TLC’s reality show, 90 Day Fiance, recently premiered its fourth season and viewers are already heavily invested in the couples’ statuses and intentions. The show focuses on international dating and marriages. Each season features a handful of Americans who are working to obtain a K-1 visa so that they can each bring their fiance to the United States. These are primarily couples who have met but have not yet lived together or even dated in the most traditional sense of the word.
On a K-1 “fiance” visa, a partner is granted the opportunity to enter the U.S. to plan a wedding and get married. The catch? The couple must marry their foreign fiance within 90 days or the visa expires and the American citizen must bid farewell to his or her soulmate as they leave for their country of origin. During the 90 days, they not only must plan a wedding, but must also endure introductions to family members and face language barriers and cultural differences. Many of the fiances arrive only to face highly skeptical and suspicious friends and family members, most of whom don’t understand or trust the process. According to TLC, the 90 Day Fiance clock starts ticking the moment the plane lands on U.S. soil.
We’ve seen it time after time: a well-meaning friend or family member confronts the international visitor and demands to know their intentions. There are couples who seem so completely in love that the questions they are asked come across as intrusive and even rude. Then there are couples who appear to have no feelings at all other than an apparent itching for a green card.
— Kate Casey (@KateCasey) September 10, 2016
A prime example is 2013’s Danielle and Mohamed. Mohamed, a Muslim from Tunisia, traveled to Sandusky, Ohio, to marry Danielle, a divorced mother raising several teens on her own. Aside from the obvious concerns was the 15-year age difference and what Mohamed claimed from the start was a mismatch of appearance. Not only was Danielle 41 to his 26, he seemed to consider himself a solid 10 and Danielle a much lower ranking when it came to appearances. He showed extreme hesitance in showing any type of affection for her, citing religious rules as the explanation, says the Daily Mail. Danielle was often seen on camera leaning in to Mohamed or holding his hand, while he reciprocated by pulling away and referring to her as merely “acceptable.”
“If we talk about physically a relationship, sure I think about it and Danielle is acceptable for me.”
— Corey Glynn (@albedoa) September 9, 2016
Sadly, Danielle and Mohamed’s marriage ended after allegations of infidelity and abandonment. Danielle’s friends and family responded by reminding her that they had warned her and that he was not in love with her. On multiple occasions they had accused Mohamed of “only being in it for the green card.” Their marriage ended, setting a precedent for successive couples featured on 90 Day Fiance. Season 4 introduced us to several new couples who have revealed possible mismatches, not only in appearance but in values and attitudes about love and relationships.
Matt, 42, and his fiance Alla, 30, are facing pressure and suspicion from Matt’s family. After Matt picked up Alla and her small son from the airport after they flew in from Ukraine, they agreed to meet up for dinner with Matt’s brothers and their wives. It didn’t take long for the barrage of questions to begin. It’s unlikely that an interrogation from immigration services would have been more intense. They began throwing questions at Alla as soon as she sat down to dinner, asking her if she’d always dreamed of coming to America and if she was only using Matt to make that dream come true. She didn’t respond well at all to the questioning, and the couple snatched up her little boy and left. Alla had insisted she came to the U.S. because she was in love and wanted to share a life with Matt.
Another couple that seems to be on a collision course with disaster is Nicole and Azan. Nicole is a young single mother from Florida and Azan is “the One.” He’s from Morocco, and Nicole traveled there to spend time with him. She arrived only to face extreme disappointment when Azan showed her no physical affection, claiming that in his country it is against the rules to display affection publicly before marriage. Azan expressed his own level of disappointment after meeting Nicole face to face, saying he did not expect her to look like that and that she is “a little bit big.” After they spent the first night together and Nicole proudly boasted on camera the next day that they had sex, Azan arranged for a different hotel for the remainder of her visit with separate rooms. Much of their time together thus far has consisted of Nicole making unwanted advances and Azan ducking and dodging her every touch.
— Actor Headshots NYC (@ActorHeadshot) September 10, 2016
Azan: It's a Muslim country, we can only hold hands
Nicole: Can I kiss your shoulder?
A: We can hold hands
N: Can I
— Erin (@likewantneed) September 19, 2016
Season 4 of 90 Day Fiance comes with several couples all facing similar issues. Californian Jorge eagerly awaits his Russian bride-to-be, Anfisa, while fighting off her aggressive and demanding behavior. She became furious with him after he refused to buy her a Chanel handbag worth several thousand dollars, then refused to answer his calls for 10 days. She even remotely erased his phone so that he was unable to contact her or anyone else, according to a report from Reality Tea. Upon her arrival here, she immediately began criticizing everything he owned as not good enough, starting with his car, an Audi.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) September 9, 2016
Anfisa wanted to discuss the terms of their relationship because she was concerned about having enough money to satisfy her shopping needs. Jorge suggested they start out with a monthly allowance, which she happily accepted and demanded it be $10,000 per month. Jorge laughed, and Anfisa told him he must not be taking their relationship seriously. She told him she will just enjoy her vacation in the U.S. while deciding if their relationship will be satisfactory. Jorge seems to be genuinely in love and willing to spend whatever it takes to keep Anfisa happy.
All fans can do now is watch 90 Day Fiance and wait, asking themselves one question: “Who’s in love and who just wants the green card?” Who do you think made the trip for the right reasons, and who do you think is just in it for the green card? Please sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by fcscafeine/iStock]