(Continued from Part 1.)
PROBLEMS IN AN NRI MARRIAGE:
There are some NRI marriages which are not catastrophes and which have lead to the well-being and happiness of the individuals involved in it. But of course, cases of fraud and deceit, abandonment and violence have been recorded and known to have occurred in such marriages too. Almost in all cases, only the Indian female spouse is a victim of such actions on part of the NRI male spouse. The word “victim” is used to emphasize the ill-treatment meted out to such women.
1. An NRI marriage is usually entered into without any actual intention of ensuring marital harmony. Call it selfishness or greed, but this is a fact which is true for both men and women who participate in an NRI marriage. The NRI spouse (usually a male in Indian cases) abandons the wife after getting the amount of dowry; on rare occasions, the female spouse may immediately leave her husband’s company after reaching foreign shores. For such people, marital commitment is not a priority. Personal desires overwhelm marital obligations.
2. In a foreign nation, acquiring the status of a permanent resident is very difficult. For example, in the United States of America, spouses bearing a H4 visa are excluded from gainful employment, and don’t receive a Social Security Number either. Without this, they cannot open a bank account or obtain a driver’s licence; so, if one is not employed and working, then one can be deported back to his or her country of origin for not having either the legal right or legal status to stay in the host country.
3. The sudden change in lifestyle, though alluring at first, is too much for one spouse to take. That is made more troublesome because of the drastic change in culture. In a foreign nation, everything is different, and in many cases, one spouse cannot adapt to the change in lifestyle, or to the way his or her partner is used to living. This creates rifts and tensions between the husband and wife, and consequently, between the two families involved in the marriage.
4. There is always a risk of abandonment or violence at the hands of the NRI spouse (the male, in general), who may be cruel towards the wife, or even their children (if any). He may threaten the wife or the children, or actually cause them injury.
These are some of the issues which arise in an NRI marriage. As for the problems, it can be said that they far outweigh the advantages. As has been stated above, the woman is usually the “victim” in such a union. These very real situations explain why:
1. An Indian female is married to an NRI male, but is not taken to the foreign country to live there with him. He abandons the wife and never comes back to her. His family members deny the bride any help whatsoever.
2. The wife of Indian origin is physically and mentally tortured by her husband in the foreign country. Her children are taken away from her, and she has no option but to escape from her husband and go back home.
3. The Indian wife arrives in the new country, waiting at the airport for her husband, only to keep waiting, and later realizes that he is not coming to take her to her new home. The worst-case scenario is when the woman does not have the legal permission to stay in that country, and is totally dependent on her husband for learning the ropes and adapting to the new way of life in the new country.
4. The woman finds out that her husband is not who he claims to be. She is defrauded by him and/or by his family members into believing that he has a certain job, position, financial standing, immigration status etc. This is done just to make her marry him. The following are the reasons why fraudulent NRI marriages take place:
- To conceal actual financial status, educational background,
- To find an easy method to migrate to a foreign land, and take one’s family along,
- To use the NRI spouse’s money for oneself,
- To obtain permanent residence in a foreign country (for example – to obtain a Green Card in the US – often called a marriage of convenience),
- The fact that the law cannot easily provide a solution to such cases (jurisdictional issues) etc.
(To be continued in Part 3.)
* Graduate, Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Pune.
 Rashmi Banwala, NRI Marriages, LEGAL SERVICES INDIA (Oct. 31, 2014), http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/print.php?art_id=1723.
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