused the producers of match-making couples. This has been strongly denied by the producers, who state that they reach out to real couples. In an interview, producer Matt Sharp confirmed that they don’t match make, and only use couples who found themselves organically.
To support this, Anfisa Nava, season 4’s star, addressed the issue saying that although many believed that these are relationships made in the casting room, these are real lovers. She said that the 90-day mark was not the time for couples to decide if they liked each other enough to get married. By the cameras begin rolling, the couple pretty much knows the relationship’s outcome.
Reality TV contracts usually have some really saucy clauses, that only the courageous take. One of these on 90 Day Fiancé denies the cast a say in how they are portrayed. While this is good for viewership, people keen on their reputation should keep off this show, as producer requests that are contractually legal, could end up being unacceptable. This means that you have to be really sure before appending your signature on that paper.
Couples who didn’t read the fine print wasted both their time and legal suits when they felt that the producers didn’t portray them correctly. The most famous case was of Mark and Nikki Shoemaker from season 3, who sued both the production company, Sharp Entertainment and Discovery Communications for their disapproved portrayal on the show. In 2017 the case was thrown out, as the two lovebirds didn’t read the clause that allowed the producers to edit footage however they wanted.
What is reality TV when it is full of perfection? Viewers want people they can relate with, people with flaws and life issues. This is why the producers look for cast members with flaws. While speaking to Reality Life, Executive Producer Matt Sharp said that the cast members’ history was far from squeaky clean. He acknowledged that they all have some sort of history, some of which has been seen in the show.
Anfisa and Jorge Nava, for example, had a hard time finding a rental place due to Jorge’s criminal record. Other such as Molly and Danielle Mullins admitted their flaws on social media or were reported by media, Danielle taking to Facebook to reveal that she had been charged with 4 or 5 felonies.
We have not seen a copy of the contract cast members are required to sign, but we can make assumptions based on the norm in the industry. A lot can happen on reality TV, and producers and their lawyers go to great lengths to protect themselves from legal battles. This entails a series of several clauses in the contract that basically ‘force’ the cast to waive their rights. Maybe that’s why the contracts are very lengthy and participants such as Mark and Nikki lose their cases because they didn’t finish reading!
Commonly, cast members are not allowed to sue if the show is too emotionally challenging, get injured on an on-screen fight or are portrayed in an unfair way.
Reality TV seems to have sealed most of the loopholes, so you technically can’t sue!
Some people could assume that getting on the show could speed up their K-1 process, a great shortcut to the dream. The show producers sternly warn that cast members CANNOT seek help for the visa process, from either the network or studio. It is all up to the couples to go through the required legal process.
The foreigner must follow US law, fill the required forms, have a passport, if previously married, show proof of separation, divorce or demise, medical exam records, relationship evidence with the U.S citizen, police certificates from their country of residence, and proof that you have met at least once in the two years of filing the petition.
Yes, it is a rigorous process but 90 Day Fiancé offers no assistance.
Reality shows have weird rules sometimes. Producers have more say than judges over who stays and mandatory psychotherapy tests are just a few of them. On 90 Day Fiancé, women are not allowed to choose their seating positions during their individual interviews. This was revealed after some fans noted that women on the show sat in uncomfortable looking positions during their interviews, and Anfisa Arkhipchenko disclosed that this was not by accident.
She answered a fan on Instagram saying that the reason she always sat in interviews with her legs elevated was that the producers made them.
The producers are very keen not to make promises that will land them in court. One such is the assumption that a green card means citizenship. Just like the K-1 process that is done without the interference of the studio, one has to become a citizen on their own.
While the show has been critiqued for oversimplifying the citizenship process, the show is quick to clarify that it does not guarantee U.S citizenship. When you think about it actually, you don’t expect the crew to spend production money following up the visa process from start to finish, as it is too long. So, critics need to cut them some slack.
Anyway, obtaining the visa and walking down the aisle are the first steps. The foreign partner is then required to personally go through the green card process, following US law to the letter.
Reality TV has proved to be a direct ticket to Beverly Hills for some stars. Look at the Kardashian empire, for example, built on years of reality TV. This can unfortunately not be said about 90 Day Fiancé, as the foreign partners are not paid, and the U.S citizens are not paid very well.
U.S citizens are reportedly paid $1000 per episode and $2500 to appear on the Tell-All Special. Since not all cast members appear in each episode, the take home is, therefore, less, as you are only paid for the episode you appear in.
The foreign partner is unfortunately not eligible for pay, as it is illegal to pay someone who doesn’t have a green card.
So, no green card equals no pay. Only half the team takes the money home!
90 Day Fiancé casting guide is quite clear on a few pointers to get accepted in the show. The show’s casting guide clearly states that it is open to anyone willing to share their wedding gown moment, but they must be 18 years and older and also open to any ethnicity or gender. The show is actually the one that is open to all genders and ethnicities, but since these couples will meet and interact at some point, cast members also need to be open-minded and not discriminate against these attributes.
This is a global platform as it allows US citizens to bring their foreign partners from any part of the world, so tolerance is quite a big issue. We are also living in a day and age where discrimination is frowned upon, and choices are human rights, so it is only fair to only get into the show if you are not picky.
The casting guide also notes that this show is exclusively for U.S citizens dating foreigners and not U.S citizens dating their fellow citizens! The backbone of the idea is to show us how couples in long distance relationships can find love and live together in the U.S without boundaries, as long as they follow the legal process of getting the short-term visa, getting married and finally earning permanent citizenship by naturalization.
So, if you want to show the love of your life on reality TV and disappointed because you are disqualified to be on this show, worry not, there is a great supply of other dating shows to choose from such as Married at First Sight, if you are into such kinds of arrangements or Temptation Island if you want to test the strength of your love.
The K-1 process entails a lot of things from the foreigner’s side, but also has demands for the U.S citizen, who must show capability of supporting the foreign spouse (remember they are not eligible for payment until they get a green card, so need a means to survive when they land in the U.S).
Of course, the foreigner has some savings, but the law ensures that the U.S citizen must have the ability to support their would-be spouse at 100% of the poverty level. This, however, does not mean that you have to be rich for your partner to get the visa. If the support does not come from you, it could come from friends and relatives.
A great example is David and Annie, who despite having no job, lived off their friends.
Committing marriage fraud is not only illegal but also detrimental to the show’s ratings, so producers frown upon it. Even then, there have been a few cases of reported marriage fraud in the show. Pedro and Chantel is the most notable case. They had so many problems on the show, that these should have served a warning during the K-1 process( problems, of course, couldn’t have started in the 90 days. There must have been cracks earlier on).
The two constantly fought and manipulated their families, Pedro confessing that he only married Chantel just to send his family money! How unscrupulous!
Anfisa also had such trends, money being the main motivation for marriage. This is marriage fraud!